Cowles done for season

by Derek Wetmore

Gophers volleyball player Hailey Cowles will not compete in the upcoming season due to a torn ACL in her left knee. She sustained the injury in a practice Thursday with the team.

The injury to the senior will impact the team that made a Final Four run last year as the No. 11 seed– she was the fourth Gophers player to recieve Final Four All-Tournament honors. She has primarily been an outside hitter and defensive specialist for the team, and has played in 101 of 102 games in her career at Minnesota.

Cowles has completed three seasons for the Gophers, but was never red-shirted, so a medical red shirt is a possibility. It would save her a year of eligibility and allow her to come back and compete for a fifth year, assuming a recovery from the injury to her ACL.

The team finished last season as the No. 4 seed after losing to Texas in the semi-finals, and enters this year tied for the No. 6 ranking in a pre-season coaches poll conducted by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. For those with an eye toward 2011, Nebraska was ranked No. 2 in that same poll.