recently rated the nation's 2013 college recruiting classes.

And, in this sport, at least, the Big Ten, led by Nebraska and the Gophers, does real well.

Minnesota is rated No. 3 in the country behind Nebraska and Southern Cal. Also in the top 10 are Wisconsin at No. 4 and Michigan State at No. 7. Three other conference teams crack the top 25: Ohio State is No. 11, illinois No. 20 and Michigan No. 25.

Here is what John Tawa says about the U, which is bringing in six player, three from in-state:


Tyler Marie “Kalei” Mau, 6-1 OH, St. Francis, Honolulu, Hawaii;

Katie Schau, 5-9 S, Gull Lake, Richland, Mich;

Hannah Tapp, 6-1 MB/OH, Stewartville, Minn;

Paige Tapp, 6-1 MB/RS, Stewartville, Minn;

Sarah Wilhite, 6-1 OH, Eden Prairie

COMMENT: In his first recruiting class, Gophers head coach Hugh McCutcheon adds seven athletes who provide a tremendous combination of athleticism, skill, and history of winning to a team that returns 11 players from the 2012 Elite Eight roster.

Mau brings a physical presence and is a true competitor at the outside hitter position. She led St. Francis High School to a 2011 state championship and chose to graduate early from high school in order to join the Gophers for the 2013 spring semester, gaining valuable collegiate on-court experience.

No. 14 in’s Senior Aces, Wilhite is a six-rotation outside hitter with a live arm who led Eden Prairie
High School to its first-ever Class 3A State Championship in 2011. She is a two-time Minnesota Gatorade POY and 2012 Baden Minnesota Miss Volleyball honors.

Stewartville standouts Paige and Hannah Tapp add speed, power, and versatility with their ability to play multiple positions at a high level. Together with Wilhite, the Tapps, both Top 30 Senior Aces, led the Mizuno Northern Lights 17-1s team to the 17 Open title USAV Junior National Championships last summer.

A fantastic leader and fierce competitor, Schau brings a unique ability to manage a game that isn’t seen by many young setters. She understands the game at a high level and her ability as a great decision maker will help her develop quickly in the collegiate game.

Minnesota also adds two defenders from outside the USA. Puerto Rican libero Dalianliz Rosado, a Youth National Team member, has a natural feel for the game and an elite ability to read in the backcourt.

Australian Brittany Jack represented her country in several major tournaments over the past several years and is also a talented beach player. This is an extremely well rounded class with elite players at every position.