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Eye on POY: Pennsylvania volleyball

The window on the Gatorade State Volleyball Player of the Year race is closing, and time is running out for student-athletes to state their POY case. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Here are two top candidates who meet the basic award criteria as determined by our ESPNHS team that administers the program’s selection process.

Alexa Swann

Senior Middle Blocker, Brandywine Heights High (Topton, PA)

2011 Team record: 20-4

2011 Team standing: Won Class AA state title

2011 Kills: 889

2011 Blocks: 178

2011 Digs: 92

2011 Aces: 68

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: Virginia Tech (letter of intent)

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: First Team All-State in 2010, 2011; State tournament MVP; 34 kills, six blocks in state final.

Hanna Muzzonigro

Senior Setter, Pine-Richland High (Gibsonia)

2011 Team record: 17-4

2011 Team standing: Lost to Parkland in Class AAA semifinals

2011 Kills: 141

2011 Blocks: 91

2011 Digs: 176

2011 Aces: 51

2011 Assists: 904

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: Notre Dame (letter of intent)

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: First Team All-State in 2010, 2011; All-State Tournament Team.

Make no mistake, the Gatorade State Volleyball Player of the Year race isn’t over yet. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list. Here are some more of many who’ve been in the conversation throughout the 2011 campaign.

Taylor Krause: Parkland High (Allentown, PA) JR S

Rachel Lenz: Hempfield High (Landisville, PA) SR MB

MacKenzie Kleespies: Avon Grove High (West Grove, PA) SR OH

Sammie Strausbaugh: Dover High (Dover, PA) SR OH

Morgan Lowe: Hempfield High (Landisville, PA) JR OH

Molly Grammer: Southern Lehigh High (Center Valley, PA) SR OH

Kelly Robertson: Parkland High (Allentown, PA) JR OH

Think we're missing a deserving Gatorade State Player of the Year candidate in your state? Let us know via e-mail at ESPNHS_GPOY@ESPN.com or Twitter @ESPNHS_Awards.