Just when Michigan women’s basketball coach Kim Barnes Arico thought she would have to coach only one 6-foot-5 player, she’ll now have to learn to handle two.

Thursday afternoon, Michigan volleyball’s Abby Cole announced from her Instagram that she would be joining Barnes Arico’s squad as a senior next year. She and now-freshman center Hallie Thome will both be the tallest players on the team, and Cole will most likely play center like she did in high school.

Cole will spend the first half of the 2016-17 season playing volleyball. Once the team’s season ends in November or December, Cole will transition from the floors at Cliff Keen Arena to the hardwood at Crisler Center, joining Barnes Arico in time for the Big Ten stretch of the Wolverines’ regular season.

In addition, Cole will be taking a fifth year of eligibility.

Now a junior, Cole has played in 92 sets this season for Michigan (6-9 Big Ten, 16-10 overall) and leads the team with 278 kills and 95 blocks. Last season, she made the All Big Ten team and received an AVCA All-America Honorable mention.  

The Michigan native graduated from Grand Haven High School, where she was a dual-sport athlete. In 2013, her 23-point performance in the state semifinal win against Westland John Glenn earned her the distinction of Class A Player of the Year by the Associated Press.

Cole also finished in the top three for Miss Basketball that year, which was instead awarded to Tori Jankoska — now a junior guard for the Michigan State women’s basketball team.

This is a developing story. Stay with The Michigan Daily for more updates. 

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