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Eye on POY: Rhode Island volleyball

12/8/2011

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.

Kelsey Lace

Senior outside hitter, Mount St. Charles (Woonsocket, R.I.)

2011 Team record: 17-1

2011 Team standing: Lost in Division I state semifinals

2011 Kills: 281

2011 Blocks: 39

2011 Digs: 116

2011 Aces: 80

2011 Assists: 12

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: College of Saint Rose (verbal)

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: 2011 Division I Player of the Year. 2011 Division I All-Tournament Team selection. 2010 Division I North Player of the Year.

Taylor Stevens

Junior setter, Ponaganset (North Scituate, R.I.)

2011 Team record: 15-5

2011 Team standing: Lost in Division I state championship match

2011 Assists: 554

2011 Kills: 51

2011 Blocks: 41

2011 Digs: 122

2011 Aces: 71

Academics: A-minus average

Collegiate destination: HS junior

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: 2011 First Team All-State selection. 2011 Division I All-Tournament Team selection. 2010 Second Team All-State selection.

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.

Alex Amaral: East Providence (R.I.) senior setter

Samantha Clark: Coventry (R.I.) senior outside hitter

Moira Crocker: North Kingstown (R.I.) senior outside hitter

Alyssa Levalley: South Kingstown (Wakefield, R.I.) senior outside hitter

Alyssa Nahigian: Coventry (R.I.) senior 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.