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Saturday, December 3, 2011
Eye on POY: Oklahoma volleyball

By Joel Beck

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.

Inky Ajanaku
Inky Ajanaku is a top candidate for Gatorade Oklahoma Volleyball Player of the Year
Inky Ajanaku
Senior middle blocker, Bishop Kelley (Tulsa, OK)

2011 Team record: 32-3
2011 Team standing: Won Class 6A state title

2011 Kills: 537
2011 Blocks: 127
2011 Digs: 29
2011 Hitting Percentage: .525
2011 Kill Percentage: .634

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Stanford

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: 2010 and 2011 State Tournament MVP; 2011 American Volleyball Coaches Association Under Armour Girls High School All-America nominee; Ranked No.2 nationally by PrepVolleyball.com

Kylie Johnson
Senior setter, Tulsa Union (Tulsa, OK)

2011 Team record: 25-8
2011 Team standing: Lost in Class 6A quarterfinals

2011 Assists: 445

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Undecided

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: 2011 First Team All-State

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.

Madison Ward: Cache (OK) senior outside hitter
Aubrey Marsellis: Owasso (OK) senior outside hitter
Sadie Schaffner: Bartlesville (OK) senior right side 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.