The Gophers volleyball team has made noise in recent years, reaching the Final Four three times in the past five seasons, including in 2019. That hasn't stopped the team from improving, as Minnesota has notched the top-ranked recruiting class in 2020, a first under head coach Hugh McCutcheon.
The Gophers' 2020 class features four freshman in No.1 overall recruit Taylor Landfair, No. 3 overall recruit Jenna Wenaas, No. 16 overall recruit Melanie Shaffmaster and top-110 recruit Cami Appiani.
Most recently, Minnesota added graduate transfer Katie Myers (Maryland), who's coming off an excellent season in which she was a 2019 All-Big Ten selection.
Myers recently spoke with the Minnesota Daily about the move to Minnesota.
What made you decide to transfer to Minnesota?
Ultimately, I wanted to get my master's, so that was like a driving force to initially transfer. But I ended up choosing Minnesota for the reputation of the volleyball program — obviously [that] speaks for itself, the success that they have — and playing for the coaching staff. They work really well together, and [it's] something that got me really excited throughout the recruiting process. A couple of the girls that I talked to during the process were very welcoming and just very helpful with all the questions, so that helped me choose them too. And the fact that it's so close to a big, major city — that has all the perks because I'm kind of a city girl rather than sitting in a college town.
What was your experience like at Maryland?
I wouldn't trade my four years there for anything. I loved my experience there so much. I built so many great relationships through the staff, my teammates, other people within the athletic department, a couple of my professors. So I absolutely loved my time there.
Coming from another Big Ten school, you had the chance to play against Minnesota on a few occasions. What stood out to you about the Gophers when you'd play against them?
I really loved how they ran their system. They always seemed very calm, cool, collected. They were very precise with their movements. I could just tell that the girls and the coaching staff were very dialed in every single point. When we played in the past, actually a couple years ago, I just loved the energy not only from the program but from the fans and everyone surrounding it too.
Earlier in your volleyball career, you dealt with some injuries but have since come back and put together two strong seasons. What was it like dealing with those injuries and being able to overcome them?
Yeah, the injuries were definitely a really hard time for me. But it allowed me to learn patience for one and see the game kind of from a different perspective, being on the sideline and stuff. And being able to communicate to my teammates things that they may not see while they're on the court helped my volleyball IQ and just my court awareness overall.
Coming off a really strong year last season, what goals do you have for yourself for your first year at Minnesota?
It's definitely going to be a new role for me because at Maryland I did have a very big leadership role. I think just learning the team dynamic, being process-oriented with all the new things I will be learning from my coaches and teammates and obviously, I would love to win the Big Ten and make a Final Four run and hopefully win a national championship. And for me personally, just get better and contribute to my team as much as I can.
Overall, what are you most looking forward to in this upcoming year at Minnesota?
I think being in a new environment. I really do like change, so that's something I'm looking forward to. Getting to play with new girls and gain new perspectives is always great. And just learning from the coaches and going to a highly touted academic school and having the opportunity to get my master's, I'm really looking forward to that.