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Eye on POY: Montana volleyball

12/4/2011

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.

Kyndal Williams

Senior setter, Helena (MT)

2011 Team record: 29-4

2011 Team standing: Won Class AA state title

2011 Kills: 99

2011 Blocks: 45

2011 Digs: 253

2011 Aces: 72

2011 Assists: 1,037

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: Undecided

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

Kylie Nielsen

Senior outside hitter, Billings West (Billings, MT)

2011 Team record: 23-8

2011 Team standing: Lost in Class AA semifinals

2011 Kills: 467

2011 Blocks: 101

2011 Digs: 441

2011 Aces: 22

Academics: B-plus average

Collegiate destination: Rocky Mountain College

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: 2010 and 2011 First Team All-State; 2010 and 2011 First Team All-Conference

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.

Elayna Rice: Billiings Senior (MT) senior middle hitter

Hannah Sackett: Flathead (MT) senior outside hitter

Kiahna Steiner: Billings Senior (MT) junior right side 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.