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Eye on POY: New Jersey 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.

Julie Monroy

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.

Carly O'Sullivan

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

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.