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Girls Volleyball Athlete of the Year
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Girls' Volleyball Athlete of the Year

 

2000

Laura Grote
Westwood High School, Round Rock, Texas

Grote, a 5-foot-10 setter, completed one of the outstanding careers in Texas girls volleyball history by leading Westwood High to the state Class 5A championship. She was voted the state tournament's Most Valuable Player. Grote had 926 assists and 33 aces as a senior. She was selected to the All-State Team as a junior and senior by the Texas Girls Coaches Association, was a two-time Central Texas Player of the Year, and was selected to the Texas Sportswriters Association All-State Team. Grote also was selected the Gatorade Texas High School Player of the Year.  "Athletes like Laura Grote are the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "She has worked extremely hard to develop her skills and has become one of the best players not only in the state of Texas, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring her." "In 30 years of coaching, Laura Grote is the best setter that I have ever taught," said her high school coach, Zula Blann. Also an outstanding student, Grote ranks in the top 10 per cent of her class academically. She has accepted a scholarship to continue her volleyball career at Texas Tech University.

 

2001

Jennifer Saleaumua
Bonita Vista High School, Chula Vista, California

"Athletes like Jennifer Saleaumua are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "She has worked extremely hard to develop her skills and has become one of the best volleyball players not only in the state of California, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring her." A 5-foot-10 outside hitter, Saleaumua, who will attend the University of Hawaii, led Bonita Vista High to a 40-0 record, the California state title, and national title recognition as well. In a five-game title match victory over Stockton St. Mary's High, Saleaumua recorded 57 kills, a state and national record. She was selected National Player of the Year by SchoolSports.com.

 

2002

Bre Ladd
Canyon del Oro High School, Tucson, Arizona

"Athletes like Bre Ladd are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "She has worked extremely hard to develop her skills and has become one of the best volleyball players not only in the state of Arizona, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring her." A 6-foot-1 outside hitter, Ladd piled up national honors while rewriting her school's record books. This season, she piled up 428 kills, breaking her own school record by more than 100, and added 110 blocks, 163 digs, and 58 service aces to lead Canyon del Oro to the Class 5A state quarterfinals. She had 21 kills in a match, also a school record, and her career totals include 971 kills, 280 blocks, and 146 aces. A member of the U.S. Junior National Team, Ladd was selected as the Gatorade National Player of the Year and as the National Player of the Year by SchoolSports.com. Ladd also was an outstanding student with a 3.4 grade-point average, and earned a scholarship to the University of Arizona. Sports Illustrated magazine also recognized Ladd's distinguished career with a mention in its "Faces in the Crowd" section this year.

 

2003

Kristin Richards
Timpanogos High School, Orem, Utah

"Kristin Richards has been setting the standard for youth volleyball players across the nation for several years now," said NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro. "For this reason, the NHSCA is proud to honor Kristin as the National High School Senior Volleyball Athlete of the Year." A four-time all-state player in her home state of Utah, Richards also received numerous national awards throughout her prep career. A two-time All-American, the recipient of several player of the year honors nationally, this team captain led her squad to a state championship as a senior. Richards has also represented the U.S. for the past three summers on national teams, ever since being selected captain of the 2000 U.S. National Youth Team. She will continue her academic and athletic careers at Stanford University.

 

2004

Angit McGinnis
Fraser High School, Fraser, Michigan

Michigan's Angie McGinnis of Fraser High School is this year's NHSCA Senior Athlete of the Year in volleyball. McGinnis, a 6-0 setter, was a three-time all-state selection and two-time first team member who was named Michigan's Miss Volleyball for 2003-04. She led her Fraser High squad to back-to-back state championships after a second-place finish in her sophomore season. McGinnis will next play for the decorated volleyball program at the University of Florida.

 

2005

Cynthia Barboza
Wilson Classical High School, Long Beach, California

The first female athlete - and only the fourth in any sport - to be voted the Gatorade National Player of the Year twice, the 6-foot-1 outside hitter/middle blocker averaged 18.3 kills, 1.57 blocks and 2 aces per match, leading Wilson Classical High to the Southern Section Division I-AA semifinals. She posted a kill percentage of .840 in the semifinal loss to eventual champion Mira Costa High. An alternate on the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team, Barboza was Volleyball magazine's High School Player of the Year, Division I-AA co-MVP and a four-time California Interscholastic Federation First Team All-State selection. Also a straight-A student, she will attend Stanford University.  

 

2006

Megan Hodge
Riverside High School, Durham, North Carolina

Considered the finest player in North Carolina high school history, the 6-foot-3 Hodge totaled 363 kills, 30 blocks, 197 digs, 109 assists and 86 aces as a senior. She is a two-time winner of the Gatorade North Carolina Player of the Year award and was selected as the Gatorade National Player of the Year this year. A two-time member of the USA Volleyball Girls Youth National Team, Hodge is following in the footsteps of her parents, Michael and Carmen Hodge, who were members of the Virgin Islands national volleyball teams. She holds a 4.5 grade-point average, scored 1800 on the SAT and headlines Penn State University's top-ranked recruiting class.

 

2007

Alix Klineman
Mira Costa High School, Manhattan Beach, California 

The 6-foot-4 outside hitter led Mira Costa to state titles her sophomore and senior years, and was named tournament MVP both times. This year, Mira Costa finished 37-1 and was ranked No. 1 nationally. Klineman racked up 513 kills as a senior and set school records with 52 service aces and a .494 hitting efficiency percentage. She was selected the Gatorade National Player of the Year and the PrepVolleyball.com Senior Player of the Year. Klineman also led the U.S. Women's Junior National Team to the gold medal in the NORCECA Continental Championships in 2006, scoring 22 kills, five blocks and an ace in a five-set title-match win over the Dominican Republic. Also an outstanding student with a 3.94 grade-point average, she will attend Stanford University.

 

2008

Kelly Murphy
Joliet Catholic Academy, Joliet, Illinois

The 6-foot-2 outside hitter was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year after racking up 414 kills, 303 assists, 121 digs, 55 aces and 32 blocks last fall. She led Joliet Catholic Academy to a 34-6 record and a berth in the Class 3A super-sectionals. That performance came on the heels of a brilliant junior season, when Murphy led the Angels to a third-place state finish with 35 kills, 38 assists, 17 digs and eight aces in the state tournament. Her season totals were 388 kills, 496 assists, 81 aces and 100 blocks. She was recognized by Sports Illustrated magazine in its "Faces in the Crowd" section. On the international level, Murphy led the U.S. Women's Junior National Team to a fourth-place finish in the 2007 Junior World Championships, earning Best Server honors. Also an outstanding student with a 4.52 grade-point average, she will attend the University of Florida.

 

2009

Gina Mancuso
Papillion-LaVista High School, Papillion, Nebraska

The 6-foot outside hitter was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year and an Under Armour First Team All-American after racking up 721 kills, 50 assists, 373 digs, 39 aces and 53 blocks last fall. She led Papillion-LaVista to a 42-1 record and a second consecutive Class A state championship. An honorary co-captain of both the Lincoln Journal Star Super State Team and the Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska Team as a senior, Mancuso recorded 32 assists, nine digs, five kills and an ace in the Monarchs' three-game title-match sweep of Lincoln Northwest High. On the international level, Mancuso helped lead the U.S. Junior National team to the NORCECA Junior Continental championship in 2008. A three-sport athlete who also competed in basketball and track and field, Mancuso also sported a 4.64 grade-point average. She will attend the University of Nebraska.

 

2010

Morgan Broekhuis
Colorado Springs Christian School, Colorado Springs, Colorado

It’s not often you see a 6-foot-5 setter, but Broekhuis is one of the best, in addition to her skills on the front line. Colorado Springs Christian School has now won six consecutive 3A state championships, and Broekhuis, playing for her father, Mike, has been an integral part of the last four. A two-time Gatorade Colorado Player of the Year selection, Broekhuis was named ESPN RISE Player of the Year after recording 465 kills, 411 assists, 40 blocks, 167 digs and 30 aces to lead the Lions to a perfect 30-0 record as a senior. She was selected an Under Armour First Team All-American, played in the Under Armour All-American match and earned Best Setter honors in the event’s skills competition. The second-youngest member of the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team that competed at the FIVB World Championships in Mexico in 2009, Broekhuis also was selected to the U.S. National Training Team in 2008. Broekhuis, who also played basketball for the Lions for three years, graduated after the fall semester with a 3.7 grade-point average and enrolled at the University of Nebraska, where she will play her college volleyball.

 

2011

Courtney Van Groningen
Sterling High School, Sterling, Nebraska  

A three-sport standout, Van Groningen became one of the state’s most feared outside hitters despite standing just 5-foot-4. Van Groningen set an all-class state record with 50 kills in a match as a sophomore, and this year, she broke her own Class D-2 state record with 642 kills as she led Sterling, one of the state’s smallest high schools with an enrollment of only 65 students, to a 30-3 record and the state title match. Though Sterling lost that match in five sets, Van Groningen racked up 30 kills, six blocks, 32 digs and three aces. She also recorded 40 kills in the Lady Jets’ semifinal win, was named the captain of the D-2 All-Tournament Team and was recognized as the NHSCA/GTM Sportswear Athlete of the Month for December. She also holds the all-class state record for career digs (1,907) and the D-2 record for career kills (1,901). Van Groningen was a four-year starter at shooting guard for the Lady Jets basketball team, averaging 15 points per game as a senior and scoring 1,127 career points. She also doubled up at the state track and field meet last spring, winning the Class D 100 and 300 hurdles crowns. She is favored to repeat in both events this spring and also is a contender in the 100-meter dash. Van Groningen is signed to play volleyball at Wayne State University.

 

2012

Jordan Burgess
Berkeley Preparatory School, Tampa, Florida

The 6-foot-1 outside hitter led the Buccaneers to a 30-2 record and its third consecutive 4A state championship. She amassed553 kills, 514 service receptions, 366 digs, 48 aces, 38 assists and 32 blocks while recording a hitting percentage of .457,earning Florida 4A Player of the Year honors. She had 539kills, 320 digs, 58 blocks and 51 aces as a junior. She was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year after earning Gatorade Florida Player of the Year honors for the third time,and also is a two-time U.S. Girls National Team member. ThePrepVolleyball.com Junior of the Year last year, Burgess received the Florida Dairy Farmers Miss Volleyball award for the second straight year, becoming the first repeat winner in the award’s20-year history, and was named an Under Armour First Team All-American. Also an outstanding student, Burgess has maintained a 3.9 grade-point average, scored 2100 on the SAT and will attend Stanford University. Burgess also is a founding director of Everyone Should Play, an organization that raises funds to help disadvantaged youths with the high cost of playing competitive sports.

 

2013

Amber and Kadie Rolfzen
Papillion-La Vista South High School, Papillion, Nebraska  

Twins Amber and Kadie Rolfzen, who now head together to the University of Nebraska, had a nearly perfect career at Papillion-La Vista South. The Rolfzens led the school to a 126-1 record while capturing three straight Nebraska Class A state titles. In 2012, Amber recorded 390 kills compared to Kadie’s 369; both recorded 38 blocks; and both were members of the U.S. Junior Women’s Team in 2011 and 2012.

 

2014

Alexa Filley
Assumption HS, Louisville, Kentucky

Alexa Filley, who will attend the University of Auburn in the fall, led her school to a Kentucky state volleyball championship during the 2013-14 school year. The 5-9 setter led her school to a 36-6 record and a national ranking by several national media outlets. Filley, who maintained a 3.95 GPA in the classroom, recorded 1,248 assists, 334 digs, 102 kills, 58 blocks and 41 service aces. As a junior and a senior, she was named MVP of the Kentucky state tournament. Filley is the first Kentucky volleyball player to be honored by the NHSCA.

 

2015

Alexa Smith
Lewis-Palmer HS, Monument, Colorado

Alexa Smith, who carries a 4.0 weighted GPA, led her school to a MaxPreps “mythical” national championship in 2014. Smith led the Rangers to a 29-0 record and a second consecutive Class 4A state championship this past season. Smith slammed 362 kills while recording a .519 kill percentage and .393 hitting percentage. The Colorado High School Athletic Association named her 4A Player of the Year. She is a member of the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team.

 

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