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.
Senior outside hitter, Union Catholic (Scotch Plains, N.J.)
2011 Team record: 25-3
2011 Team standing: Lost in Non-Public state tournament final
2011 Kills: 296
2011 Digs: 158
2011 Aces: 34
Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: Undecided
How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: 2011 Courier News Player of the Year. Four-year starter.
Sophomore outside hitter, Bogota (N.J.)
2011 Team record: 34-3
2011 Team standing: Won Group 1 state title; lost in first round of Tournament of Champions
2011 Kills: 430
2011 Blocks: 10
2011 Digs: 166
2011 Aces: 46
2011 Assists: 12
Academics: A-minus average
Collegiate destination: HS sophomore
How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: 2011 North Jersey Player of the Year.
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.
Michelle Cruz: Immaculate Heart (Washinton Township, N.J.) junior libero
Emily Drew: Hunterdon Central (Hunterdon, N.J.) junior setter
Nia Reed: Immaculate Heart (Washington Township, N.J.) sophomore middle blocker
Nancy Yang: Livingston (N.J.) senior outside hitter