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

By Steve Ouellette

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.

Neal
Amy Neal led Lake Travis to the first 50-win season in Texas history.
Amy Neal
Senior Outside Hitter, Lake Travis High (Austin, TX)

2011 Team record: 50-0
2011 Team standing: Won Class 4A state title

2011 Kills: 538
2011 Blocks: 27
2011 Digs: 287
2011 Aces: 63

Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: Texas (letter of intent)

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: MVP of Class 4A state tournament; MVP of USAV 17 Open Junior Nationals in 2011; Under Armour First Team All-American; Team ranked No. 1 by PrepVolleyball.com; Ranked No. 18 senior by PrepVolleyball.com.

Molly McCage
Senior Middle Blocker, Klein Collins High (Spring, TX)

2011 Team record: 32-10
2011 Team standing: Lost to Woodlands in Class 5A regionals

2011 Kills: 260
2011 Blocks: 107

Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: Texas (letter of intent)

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Ranked No. 1 senior by PrepVolleyball.com; Captain of U.S. Women's Junior National Team; Under Armour First Team All-American.

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.

Andie Malloy: Lovejoy High (Lucas, TX) SR S
Chloe Collins: Cy Woods High (Cypress, TX) JR S
Caitlin Nolan: Southlake Carroll High (Southlake, TX) SR L
Katie Mitchell: College Park High (The Woodlands) SR OH
Ebonyh Nwanebu: Lovejoy High (Lucas, TX) JR MB

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.