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Eye on POY: Wyoming volleyball

12/6/2011

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.

McKenzie Hellbaum

Senior middle blocker and outside hitter, Wheatland (Wyo.)

2011 Team record: 24-16 (Class 3A)

2011 Team standing: lost Class 3A state semifinal to Douglas (Wyo.), 3-0

2011 Kills: 475

2011 Digs: 304

2011 Assists: 116

2011 Blocks: 57.5

2011 Aces: 48

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: University of Wyoming

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Owned a .285 hitting percentage and .433 kill percentage. Averaged 4.1 kills, 2.6 digs and 1.0 assists per set. 2009, 2010 and 2011 Class 3A First Team All-State selection as named by the Wyoming Coaches Association. 2009 Class 3A state champion.

Brooke Myers

Senior outside hitter, Cody (Wyo.)

2011 Team record: 26-7 (Class 3A)

2011 Team standing: Class 3A state champions

2011 Digs: 451

2011 Kills: 360

2011 Blocks: 55

2011 Aces: 46

2011 Assists: 12

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: Undecided

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Totaled 25 digs and 23 kills in a 3-1 Class 3A state title victory against Douglas. Recorded a .285 hitting percentage and .452 kill percentage. Averaged 4.7 digs and 3.8 kills per set. 2010 and 2011 Class 3A First Team All-State selection as named by the Wyoming Coaches Association. 2010 Class 3A state champion

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.

Jessica Foy: Campbell County (Gillette, Wyo.) senior outside hitter/defensive specialist

Kortney Freeland: Evanston (Wyo.) junior outside hitter/middle blocker

Caitlin McInerney: Laramie (Wyo.) senior setter/middle blocker

Stephany Sessions: Sheridan (Wyo.) senior outside hitter

Dani Torpey: Rock Springs (Wyo.) 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.