By Jim Rueda
Free Press Sports Editor
Blue Earth Area’s Krista Hassing will join Belle Plaine’s Haley Fogarty and three other recruits who have signed national letter of intent to continue their volleyball careers at Minnesota State University next fall.
The quintet of incoming players includes middle blocker Hassing, defensive specialist Fogarty, outside hitter Amanda Hanson from Delano, middle blocker Sydnet Geisness from St. Croix Falls, Wis. and middle blocker Courtney Anderson from Tripoli Iowa.
Hassing received Minnesota All-State honorable mention honors after the recently completed season. The senior said she picked MSU shortly after her visit to the college.
“I went to visit and it just felt like I belonged there,” the 6-foot Hassing said. “(Coach Dennis Amundson) kind of stood out from the other coaches I talked to.
“I was also looking at Winona and Augustana and Viterbo. MSU just felt like the best fit.”
Hassing set Blue Earth Area records with 411 kills and 115 blocks last season, bringing her career totals to 810 kills, which is third in program history, and 284 blocks, which is a program record.
She also plays basketball and runs track for the Bucs. For a long time she thought basketball would be the sport she pursued in college but, by the end of her junior year, she decided volleyball was the way to go.
Hassing finished second in the 800-meter run at last spring’s Class A state meet. She plans to major in nursing.
“Krista jumps well and will be able to take a lot of swings,” Amundson said in an MSU press release. “She is an extremely hard-working athlete, who is driven to compete. She has a high ceiling once she adapts to the college game.”
Fogarty will follow three relatives to the MSU volleyball program, including her mother Laurie (Wolpern) Fogarty, her aunt and high school head coach Cassie Wolpern and her sister Chelsea Fogarty.
A 5-8 libero, Fogarty is a four-sport athlete for the Tigers, competing in basketball, track and field and golf in addition to volleyball. She received all-state honors for her efforts on the volleyball court during the 2012 campaign and helped the Tigers to a fourth-place finish at state.
Fogarty has more than 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in her career.
“She’s very instinctual,” Amundson said. “She’ll make a difference in the back row.
“She will bring a high level of competitive experiences to our team. She has the potential to make the big play defensively, as well as provide steady passing for our first-ball attack.”
Hanson, 5-10, recorded 175 kills (3.2 per set) on 451 attempts with 83 errors for Delano this fall. She helped the Tigers to an overall record of 22-7 on the season.
Geisness, received 11 varsity letters for her efforts in track and field (3), basketball (4) and volleyball (4) at St. Croix Falls (Wis.) High School. The 5-11 senior received all-conference and all-region first-team honors this fall, recording 271 kills, 76 blocks and 57 service aces while hitting .344.
Anderson led her team to the small-school state championship in Iowa. She is a three-sport athlete at Tripoli (Iowa) High School, participating in basketball, golf, dance, and volleyball. The 6-1 Anderson recently received all-state honors for her efforts during the fall season.