<
>

Eye on POY: New Mexico 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.

Sara Hattis

Senior middle blocker, Cleveland (Rio Rancho, N.M.)

2011 Team record: 19-6

2011 Team standing: Lost in Class 5A state championship

2011 Kills: 289

2011 Blocks: 131

2011 Digs: 12

2011 Aces: 2

2011 Assists: 4

Academics: B-plus average

Collegiate destination: Texas (verbal)

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Under Armour Honorable Mention All-American selection. PrepVolleyball.com No. 9 Senior Aces.

Julia Warren

Junior outside hitter, La Cueva (Albuquerque, N.M.)

2011 Team record: 18-4

2011 Team standing: Lost in Class 5A state semifinals

2011 Kills: 618

2011 Blocks: 78

2011 Digs: 455

2011 Aces: 78

2011 Assists: 57

Academics: B average

Collegiate destination: New Mexico (verbal)

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Led state in kills and digs. Averaged 9.5 kills per set.

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.

Briana Ainsworth: Pojoaque (N.M.) freshman setter

Jordan Bruere: Cleveland (Rio Rancho, N.M.) senior setter

Cassie House: Cleveland (Rio Rancho, N.M.) junior outside hitter

Kaira Lujan: Albuquerque Academy (N.M.) senior middle blocker

Brandi Torr: La Cueva (Albuquerque, N.M.) junior setter

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.