High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Kira Larson

Eye on POY: North Dakota volleyball

December, 9, 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.

Hadley Steffen
Senior outside hitter, Red River (Grand Forks, N.D.)

2011 Team record: 36-0
2011 Team standing: Won Class A state title

2011 Kills: 438
2011 Blocks: 57
2011 Digs: 282
2011 Aces: 52

A-minus average
Collegiate destination: Undecided

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: 2010 and 2011 First Team All-State; 2010 and 2011 First Team All-Conference

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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 ESPNHS recruit rankings.

That being said, the state’s returning All-State selections are sure to enter the 2011-12 Gatorade State Volleyball Player of the Year conversation at some point. Here they are …

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