High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Gilbert High

Eye on POY: Arizona volleyball

December, 5, 2011
12/05/11
5:35
PM ET
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.

Macey Gardner
Senior outside hitter, Gilbert (Ariz.)

2011 Team record: 35-10
2011 Team standing: Won Division I state title

2011 Kills: 407
2011 Kill Percentage: .488
2011 Digs: 220
2011 Aces: 38

Academics:
A average
Collegiate destination: Arizona State

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: 2011 First Team All-State; 2011 First Team All Region; 2011-2012 American Volleyball Coaches Association First Team All American

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POY Potential: Top Arizona volleyball recruits

October, 19, 2011
10/19/11
4:45
PM ET
The Gatorade Player of the Year Program honors athletes who meet comprehensive and exacting criteria in high school sports. Candidates are judged on athletic production and impact in the current season. Contenders also must demonstrate high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership. Senior status has no bearing on a candidate’s merit and selections are made independent of PrepVolleyball.com's Senior Aces rankings.

That being said, the state’s top five recruits as ranked by PrepVolleyball.com are sure to enter the 2011-12 Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year conversation at some point. Here they are …

1. Gilbert High (Gilbert, Ariz.) outside hitter Macey Gardner
  • PrepVolleyball Senior Aces rank: No. 20
  • Height: 6-foot
  • Club: Club Red
  • College: Arizona State (verbal)
  • John Tawa, publisher of PrepVolleyball.com: "A five-tool player, Gardner can hit (with heat), block, pass, play great defense and score with her jump serve. While she can do all of those skills well, it's her hitting that draws a crowd of spectators. With her quick footwork, great jumping ability, and canon of an arm, she one of the most feared hitters in the country. Gardner, who is very intense on the court, also is a clutch performer. She has been called on time and again to take many big swings for her club team and has delivered virtually every time. Gardner’s abundant skill set will translate well at the next level for Gardner, who has committed to Arizona State. Jason Watson is a coach who likes good all-around volleyball players and Gardner is the epitome of that. She should play right away at ASU and have an impact in both the front row and back row for the Sun Devils."

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