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: Emily Sklar
School: Presentation (San Jose, Calif.)
Position: Outside hitter
Athletic achievement: Sklar led the Panthers to a 41-2 record and the Division II state championship this past season. The returning Player of the Year as named by the San Jose Mercury News, she amassed 584 kills, 487 digs, 61 blocks and 33 service aces while recording a .332 hitting percentage and .412 kill percentage. Sklar totaled 41 service receptions, 22 kills, 12 digs, four blocks and one ace in a 3-1 state title match win against La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad, Calif.), capturing Division II state championship Most Valuable Player honors.
Academic excellence: Sklar has maintained a 3.91 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: In addition to donating her time as a youth volleyball instructor and peer Spanish tutor, Sklar has volunteered on behalf of Sacred Heart Community Service and the Second Harvest Food Bank, and as a fundraiser for Invisible Children. She completed a two-week service-mission trip to Ecuador in 2009.
“She’s the best player I saw all year,” said John Gannon, head coach of rival Santa Barbara (Calif.). “Her ceiling is crazy high. She’s so talented, and she doesn’t even know how talented she is yet. She’s going to be a star. She’s versatile, her passing has improved and offensively she’s so dynamic. She’s consistent. She’s smart. She’s strong. And she’s only going to get better.”
Sklar has signed a National Letter of Intent to play volleyball on scholarship at Duke University beginning in the fall of 2012.