High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Julia Doyle

Eye on POY: Minnesota volleyball

December, 4, 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.

Sarah Wilhite
file photoSarah Wilhite is a top candidate for Gatorade Minnesota Volleyball Player of the Year
Sarah Wilhite
Junior outside hitter, Eden Prairie (MN)

2011 Team record: 27-6
2011 Team standing: Won Class AA state title

2011 Kills: 636
2011 Blocks: 60
2011 Digs: 278
2011 Aces: 33

A average
Collegiate destination: Wisconsin (verbally committed)

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: 2011 First Team All-State; 2011 First Team All-Conference; 2009-2011 First Team All-Conference

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POY Potential: Top Minnesota volleyball recruits

October, 24, 2011
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. Wayzata High (Plymouth, Minn.) setter Julia Doyle
  • PrepVolleyball Senior Aces rank: No. 94
  • Height: 6-foot-2
  • Club: Minnesota Select
  • College: Oklahoma (verbal)
  • John Tawa, publisher of PrepVolleyball.com: "Doyle possesses the prototypical setter’s attributes. She’s a long, left-handed gym rat who has played club volleyball since 2nd grade. She has an enormous passion for the game, has very soft hands and a quick release and a knack and feel for the game that has been built over a lifetime of playing. Doyle is especially good at connecting with and using her middle blocker, and her teams’ attackers have always benefited from her ability to keep their opponents guessing about who would be set next. While all prep players have to adapt to the speed and power of collegiate volleyball, Doyle seems to possess the confidence, determination, and physicality to do so SOONER than most. These attributes should serve her well as she seeks to make an immediate impact for Oklahoma, where she has committed."

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