Tabi Love, a 6-6 outside hitter for the Gophers, has asked for and been granted her release, according to a University of Minnesota source close to the volleyball program.
Love averaged 3.47 kills per set, a team high and ninth in the Big Ten/ She finished with 420 kills, the second most on the team. She will be a junior next season with two years of eligibility left.
She was the top recruit coming out of Canada two years ago.
The Gophers tied for second place in the conference with a 14-6 record; they were 26-9 overall, qualifying to the NCAA tournament, but losing their first match to California. The Golden Bears advanced to the NCAA final before falling to Penn State.
Minnesota was No. 10 in the final coaches' national ratings.
Love was unavailable for comment about her transfer but one possible explanation for her decision to transfer is the unusual coaching situation at Minnesota.
Veteran coach Mike Hebert resigned after the season finished. His successor will be Hugh McCutcheon, the coach of the U.S. national women's team. But McCutcheon will not start until Sept. 1, 2012, after the 2012 Olympics.
Laura Bush, an assistant coach under Hebert for three years, will be the interim head coach until then.
Bush had been to the Final Four with three different Big Ten programs. She was there as a player with Illinois in 1987 and '88, as an assistant coach with Michigh State in 1995 and the Gophers in 2009.
She was the head coach at Marquette from 1999 to 2001 and at Auburan from 2002 to 2007.
So if Love had stayed, she would have played for three different coaches in her final three years as a Gopher. Not an ideal situation, but maybe not the reason she is leaving either. Just a theory that comes to mind.
P.S. One recent post on a volleyball chat site says that Love, on her Facebook page, wrote that her new school is UCLA.