POY Potential: Top N.Y. volleyball recruits

The Gatorade Player of the Year Program honors athletes who meet comprehensive and exacting criteria in high school sports. Candidates are judged on athletic production and impact in the current season. Contenders also must demonstrate high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership. Senior status has no bearing on a candidate’s merit and selections are made independent of PrepVolleyball.com's Senior Aces rankings.

That being said, the state’s top recruits as ranked by PrepVolleyball.com are sure to enter the 2011-12 Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year conversation at some point. Here they are …

1. Eden High (Eden, NY) Libero Kendall Pierce

  • PrepVolleyball Senior Aces rank: Top 250

  • Height: 5-foot-6

  • Club: Niagara Frontier

  • College: Penn State (verbal)

2. Walter Panas High (Cortlandt Manor, NY) Middle Blocker Vivian Burcescu

  • PrepVolleyball Senior Aces rank: Top 250

  • Height: 6-foot-4

  • Club: Downstate

  • College: Virginia (verbal)

3. Penfield High (Penfield, NY) Libero Allison Cappelino

  • PrepVolleyball Senior Aces rank: Top 250

  • Height: 5-foot-8

  • Club: Volley Fx

  • College: Undecided

4. Williamsville North (Williamsville, NY) Outside Hitter Nikki Attea

  • Height: 6-foot-3

  • Club: Niagara Frontier

  • College: Maryland (verbal)

Each Gatorade State Player of the Year is challenged by thousands of fellow high school athletes. These are a few of the returning volleyball underclassmen that also contended in 2010-11 …

Emily Clemens JR S Lindenhurst; Lainey Pierce SO OH Eden; Luisa Schirmer SO OH Pittsford Sutherland; Kaitlyn Valade SR OH Burnt Hills; Marah Maycock SR OH Randolph; Natalie Ziskin SR S Burnt Hills; Erin Crandall SR OH Cattaraugus; Melissa Rigo SR OH John Glenn.

A dedicated POY team at ESPNHS manages the Gatorade Player of the Year program selection process and oversees all research, reporting, comparative analysis and criteria-compliance on the award program’s behalf.