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NDSU signs setter Rasmussen

FARGO — North Dakota State head volleyball coach Kari Thompson was not only competing against other schools in the recruiting of Brianna Rasmussen, she was going against other sports. The Fergus Falls, Minn., senior had plenty of options.

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NDSU and the University of North Dakota basketball programs, for instance, looked at her, Thompson said.

“She was a late commitment, but she’s an athlete worth waiting on,” Thompson said.

Rasmussen made it official on Wednesday putting her name to a letter of intent on national signing day.

There were no surprises with the Bison men’s and women’s basketball signings, all players who previously made a verbal commitment. The men landed three players from Wisconsin, including teammates Evan Wesenberg and Jake Showalter of Germantown, a team that went 56-0 the last two seasons.

The Bison women’s golf team made it official with two teammates from back-to-back state title teams of their own in Detroit Lakes’ Natalie Roth and Trisa Hutchinson.

The women’s basketball team signed three Minnesota players, including guard Taylor Thunstedt, who is already the all-time leading scorer at New London-Spicer (Minn.) heading into her senior season.

Then there’s Rasmussen, a multi-sport athlete who will work at both setter and outside hitter next fall, Thompson said.

“Similar to what Jennifer Lopez could do,” she said. “We’ll do a little bit of everything with her right away until we find out what she does best.”

Also signing was 6-1 middle hitter Jessica Jorgenson, a Minnesota Class 3A all-state selection at Blaine, and Mikaela Purnell, a 5-9 libero from Minnetonka.

“Three well-rounded athletes who will probably come in right away and challenge for playing time,” Thompson said.

Men’s basketball

- Jon Sobaski, 6-1, G, Prior Lake, Minn. (18.2 ppg)

- Paul Miller, 6-4, G, Kettle Moraine HS, Wis. (17.9 ppg, 7.0 assists, 4.0 GPA)

- Evan Wesenberg, 6-7, F, Germantown, Wis. (8.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, team 56-0 last two years)

- Jake Showalter, 6-3, G, Germantown, Wis. (11.6 ppg, teammate with Wesenberg)

Women’s basketball

- Olivia Baker, 6-4, C, Minnetonka, Minn. (four-year varsity player)

- McKenna Happke, 6-1, F, Coon Rapids, Minn. (two-time all-conference, team state champs)

- Taylor Thunstedt, 5-8, G., Spicer, Minn. (school’s all-time scoring leader)


- Brianna Rasmussen, 5-11, setter, Fergus Falls, Minn. (Class 2A all-state selection)

- Jessica Jorgenson, 6-1, MH, Blaine, Minn. (Class 3A all-state selection)

- Mikaela Purnell, 5-9, libero, OH, Minnetonka, Minn. (Class 3A all-state selection)


- Breanna Beatty, 5-9, OF, Las Vegas (2013 Max Preps All-American)

- Tabitha Heinz, 5-7, INF, Livermore, Calif. (.351 career hitter)

- Jacquelyn Sertic, 5-6, P, Sparks, Nev. (Two-time all-state, 0.71 ERA).

- Katie Shoultz, 5-8, OF, Muscatine, Iowa (.541 hitter)

- Joel Samper, 5-1, INF, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. (four-year starter, first team all-league)

Women’s golf

- Trisa Hutchinson, Detroit Lakes, Minn. (5-year varsity player, 7th in Class 2A tourney)

- Natalie Roth, Detroit Lakes, Minn. (state tourney co-medalist, both players members of back-to-back state title teams).

Jeff Kolpack
Jeff Kolpack covers North Dakota State athletics, the Fargo Marathon and golf for The Forum. His blog can be accessed at On the radio, Kolpack & Izzo sports talk show runs from 9-11 a.m. every Saturday morning. April through August, the WDAY Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack runs from 8-9 a.m.