Nov. 18, 2009
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern head coach Keylor Chan announced today the signing of three student-athletes to National Letters of Intent. Katherine Dutchman, Gaby Gray and Stephanie Holthus comprise Northwestern's class of 2014 and will join the Wildcat roster next season.
"We are truly excited about our 2010 class joining the Wildcat family," said Chan. "Each of these individuals will make a significant impact in the program during their careers. We have addressed all of our needs as a program in this class--a six rotation outside hitter, a setter/right side hitter, and a middle. During the recruiting process we knew that if Stephanie, Gaby, and Katherine committed we would have landed a top 10 to 15 class."
Dutchman attends Torrey Pines High School in Del Mar, Calif., where she was a starter at middle blocker since her sophomore season. Dutchman helped lead the Falcons to the Avacado League Co-Championship in 2009 after runner-up finishes in 2007 and 2008 and received second team All-League honors as a junior. A three-time Student-Athlete of the Week, she has spent the past four years as a member of the Encinitas Wave club team, which captured a number of tournament honors during that span.
"Katherine is a quick and agile middle blocker with tremendous potential," Chan said. "During her past two club seasons she has made great progress as a middle and we believe she will continue to get better every year. Katherine has a bright future in our program and I believe she has just begun to realize all her talent."
Gray, the sister of Northwestern outside hitter Brittani Gray, is closing out an impressive prep career at Sycamore High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. A four-year varsity starter, Gray notched over 900 kills and 100 blocks and was named the Conference Player of the Year as a senior. A three-time first team all-district and a first team all-state selection, she was a member of the USA Volleyball Junior National A2 Red Team and was named one of Prep Volleyball's Top 50 Junior Recruits. Gray has also competed for the Northern Kentucky Volleyball Club for the past five years, helping the team qualify for nationals in each of the last three seasons.
"Gaby is a versatile player with exceptional athleticism," Chan said. "She is capable of setting and attacking at the collegiate level. Gaby's versatility will allow our team to have many offensive options. I have every confidence that Gaby will adapt quickly to the speed and power of the collegiate game and will earn an opportunity to compete early in her career."
Holthus joins the Wildcats after a solid prep career at Central High School in Burlington, Ill., where she was a four-year starter at outside hitter. A two-time All-Area Player of the Year and named the No. 31 Senior Ace by PrepVolleyball.com, she notched over 400 kills with a .500 hitting percentage as a senior in leading the Rockets to its third Big Northern East Division title, a year after helping Central to the 3A state finals in which she set the 3A single-match state tournament record with 17 kills. Named one of the top 30 players of 2010 by Volleyball Magazine, Holthus was named team captain of the USA Volleyball Junior National A2 Red Team where she competed alongside Gray in helping the team to a first-place finish at the High Performance Championships.
"Stephanie is a very talented volleyball player that is capable of controlling a match from the left pin," Chan said. "She is a six rotation outside hitter the has the talent, training, and experience to compete immediately for a starting position. Stephanie has competed internationally with the youth and junior national teams and that experience will help her adjust quickly to the collegiate game."
Northwestern enters the final stretch of the 2009 season with three of its final four matches at Welsh-Ryan Arena. The Wildcats face Wisconsin at 6 p.m. Friday before taking on Iowa at 7 p.m. Saturday.
6-0 Middle Blocker
Del Mar, Calif./Torrey Pines
High School: Three-year letterwinner at Torrey Pines High School ... Starter at middle blocker since sophomore year ... Named second team All-Avacado League as a junior ... Recorded a career-best 33 kills against LaCosta Canyon in 2009 ... Named to California Challenge all-tournament team ... Helped lead the Lady Falcons to the co-Avacado League championship in 2009 after runner-up finishes in 2007 and 2008 ... Earned Student-Athlete of the Week honors from Papa John's, San Diego Union Tribune and North County Times during her senior campaign ... Earned special mention among PrepVolleyball.com's 2010 Senior Aces ... Competed for Encinitas Wave club team for four seasons ... Captured a handful of tournament titles including qualifying for the 2008 and 2009 Junior Olympics ... Earned Falcon Award and Dartmouth Book Award for academic excellence.
Personal: Born Katherine Anne Dutchman ... Daughter of Ray and Christy Dutchman ... Anticipated major is pre-med.
5-10 Setter/Outside Hitter
High School: Four-year letterwinner at Sycamore High School ... 2009 Greater Miami Conference Player of the Year ... Three-time first team All-District 16 and All-Greater Miami Conference selection ... Named first team all-state as a senior ... Finished her prep career with over 900 kills and 100 blocks ... Notched nine triple-doubles during her senior campaign ... Selected to District 16 senior all-star game ... Identified as No. 59 recruit in class of 2010 ... Selected as a member of Prep Volleyball's Top-50 Junior Recruits ... Member of USA Volleyball Junior National A2 Red Team which won the bronze medal at the High Performance Championships ... Competed for Northern Kentucky Volleyball Club for five years ... Helped team qualify for nationals the past three seasons ... National Honor Society member ... Named to honor roll all four years.
Personal: Born Gabrielle Xiomara Gray ... Daughter of Michael and Denise Gray ... Sister Brittani is a junior outside hitter for the Wildcats ... Can speak Spanish and Japanese after living in Mexico City for three years and Kobe, Japan for seven years ... Interested in a career as a veterinarian.
6-0 Outside Hitter
High School: Four-year letterwinner at Burlington High School ... Named No. 31 Senior Ace by PrepVolleyball.com and named to list of Top-50 Recruits of 2010 ... Two-time All-Area Volleyball Player of the Year ... Three-time first team All-Area selection ... Four-time All-Big Northern East Conference selection ... Two-time Chicago Sun-Times second team All-Area selection ... Champaign News-Gazette second team all-state selection ... Courier News Player of the Month for October 2009 ... Kane County Chronicle Player of the Week ... Helped lead the Rockets to three Big Northern East Division titles ... Set 3A single-match state tournament record with 17 kills as Burlington captured state runner-up honors in 2008 ... Named team captain of USA Volleyball Junior National A2 Red Team ... Red Team took first place at 2009 High Performance championships ... One of 19 players selected by USA Volleyball to attend tryout for USA National Team ... Competed for Club Fusion for six seasons ... Recorded four tournament victories with Team 18 black and a fifth-place finish at JVDA Nationals, earning all-tournament honors ... Earned IHSA Scholastic Achievement Award since freshman year ... Honor roll student.
Personal: Born Stephanie Jeanine Holthus ... Daughter of Craig and Sherrie Holthus ... Father played baseball at Bradley ... Anticipated major is undecided.