Husker Volleyball Announces Recruiting Class

University of Nebraska Volleyball Coach John Cook announced Thursday the signing of four high school seniors to National Letters-of-Intent to play volleyball for the Husker volleyball program.

All four players are ranked among the country's top-50 seniors by Prepvolleyball.com - middle blocker Brooke Delano (Bellevue, Neb./Bellevue West), right side hitter Lindsey Licht (Aurora, Colo./Grandview) and outside hitters Tara Mueller (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain) and Danielle Minch (Sterling, Colo./Sterling).

Cook said this group not only features exceptional athletes, but all four bring impressive winning backgrounds into the Husker program.

"We feel like we have four talented players who are also very good athletes," Cook said. "All of them have been a part of winning teams, and you are always looking for people who know how to win. That is an intangible that you can't teach. We will be expecting some of them to be able to contribute for us next season."

Nebraska Volleyball Recruiting Class

Name    Pos.    Ht.     Hometown (High School)

Brooke Delano   MB      6-4     Bellevue, Neb. (Bellevue West)

Lindsey Licht   RS      6-5     Aurora, Colo. (Grandview)

Tara Mueller    OH      6-0     Scottsdale, Ariz. (Desert Mountain)

Danielle Minch  OH      6-1     Sterling, Colo. (Sterling)

Brooke Delano (MB, 6-4, Bellevue, Neb./Bellevue West)

Delano is one of nation's top middle blockers playing for Coach Alyssa LeGrand at Bellevue West High School. The 6-foot-4 senior is a main reason that Bellevue West is ranked sixth nationally with a 40-1 record and gunning for a fourth consecutive Class A state title this weekend. A two-time super-state selection by the Lincoln Journal Star, Delano was the only player in the state to earn first-team All-Nebraska honors in both volleyball and basketball during the 2005-06 year. She is also ranked as the top player in Nebraska and the 25th player nationally by Prepvolleyball.com. This season, she has totaled 434 kills and 91 blocks entering this weekend's state tournament. As a junior, she totaled 400 kills and 102 blocks as Bellevue West went 39-3. Delano is a standout performer on the basketball court, averaging 13.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocked shots per game as a junior to earn first-team all-state honors from the Lincoln Journal Star and the Omaha World-Herald.  She also plays club volleyball for Gwen Egbert's Nebraska Juniors program. Delano was recruited in both sports by a number of schools, including Missouri, Iowa State and Creighton and also looked at Duke and Kansas State at basketball before selecting Nebraska. The daughter of Tammy and Bill Delano, she comes from an athletic background, as her father played basketball at Nebraska-Omaha.

Delano on Nebraska

"I chose Nebraska because I really like the program, the players and the coaches. It was close to home, and I really think the people here can make me the best player I can be."

Cook On Delano:

"There haven't been very many 6-foot-4 girls to come out of this state who are as athletic as Brooke. She had a difficult decision to choose between volleyball and basketball, and we are glad she chose volleyball. Brooke is very athletic for her size, moves exceptionally well, and is also very competitive. We think that she will blossom in our program over the next four years.

Lindsey Licht (RS, 6-5, Aurora, Colo./Grandview)

Licht (pronounced light) comes to Nebraska from Grandview High School in Aurora, Colo. The 6-foot-5 right-side hitter was a second-team Mizuno/Volleyball Magazine All-American in 2005 and is rated the No. 11 prospect in the country by Prepvolleyball.com. A four-year starter, Licht has totaled 1,199 kills, 335 blocks, 385 digs and 80 aces for Coach Patty Childress during her high school career. This season, she has led Grandview to a No. 20 national ranking, a 23-3 record and a berth in this weekend's state tournament, averaging 2.59 kills, 1.10 blocks, 1.20 digs and 0.50 aces per game. She guided Grandview to consecutive Class 5A state titles in 2004 and 2005, earning Denver Post Player-of-the-Year honors in 2005 by averaging 3.32 kills, 1.19 blocks, 1.61 digs and 0.36 aces per game. A three-time all-state honoree, Licht was the state tournament MVP in 2005. In addition to her high school exploits, she also played club volleyball for the Front Range Volleyball Club and Coach Jim Miret, earning MVP honors at the Junior National Volleyball Championships in 2005, as Front Range won the 16-and-under open division title. She has been involved in the USA Volleyball program, serving a stint on the Youth National A-2 Team in 2005.  The daughter of Ross and Michelle Licht, Lindsey also looked at Washington and Penn State before choosing Nebraska.

Licht on Nebraska

"I chose Nebraska because not only is the volleyball top notch, but the academics are amazing. I love the hometown feeling, and I am truly excited about making it my new home."

Cook on Licht

"Lindsey is someone we recruited to replace Sarah Pavan. It is hard to find too many 6-foot-5 lefties, and we have been very successful with Sarah in our program. Lindsey is someone who we think can play right away and allows us the ability to run a 6-2 system next season. Lindsey is an exceptional blocker and blocks as well as any high school player that I have recruited. She also has a great personality and a lot of energy and passion for the game."

Tara Mueller (OH, 6-0, Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain)

One of the nation's top all-around players, Mueller plays at Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale, Ariz. The 6-foot-0 outside hitter is rated the No. 12 player nationally by Prepvolleyball.com and earned second-team Mizuno/Volleyball Magazine All-America honors following her junior season. Mueller, who was coached by Amanda Burbridge, led Desert Mountain to back-to-back state Class 5AII titles in 2005 and 2006 and qualified for the state tournament all four years. The Gatorade Arizona Player of the Year in 2005, Mueller was selected to the 2006 U.S. Junior National Team, but was forced to miss the NORCECA Championships because of an injury. She has also trained under current NU assistant Lee Maes at the USA Volleyball High Performance Program in 2003. A two-time first-team all-state selection by the Arizona Republic, Mueller was also chosen as the Arizona Player of the Year by the Arizona Republic and the Scottsdale East Valley Tribune.  She plays her volleyball for Club Red and Coach Joe Hesse, helping her program to regional titles the past two years. The daughter of Larry and Donna Mueller, Tara also looked at UCLA, Long Beach State, Arizona, Arizona State and Texas before choosing to become a Husker. Mueller comes from an athletic background, as her father played football at Wyoming, while her aunt (Linda Mueller Jensen) played volleyball at Oklahoma. Mueller is the first Husker volleyball player to ever come from the state of Arizona.

Mueller on Nebraska

"There's no place like Nebraska! The people are welcoming, the players work hard, it's the best volleyball team in the nation and they have the best coaches."

Cook on Mueller:

"We feel like she is an exceptional passer and defensive player, but she is also a very strong attacker and blocker. One of her greatest strengths is her passion for the game. She has a great personality, and she brings a spirit and energy to the court. We felt that combination of things makes her a great recruit for our program."

Danielle Minch (OH, 6-1, Sterling, Colo.)

One of two Colorado All-State performers in this year's recruiting class, Minch plays her high school volleyball for Coach Lisa Schumacher at Sterling High School. A three-year starter, Minch has totaled 1,181 kills and 488 blocks during her career, ranking No. 49 nationally on Prepvolleyball.com's list of 2007 seniors. This season, Minch has 370 kills, 127 blocks and 123 digs for a team that is 25-1 and the top seed in the Colorado Class 4A Tournament this weekend. As a junior, she was a first-team Class 4A selection by the Rocky Mountain News, as Sterling went 31-0 and won the Class 4A title. She earned first-team Northern Conference honors and shared the league's co Player-of-the-year honor in 2005. A three-sport athlete, Minch also plays basketball and runs track for Sterling. Minch also plays club volleyball for Lyndsey Stinson and the Northeastern/Club 1.  The daughter of Ken and Terri Minch, Danielle also looked at Colorado State, Colorado, Texas and Penn State before choosing to become a Husker.

Minch on Nebraska

"I chose Nebraska because of its top-notch program. I felt like it was a great fit to further my education and volleyball career."

Cook on Minch

"Danielle is a typical Nebraska volleyball recruit, as she comes from a small town and has played several sports in high school. She is playing middle blocker in high school, but we are going to move her outside, and we think she has the potential to be a very good player for us. Dani is a tremendous athlete with a big-time arm swing, and we look forward to watching her develop in our program."


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