Eye on POY: Washington 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.

Katlyn Mataya

Senior setter, Burlington-Edison (Burlington, Wash.)

2011 Team record: 31-0-2

2011 Team standing: Won Class 2A state title

2011 Assists: 884

2011 Kills: 46

2011 Blocks: 40

2011 Digs: 136

2011 Aces: 73

Academics: B-plus average

Collegiate destination: Undecided

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Three-time Northwest Conference Player of the Year. Class 2A State Tournament co-MVP. Skagit Valley Herald Player of the Year.

Courtney Schwan

Sophomore outside hitter, Bellarmine Prep (Tacoma, Wash.)

2011 Team record: 32-5

2011 Team standing: Lost in Class 4A first round

2011 Kills: 601

2011 Blocks: 51

2011 Digs: 249

2011 Aces: 59

2011 Assists: 8

Academics: A-minus average

Collegiate destination: HS sophomore

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Two-time Narrows League MVP; 2011 Class 4A First Team All-State selection.

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.

Emmy Allen: Jackson (Mill Creek, Wash.) junior outside hitter

Haley MacDonald: Jackson (Mill Creek, Wash.) junior setter

Olivia Magill: Seattle Prep (Seattle, Wash.) senior middle blocker

Kam McLain: Eastside Catholic (Sammamish, Wash.) senior middle blocker

Sarah O'Connor: Roosevelt (Seattle, Wash.) senior outside hitter

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.