Next: Falyn Fonoimoana

Updated: January 29, 2009, 5:31 PM ET
ESPNRISE.com

[+] EnlargeFalyn MiraCosta
Courtesy Leonard XuFalyn Fonoimoana might be the next great American volleyball player.

In 2007, Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) defeated Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.) in the girls' volleyball state championship for the third consecutive year. The Mustangs prevailed because they had the best player on the court, even though she was one of the youngest.

Falyn Fonoimoana, now a 6-foot-4, USC-bound outside hitter, was only a sophomore at the time, but she notched 15 kills to take home tourney MVP honors as Mira Costa finished the year No. 1 in the ESPN RISE FAB 50. The All-American is now the consensus No. 1 junior in the country and arguably the top player regardless of class. This past fall, a season during which the Mustangs went 28-6 and advanced to the SoCal Regional Division I semifinals, she tallied an astounding 500 kills to go with 258 digs, 36 aces and 34 blocks.

FALYN FONOIMOANAKERRI WALSH
HIGH SCHOOLMIRA COSTA (CALIF.)ARCHBISHOP MITTY (CALIF.)
CLASS20101996
HEIGHT6-46-3
VENUEINDOORBEACH
CAREER HIGHLIGHT2006, 2007 STATE TITLES2004, 2008 OLYMPIC BEACH GOLD MEDALS
COLLEGEUSCSTANFORD

Of course, if Archbishop Mitty had its most famous volleyball alum on the court back in 2007, the Monarchs might have had more luck against Fonoimoana and Co. These days, Kerri Walsh is best known as one half of the most dominant beach volleyball duo in history, teaming with Misty May-Treanor to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals. But back in high school, Walsh was a dominant indoor player, just like Fonoimoana. Walsh went from Mitty to Stanford, where she earned All-American honors four times and won two national titles before shifting to the beach.

[+] EnlargeKerri Walsh
AP Photo/Natacha PisarenkoKerri Walsh is a two-time Olympic gold medalist.

Fonoimoana could follow a similar path -- after all, she prefers the sand to the hardwood and has all the tools to become a dominant beach player. Looks like the future of American volleyball is in good hands.

REWIND
Hits and miss from our past NEXT picks

HIT
TOBIN HEATH TO KRISTINE LILLY
Heath has lived up to huge expectations. The junior midfielder has won two national titles at North Carolina (Lilly's alma mater) and played for the U.S. National Team that took home gold at the 2008 Olympics.

MISS
ELENA DELLE DONNE TO CANDACE PARKER
In high school, Delle Donne seemed destined to follow in Parker's footsteps. But Delle Donne left UConn without ever playing a game and instead suited up for the Delaware volleyball team as a freshman this year.

Next In Line
The next Michelle Kwan:

MIRAI NAGASU
Only a sophomore, Nagasu won a U.S. National Title last year at age 14, a year younger that Kwan was when she won the first of her nine U.S. Figure Skating Crowns.

The next Tony Hawk:

LACEY BAKER
Much like Hawk revolutionized skateboarding, Baker is spurring the sports' growth on the women's side. The California native copped bronze at the 2006 X Games.

The next Maya Moore:

SAMARIE WALKER
Moore is already one of the nation's top women's basketball players at UConn. Two years from now, she'll be joined by Walker, the No. 1 junior in the ESPNU HoopGurlz Super 60.