High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Nicole Dalton

Colorado Volleyball POY: Nicole Dalton

December, 14, 2011
12/14/11
5:44
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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: Nicole Dalton

THE BASICS

School: Chaparral (Parker, Colo.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Outside hitter/setter
Height: 6-foot-2

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Dalton led the Wolverines to a 31-0 record and a second consecutive Class 5A state championship this past season. The state’s returning Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year, she amassed 492 kills, 406 assists, 267 digs, 176 service receptions, 62 blocks and 54 service aces while recording a .454 hitting percentage of and .564 kill percentage. Dalton totaled 22 assists, 13 kills, 13 digs and two blocks in the state title sweep of Grandview (Aurora, Colo.), capturing Class 5A state tournament Most Valuable Player honors for the second consecutive season. A member of the U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team, she compiled 473 kills, 376 digs, 127 assists, 87 blocks and 47 service aces as a junior in 2010.

Academic excellence: Dalton has maintained a 3.28 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: In addition to donating her time as a youth volleyball instructor, Dalton has served locally as a companion to the elderly and volunteered on behalf of the Project 600 Christmas party for inner-city children.

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Eye on POY: Colorado volleyball

December, 2, 2011
12/02/11
5:58
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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.

Nicole Dalton
Senior outside hitter/setter, Chaparral (Parker, Colo.)

2011 Team record: 31-0 (Class 5A)
2011 Team standing: Class 5A state champions; No. 8 on ESPNHS FAB 50

2011 Kills: 492
2011 Assists: 406
2011 Digs: 267
2011 Blocks: 62
2011 Aces: 54

Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: University of Texas

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Amassed 22 assists, 13 kills, 13 digs and three blocks in a Class 5A state championship sweep of Grandview (Aurora, Colo.). Averaged 5.0 kills, 4.1 assists and 2.7 digs per set. Recorded a .564 kill percentage. 2010-11 Gatorade Colorado Volleyball Player of the Year. No. 6 ranked recruit in Class of 2012 as rated by PrepVolleyball.com. 2011 Under Armour First Team All-America selection. 2011 U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team member. 2011 Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports Player of the Year. 2010 All-Colorado Player of the Year as named by The Denver Post. 2010 and 2011 Class 5A state tournament Most Valuable Player. 2010 Class 5A state champion. 2009 USA Volleyball Junior Olympic Championships All-Tournament Team selection.

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National POY Watch: Volleyball contenders

December, 2, 2011
12/02/11
8:46
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Everybody knows a girl’s gotta win her own state first before she gets a shot at being Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year. That said, two elite performers to this point in the season are among those making a bid to be honored as the best of the best once mid-December rolls around. The Gatorade Player of the Year award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court. There’s plenty more work to be done, but here are two top candidates who remain in contention to win their own state and could someday call themselves a National POY.

National POY Watch: Jordan Burgess
Paul Warner/ESPNHSJordan Burgess is the returning Gatorade Florida Volleyball Player of the Year.
Jordan Burgess
Senior outside hitter, Berkeley Prep (Tampa, Fla.)

2011 Team record: 30-2 (Class 4A)
2011 Team standing: Class 4A state champions; No. 5 on ESPNHS FAB 50

2011 Kills: 553
2011 Digs: 366
2011 Aces: 48
2011 Assists: 38
2011 Blocks: 32

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Stanford University

How she’s played herself into the National POY conversation: Recorded 15 kills, 13 digs and four blocks in the 3-1 Class 4A state championship victory against Bishop Moore (Orlando, Fla.). Produced a .526 kill percentage and .457 hitting percentage. Averaged 5.9 kills and 3.9 digs per set. 2010-11 Gatorade Florida Volleyball Player of the Year. No. 3 ranked recruit in Class of 2012 as rated by PrepVolleyball.com. 2011 U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team member. 2011 Under Armour First Team All-America selection. 2010 ESPNHS National Junior of the Year. 2009 and 2010 Class 3A state champion.

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POY Potential: Top Colo. volleyball recruits

October, 17, 2011
10/17/11
1:52
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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. Chaparral (Parker, Colo.) outside hitter/setter Nicole Dalton
  • PrepVolleyball Senior Aces rank: No. 6
  • Height: 6-foot-2
  • Club: Front Range
  • College: University of Texas (verbal)
  • John Tawa, publisher of PrepVolleyball.com: "Dalton may stand 6-2 but is as agile as a cheetah. She is one of those rare players who is supremely talented in every single volleyball skill. Dalton takes her lanky frame and covers the backcourt with dexterity and grace. She possesses exceptional ball control skills defensively as well as in serve receive."

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Return of the POY: Colo.'s Nicole Dalton

October, 4, 2011
10/04/11
11:17
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The 2011-12 Gatorade State Volleyball Players of the Year selection process is underway, and what better way to kick off coverage than with profiles of returning underclassmen winners? Repeating is no guarantee, but here's a snapshot of what this year’s challengers can shoot for …

Name: Nicole Dalton

Position: Outside hitter/setter

Grade: Senior

School: Chaparral (Colo.)

College: University of Texas (verbal)

Height: 6-foot-2

Notes: 2010-11 Gatorade Colorado Volleyball Player of the Year ... No. 6 recruit in Class of 2012 as ranked by PrepVolleyball.com ... 2010 Class 5A All-Tournament Most Valuable Player ... 2010 U.S. Girls' Youth National Team selection ... 2009 Class 5A Second Team All-State selection as named by the Denver Post ... 2009 Amateur Athletic Union Girls’ Junior National Volleyball Championships All-American ... 2009 USA Volleyball Junior Olympic Championships All-Tournament Team selection

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