<
>

Eye on POY: West Virginia volleyball

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.

Taylor Allen

Senior outside hitter, Musselman (Inwood, W.Va.)

2011 Team record: 39-9-1

2011 Team standing: Lost in Group AAA state final

2011 Kills: 472

2011 Blocks: 16

2011 Digs: 322

2011 Aces: 86

2011 Assists: 14

Academics: B-plus average

Collegiate destination: Undecided

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: 2011 West Virginia Sports Writers Association Player of the year. Three-time Group AAA First Team All-State. Three-time (Martinsburg) Journal Player of the Year.

Kayla Lowers

Senior outside hitter, Parkersburg (W.Va.)

2011 Team record: 53-11-3

2011 Team standing: Lost in Group AAA state semifinals

2011 Kills: 684

2011 Blocks: 44

2011 Digs: 418

2011 Aces: 89

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: Undecided

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: 2011 Mountain State Athletic Conference Player of the Year. Two-time Group AAA First Team All-State.

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.

Meredith Lauerman: South Charleston (W.Va.) junior middle blocker

Mackenzie Polen: Charleston Catholic (Charleston, W.Va.) senior middle blocker

Autumn Ross: Spring Valley (Huntington, W.Va.) senior outside hitter

Hannah Shreve: George Washington (Charleston, W.Va.) junior middle blocker

Cassie Weaver: Cabell Midland (Ona, W.Va.) junior 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.