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Eye on POY: Arizona volleyball

12/5/2011

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.

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

Bianca Arellano

Senior setter, Xavier College Prep (Phoenix, Ariz.)

2011 Team record: 42-3

2011 Team standing: Lost in Division I semifinals

2011 Kills: 143

2011 Blocks: 89

2011 Digs: 197

2011 Aces: 62

2011 Assists: 1,294

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: Tennessee

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; Ranked No. 30 by PrepVolleyball.com "Senior Aces"

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.

Hayley Lawless: Seton Catholic (Chandler, Ariz.) senior outside hitter

Amanda Benson: Xavier Prep (Phoenix, Ariz.) junior libero

Nikki Hess: Horizon (Scottsdale, Ariz.) 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.