A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade State Volleyball Player of the Year selection process, resulting in this winner based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.
For her 49 fellow Gatorade State Volleyball Player of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Paige Brown
School: St. James Academy (Lenexa, Kan.)
Athletic achievement: Brown led the Thunder to a 45-1 record and their fourth straight Class 4A state title this past season. She recorded 1,010 assists, 312 digs, 70 blocks, 59 kills and 45 service aces while posting a hitting percentage of .518. The 2011 Class 4A Kansas Volleyball Association Player of the Year and a 2011-12 American Volleyball Coaches Association Under Armour Honorable Mention All-American, Brown was also the 2011 Evelyn Gates Award recipient for the Kansas City area.
Academic excellence: Brown has maintained a 94.8 average in the classroom.
Exemplary character: Brown has volunteered locally on behalf of multiple community service initiatives in association with her church youth group and recently completed a service mission to New Orleans where she assisted in relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina.
“Paige Brown is an exceptional setter and she did a great job of running their system,” said Christie Doile, head coach of rival McPherson (Kan.). “If there was a bad pass, she’d find a way to keep them in system. With their great ball control, it allowed her to run any offensive play, making them hard to defend.”
Brown has signed a National Letter of Intent to play volleyball on scholarship at North Carolina’s Appalachian State University beginning in the fall of 2012.