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: Tayler Higgins
School: Punahou School (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Athletic achievement: Higgins led the Buff n’ Blue to a 15-0 record and the Division I state title this past season. She recorded 95 assists, 16 digs and 11 kills while posting a .578 kill percentage in the state tournament. The 2011 Division I State Tournament MVP, Higgins was also named 2011 Interscholastic League of Honolulu Player of the Year.
Academic excellence: Higgins has maintained a 3.17 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A devoted member of her church community, Higgins has volunteered locally as an assistant in the Punahou School athletic office and has also donated her time collecting gifts and canned goods on behalf of an area shelter for needy families.
“Tayler Higgins is an incredible setter with an amazing volleyball IQ,” said Tommy Lake, head coach of rival Moanalua (Honolulu, Hawaii). “She always has consistent, even keeled performances yet she takes risks when needed. She had a great team at Punahou but I believe if you had switched her with the setters of any of the top teams in the state, she may have taken that team to the top too.”
Higgins has verbally committed to play volleyball on an athletic scholarship at the University of Hawaii beginning in the fall of 2013.