May 28, 2014
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — First-year University of Iowa head volleyball coach Bond Shymansky announced the addition of four student-athletes to the 2014 fall roster. Taylin Alm, Danielle Cabel and Michelle Fugarino will join the Hawkeyes as freshmen, while transfer Mikaela Gunderson will be a junior.
Alm is a two-time first team all-state, all-conference and most valuable player at Mitchell High School. She helped the Kernels to a pair of seventh place finishes and an eighth place result at state and was named to the all-tournament team as a junior. The one-time Miss Volleyball and two-time Gatorade Player of the Year nominee also earned second team all-conference and all-state honorable mention as a sophomore and was an all-conference honorable mention pick as a freshman.
The Mitchell, South Dakota native set several high school records including eight blocks in a match, 457 kills in her senior season and 1,029 career kills. She reached the 1,000 career kill mark and recorded a match-high 33 kills in 2013. Alm played club volleyball for Kairos Elite and helped the team accomplish a fifth place finish at AAU Nationals in 2013. She also played basketball for two years in high school.
“Taylin has the lengths, strengths and physicality of a Big Ten volleyball player,” Shymansky said. “She has a passion that burns deep and low for winning. We’ll expect to ignite that passion, bring it out and make her an integral part of our hitting arsenal. She is versatile enough to play left, middle or right but I think we’re looking for her as a potential right side at this point. Time will tell. She’s good enough to play a lot of different positions, so we’ll keep pushing the envelope.”
Cabel is a two-time first team all-conference, first team all-district and first team all-state honoree who helped Assumption High School to a conference championship and back-to-back state berths in 2012 and 2013. She earned second team and honorable mention all-conference honors as a sophomore and freshman, respectively, and served as team captain in her senior season.
The Bettendorf, Iowa native holds Assumption High School records for career kills, career blocks, kills per set, kills in a season and blocks in a season. Cabel was also a three-time all-conference high jump selection in track and a two-time state and conference champion as a member of the basketball team. She played club volleyball for Club Fusion.
Cabel also excelled in the classroom, as she was on the high honor roll from 2010-14 and a National Honor Society member from 2012-14.
“Danielle is long, strong, powerful and dynamic,” Shymansky said. “She’s a prototype outside hitter for the Big Ten Conference, so I think she’s a great fit competitively. More importantly she was raised a Hawkeye and her family is steeped in Hawkeye tradition. She’s a believer in what the Hawkeye way is. We want players here that are passionate about winning as a Hawkeye. Danielle the indicator of our in-state talent turning their focus back to Iowa volleyball, rethinking what the future of the program is going to be and wanting to be a part of it.”
Fugarino earned first team all-state, all-conference and all-area honors as a senior at Muskego High School. The two-time Prep Volleyball All-American was named the team’s MVP three times and captained the team as a junior and senior. She was also named a Prep Volleyball Senior Ace (The 150) and a Waukesha County Top 20 Fall Sport Athlete.
The Muskego, Wisconsin native helped Muskego High School accomplish three conference titles, four regional and sectional championships, and four state appearances including a runner-up finish in 2010. Fugarino, who is the school record holder in digs, also performed at a high level in the classroom. She appeared on the high academic honor roll four times, was a three-year member of the French National Honors Society and spent a year as a member of Mu Alpha Theta.
Fugarino played club volleyball for the Milwaukee Sting. In 2014, she helped the Sting finish first at the Badger State AAU Super Regional and the Badger Region Championships. The team placed first in the JVA World Challenge and the Badger Region Championships and fifth in the AAU National Championships (Open Division) in 2013, second at the 2012 AAU National Championships (Open Division) and fifth at the 2011 AAU National Championships (Open Division).
Fugarino was tabbed a Prep Volleyball Defensive Dandy twice and received an All-America Award once in her club career.
“Michelle is a gritty, no nonsense back row specialist who has a blue collar work ethic and an elite level skill set,” Shymansky said. “We’re counting on her to add ball control to our unit and to stabilize our offensive system with great passing.”
Gunderson joins the Hawkeye roster after two seasons at Wisconsin-Green Bay. She appeared in every match and set of her sophomore season, was named to the Active Ankle Challenge All-Tournament team and paced the Phoenix in blocks (96) and blocks per set (0.86). She was also second on the squad in hitting percentage (.238) and third in kills (259) and kills per set (2.33) as a middle. As a freshman, she appeared in four matches.
The Casco, Wisconsin native graduated from Luxemburg-Casco High School in 2012. Gunderson earned all-conference recognition each year, including three first team selections, and was a two-time all-state pick. As a senior, she was named conference MVP, team MVP, team captain and became a member of the 1,000 Kill Club. She helped the Spartans to conference titles in 2011 and 2012, set the school record with 1,277 kills and earned honor roll recognition each year for her work in the classroom.
“As an experienced Division I player, Mikaela has the ability to make an instant impact as a one-foot, take-off hitter in our offensive system,” Shymansky said. “She certainly has a high level skill along with a high level of drive that we’re working to build inside of our program. We fully expect her to make an impact in our lineup right away and help anchor the front row crew.”
Alm, Cabel, Fugarino and Gunderson join November signees Jess Janota and Kaylee Smith bringing the incoming class total to six student-athletes.
|2014 Recruiting Class|
|Taylin Alm||RS||6-4||Mitchell, South Dakota|
|Danielle Cabel||OH||6-2||Bettendorf, Iowa|
|Michelle Fugarino||L/DS||5-5||Muskego, Wisconsin|
|Mikaela Gunderson||MB/RS||6-0||Casco, Wisconsin|
|Jess Janota||MB||6-3||Concord, Ohio|
|Kaylee Smith||S||5-11||Indianola, Iowa|