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Eye on POY: South Dakota volleyball

12/8/2011

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.

Kelsey Kaufmann

Senior outside hitter, Arlington (S.D.)

2011 Team record: 30-5

2011 Team standing: Lost Class B state title match

2011 Kills: 395

2011 Blocks: 77

2011 Digs: 215

2011 Aces: 48

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: Augustana College (verbal)

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Two-time Class B First Team All-State selection; 2011 Brookings Register MVP

Erin Radke

Senior right-side hitter, Lincoln (Sioux Falls, S.D.)

2011 Team record: 24-4

2011 Team standing: Won Class AA state title

2011 Kills: 376

2011 Blocks: 48

2011 Digs: 130

2011 Aces: 28

2011 Assists: 42

Academics: B average

Collegiate destination: Iowa (verbal)

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Two-time Class AA First Team All-State selection; 26 kills, 8 digs in 3-2 win over Roosevelt in state title match.

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.

Haley Chambers: Roosevelt (Sioux Falls, S.D.) senior outside hitter

Lanny Gross: Arlington (S.D.) senior outside hitter

Mikala Hora: Yankton (S.D.) senior outside hitter

Tagyn Larson: Roosevelt (Sioux Falls, S.D.) freshman outside hitter

Taylor Trohkimoinen: Newell (S.D.) junior middle blocker

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.