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Illinois Volleyball POY: Alexis Viliunas

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: Alexis Viliunas

THE BASICS

School: Lyons Township (LaGrange, Ill.)

Grade: Senior

Position: Setter/outside hitter

Height: 6-foot-1

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Viliunas led the Lions (30-9) to the Class 4A quarterfinals this past season. She recorded 644 assists, 320 kills, 300 digs, 54 service aces and 43 blocks while posting a kill percentage of .499. The 2011 Chicago Tribune Volleyball Player of the Year and a 2011-12 American Volleyball Coaches Association Under Armour Second Team All-American, Viliunas set a school record for career assists with 2,202.

Academic excellence: Viliunas has maintained a 4.44 weighted GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: A member of the National Honor Society, Viliunas has volunteered locally on behalf of the J. Kyle Braid Leadership Foundation and Project Linus, a non-profit organization that provides blankets for needy children.

THE PRAISE

“Alexis Viliunas leads not only with her skill but also with her poise and confidence,” said Lyons Township head coach Joann Pyritz. “She is knowledgeable about the game and highly skilled, but more importantly she brings out the best in her teammates.”

THE FUTURE

Viliunas has signed a National Letter of Intent to play volleyball on scholarship at the University of Illinois beginning in the fall of 2012.