High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Tripoli

Iowa Volleyball POY: Megan Gilbert

December, 14, 2011
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: Megan Gilbert


School: Tripoli (Iowa)
Grade: Senior
Position: Middle blocker
Height: 6-foot-1


Athletic achievement: Gilbert led the Panthers to a 40-3 record and their fourth consecutive Class 1A state title this past season. She recorded 584 kills, 273 digs, 101 blocks and 60 service aces. The Iowa Girls Coaches Association Player of the Year, Gilbert is a four-time First Team All-State selection and a 2011-12 Under Armour Honorable Mention All-American.

Academic excellence: Gilbert has maintained a 3.95 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: A member of the National Honor Society and her school’s chapter of Students Against Destructive Decisions, Gilbert has volunteered locally on behalf of a food pantry and her church’s Sunday School program.

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Eye on POY: Iowa volleyball

December, 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.

Megan Gilbert

Senior Middle Blocker, Tripoli High (Tripoli, IA)

2011 Team record: 40-3

2011 Team standing: Won Class 1A state championship

2011 Kills: 584

2011 Blocks: 101

2011 Digs: 273

2011 Aces: 60

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: St. Louis (letter of intent)

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Iowa Girls Coaches Association Player of the Year; Four-time All-State; led team to four consecutive state titles; Honorable Mention Under Armour All-American.

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POY Potential: Iowa top volleyball recruits

October, 18, 2011
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. Williamsburg High (Williamsburg, IA) Outside Hitter Mackenzie Bigbee

  • PrepVolleyball Senior Aces rank: 36
  • Height: 6-foot-2
  • Club: Six Pack
  • College: Iowa State (verbal)
  • John Tawa, publisher of PrepVolleyball.com: "One of the best blockers in the nation, she can take over a match shutting down the opposing team’s outside hitters, something she did with such effectiveness that she was named 18 National MVP in Atlanta several weeks ago. A lefty, Bigbee has taken her offensive game to a new level in the past year. She has a beautiful arm swing that is power packed and knows how to mix in the right shot as well. A 10-5 toucher, the bigger the match the higher Bigbee takes her level of play."

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