Michigan Signs Pair of Top-80 Prospects in Early Period

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan head volleyball coach Mark Rosen announced today (Tuesday, Nov. 18) the signings of two top-80 prospects to National Letters of Intent during the November early signing period in setter Catherine Yager(St. Michael, Minn./Albertville) and outside hitter Amanda Yerke(Commerce Twp., Mich./Walled Lake Northern). Both are ranked among the top-80 prospects on PrepVolleyball.com's senior aces list and will don the Maize and Blue in 2009.

"I'm very excited about this group of early signees," said Rosen. "I think we were able to bring in two very special volleyball players and more importantly two people we believe will be great ambassadors for the University of Michigan and our volleyball program."

Yager, a 6-0 setter who earned five varsity letters as a prep, is a two-time all-state selection, helping lead Albertville High School to four straight conference titles. As a senior, Yager led her squad to the Section 8 class AAA title and a third-place finish at the Minnesota state tournament. An all-state first team honoree, Yager was also named to the Star Tribune All-Metro and St. Paul Pioneer Press All-State teams after guiding her squad to a 29-3 mark. A member of the M1 Volleyball 18-1's AAU team following her junior year, Yager was named to PrepVolleyball.com's top-50 juniors list and is the 41st-ranked player nationally heading into her final season of AAU ball with the Minnesota Select 18-1's.

"We are excited to get such a great setting prospect," said Rosen. "Catherine can come in and learn from Lexi (Zimmerman) and then have a chance to take the reins in the future. She comes from high-level club experience where she has played with kids a year older and I think that has been very beneficial in her growth as a player. She has good size, good experience and is used to winning, which is something we look for. I think she has the ability to be a very good setter for us."

Yerke, a 6-3 outside hitter, is a three-year letterwinner at nearby Walled Lake Northern for head coach Renee Miller. A two-time all-conference and all-region selection as a senior, Yerke led her team to city and district championships as both a junior and senior. In the 2008 district title game, Yerke recorded 23 kills and 14 digs to lead her team. The team leader in kills and attack percentage as both a junior and senior, Yerke was twice named to the Oakland County top-10 list of prep volleyball athletes by the Oakland Press. A member of the M-Juniors AAU program, Yerke helped lead the team to a third-place finish at the 2008 AAU national championships and fifth-place finish at the 2008 JVDA national championships while earning All-America honors.

"Amanda has always been a Michigan kid," commented Rosen. "As a local player in our club, she has always been interested in coming to Michigan, so when she blossomed into a great player we were very excited. She has great size and athleticism and plays a very physical game on the outside. We envision her coming in and being a big, banging outside hitter in our program. She has tremendous work ethic and lots of room to get better. We are excited about watching her develop in the future."

With four Big Ten matches left in the season, Michigan travels on its final road trip to take on Minnesota Friday (Nov. 21) in Minneapolis, Minn., and Iowa Saturday (Nov. 22) in Iowa City, Iowa. Both matches begin at 7 p.m. CST.

Amanda Yerke Catherine Yager

Michigan Volleyball Early Signees (as of 11/18/08)
Name Pos. Ht. Hometown (High School)
Catherine Yager S 6-0 St. Michael, Minn. (Albertville)
Amanda Yerke OH 6-3 Commerce, Twp., Mich. (Walled Lake Northern)

Contact: Matt Fancett (734) 763-4423

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