Nov. 14, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -
Indiana Volleyball received signed National Letters of Intent from four high school seniors on Wednesday, allowing head coach Sherry Dunbar to announce their addition to the program. Three first-team All-State players from Indiana highlight the class, including Allison Hammond, Taylor Lebo and Jazzmine McDonald. They are joined by a talented and athletic setter in Megan Tallman, from Illinois.
The four signees all play different positions, adding depth to every phase of the IU Volleyball program, Dunbar said.
"It is a really exciting day for Indiana Volleyball," said Dunbar. "We are thrilled about this year's incoming class. This is one of our strongest, most well-rounded classes since my arrival at Indiana six seasons ago. Their size, agility, and physicality will add depth to every position next season. With our focus being on in-state recruiting, signing three first team All-State players this year continues to fill the promise of keeping some of the best players in Indiana at home."
Allison Hammond is a 6-0 outside hitter from French Lick, Ind. She earned first team All-State accolades for Erin Carnes at Springs Valley High School. A four-time all-conference player and three-year team captain, Hammond had a school record 1,680 kills in her career and averaged 5.25 kills per set over four years. Hammond hit .427 in her senior campaign and .354 for her career. She added 207 service aces, 951 digs and a school record 292 blocks in her career. She earned second team All-State honors as a junior. A Frosh 59, Soph 79 and Senior Aces selection by PrepVolleyball.com, she earned all-conference accolades all four years and was three times the team MVP. Hammond also played one year of basketball, one year of softball and three years of track and field. She earned the freshman award in basketball, was all-conference in softball and an all-conference selection and regional qualifier in the jumps in track and field. Hammond played club volleyball for Eugene Kim and the Hoosierland Volleyball Club, helping the team to qualify for the 2009 Junior Olympics and win the 2011 AAU Nationals Consolation Division. Hammond will join the newly formed Munciana Hoosierland Volleyball Club this upcoming club season. The daughter of Mark and Jill Hammond, she has one brother, Jake. Allison plans on majoring in a discipline of medicine while attending IU.
Dunbar on Hammond: "Allison is a very versatile athlete who I am anxious to see in a highly competitive environment. Allison has played multiple positions in both high school and club, and I think once she gets into a Big Ten environment, her natural ability will propel her to great success. "
Taylor Lebo (LEE-boh) is a 5-9 libero from LaPorte, Ind. She is an American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) second team High School All-American and earned first team All-State honors at LaPorte High School. Lebo is one of four finalists for Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Indiana. Also an All-State honoree in 2010, Lebo missed her junior season due to injury after being a finalist for National Sophomore of the Year, having led LaPorte to the final four in the state tournament. She was named to the Frosh 59, Soph 79 and Senior Aces by PrepVolleyball.com, who also named her a 2013 Top Defensive Dandy. A three-time All-Duneland Conference honoree, she has been a Northwest Indiana Times All-Area player and an AVCA National Player of the Week for the state of Indiana. She led LaPorte to DAC, sectional and regional titles and a career record of 116-30. Lebo led the state of Indiana in digs as a senior. She has played club volleyball for Jamie Potts and Rick Ashmore of Dunes Volleyball Club, and will do so again this upcoming season. A National Honor Society and LPHS Leadership Council member, Lebo has a GPA of 3.97. The daughter of Mark and Marybeth Lebo, she has a sister, Bayli, and plans to major in pre-medicine.
Dunbar on Lebo: "I am very excited about Taylor's commitment to the Hoosier Volleyball Family. She's a fantastic athlete that has played most of her career as an outside hitter, through which she has learned the game; however, she will take on the challenge of playing libero when she arrives at IU. She is a competitor that knows how to win, which will raise the bar in our entire gym."
Jazzmine McDonald (JAZZ-min) is a 6-2 middle blocker from Indianapolis, Ind. She earned first team All-State honors for Jean Kesterson at Cathedral High School and led the Irish to sectional and regional crowns in 2012. McDonald had 320 kills and 118 blocks in her senior season, averaging 3.1 kills per set. In her career, she totaled 581 kills and 258 blocks. McDonald's club experience included stops at both Indiana Volleyball Academy (IVA) and Vision Volleyball Club. This upcoming club season, she will join Munciana Volleyball Club. A three-sport athlete, McDonald also competed in basketball and track and field in high school. The daughter of Shereasher and former Notre Dame standout and NFL Colts linebacker, Devon McDonald, she has a sister, Rachel, and plans to major in physical therapy.
Dunbar on McDonald: "Jazzmine is a phenomenal athlete with a very high ceiling for success. Once she gets on campus, she will grow as a player by leaps and bounds with reps and our strength program. She comes from a very successful high school program, so she knows how to win. Playing for a well-respected club like Munciana this upcoming club season will help her transition to the college game quickly. I am excited for her future here at Indiana."
Megan Tallman (TALL-min) is a 5-9 setter from Island Lake, Ill. She was a four-time all-conference, all-area and All-Lake County player at Wauconda High School. She was a three-year team captain and earned team MVP honors as a junior. Megan played club volleyball for Spencer Kaszuba and Rolling Thunder Volleyball Club, where she dished out 1,189 assists to go with 522 digs, 118 blocks, 76 kills and 71 aces. Tallman will return to the Rolling Thunder Volleyball Club for her senior season. A three-sport athlete, Tallman played one year of basketball and three years of track and field. She won a conference title in the long jump as a freshman and earned all-conference honors twice in track and field. She qualified for the state meet in the triple jump as a junior and owns school records in both the long and triple jumps. She earned team MVP honors as a junior in track and field. The daughter of Russell and Julie Tallman, she has a sister, Danielle, and plans to major in sports psychology.
Dunbar on Tallman: "Megan is a great addition to our program. With the loss of our senior setter, we were looking for someone who was not only a great setter, but a great leader. Megan's athletic ability will make her a good setter in the Big Ten Conference, but her competitiveness and leadership qualities are what will make her a great addition to the program."
The Hoosiers return home to take on Penn State and Ohio State this Friday and Saturday at U-Gym. For complete coverage of all things IU volleyball, stay tuned to IUHoosiers.com.