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updated: 8/5/2011 6:20 PM

Wauconda's Megan Tallman confident Indiana is right fit

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  • Wauconda junior Megan Tallman, right, plans to continue her volleyball career at Indiana in 2013.

    Wauconda junior Megan Tallman, right, plans to continue her volleyball career at Indiana in 2013.
    STEVE LUNDY | Staff Photographer


Russ and Julie Tallman met at a beach volleyball tournament, the story goes.

Before long, Russ served Julie a marriage proposal.

She dug it.

Love: It smacks you dizzy like a Karch Kiraly spike off your face.

Similarly, Russ and Julie's youngest daughter, Megan, fell in love on the volleyball court.

She fell head over heels for the game.

And when it came time to choosing a college, the incoming Wauconda junior knew it when she locked eyes on her subject.

"Everyone told me, 'When you find the right school, you'll know it,'" Tallman said.

So during this "absolutely crazy summer" of hers, as she called it, Tallman and her mom, who coaches seventh-grade volleyball at Matthews Middle School in Wauconda, had some alone time on the campus of Indiana University. Mother and daughter had already visited numerous colleges since Megan wrapped up her sophomore year.

"I said to my mom, 'If I could think of a dream school, this would be it,'" Tallman said.

That night of July 19, Megan and her mom met with IU volleyball coach Sherry Dunbar, who offered Wauconda's 5-foot-10 star setter a full-ride scholarship.

"After we met with Coach Dunbar, I asked my mom, 'When can I commit?'" Megan said.

Two days later, Megan contacted Dunbar and made her verbal commitment to play Big Ten volleyball for IU's Hoosiers, starting in 2013.

"I ended up crying after my conversation with Coach Dunbar," Tallman said. "It was just so overwhelming and exciting. Knowing where I'm going, it's just awesome."

Tallman has been an All-North Suburban Conference and Daily Herald All-Area setter since her freshman year, helping lead Wauconda to a regional title two years ago -- while having her sister Danielle as a teammate -- and a sectional championship last fall.

A strong defensive player, she lofted 441 assists and delivered 123 kills as a sophomore. She plays club for the Lake Zurich-based Rolling Thunder.

Tallman said she also had offers from Western Michigan, Moorehead State, Northwestern, Miami (Ohio), South Carolina, Rhode Island and Southern Illinois. She canceled a visit to Ole Miss after committing to Indiana.

"I've always dreamed of playing in the Big Ten," Tallman said. "For a while, I didn't think it was going to happen. I just couldn't find the right fit."

After 8-10 college visits this summer and being on the road seemingly for weeks, Tallman is confident she found the perfect school for herself.

She boasts a 3.5 GPA (4.0 scale) and plans to major in sports psychology.

Her future college coach, Dunbar, has raised the bar at IU.

She has compiled a career mark of 185-83 in four seasons and last year led the Hoosiers to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. The season before Dunbar took over, IU won just one Big Ten match.

"I expect awesome things to be happening there," Tallman said. "I'm excited to be coming into that program."

It just feels right.