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Fourteen players, 11 seniors and three juniors, are on MaxPreps' 2016 mid-season National Volleyball Player of the Year watch list.
They range in height from 5-foot-9 to 6-3 and attend high schools of all sizes – large, medium and small. They represent 11 states, with two players each calling California, Michigan or Minnesota home.
Several on this year's watch list have played on national youth teams and all 14 will play in college with Wisconsin and UCLA having commitments from two each.
Included in the list are MaxPreps 2013 National Freshman of the Year Mariah Whalen and 2015 MaxPreps National Junior of the Year Sydney Hilley. Coincidentally, both are future Wisconsin Badgers.
Criteria to be considered on the National POY watch list includes performance on the court, overall contribution to the team's success and talent and skills (volleyball specific).
This is a mid-season POY watch list. If a player is not on the POY watch list, it does not mean they are excluded from consideration.
National Volleyball Player of the Year watch list
MH - Mariah Whalen, Newman (Wausau, Wis.), 6-1 Sr.Notable:
She was 2013 MaxPreps National Freshman of the Year. She has more than 2,600 kills in her prep career. And Newman has a won-loss record of 146-16-5. A three-time first team all-state selection and MaxPreps Small Team All-American, Whalen's brother Jake is a linebacker for the UW football team. Whalen was also Prepvolleyball.com's Frosh of the Year in 2013.Stats (as of Oct. 17):
Newman is 30-7 as Whalen is averaging 5.9 kills (50.9 percent) and 3.0 digs per set. In 93 sets, she has blocked 798 shots and served 47 aces.Future college:
WisconsinA-A - Sydney Hilley, Champlin Park (Champlin, Minn.), 6-0 Sr.Notable:
Hilley was the only junior named to last year's All-American first team. Named MaxPreps 2015 National Junior POY, she was a member of the 2016 Women's Junior National Team and was a member of the 2015 U.S. Girls Youth National Volleyball Team, 2015 Gatorade State Volleyball POY and 2014 National Sophomore of the Year by PrepVolleyball.com.Stats (as of Oct. 17):
Averaging 6.7 kills (54.9 percent), 34 blocks, 27 aces (90 percent), 149 digs (3.0) and 278 service receptions with only 13 errors. Champlin Park is 21-2.Future college:
WisconsinA-A - Leketor Member-Meneh, Lutheran South (St. Louis), 5-9 Sr.Notable:
Her 25-kill performance in a thrilling three-set win over DuBourg in postseason play added to her legacy. She also averaged 24.6 points in basketball. She is one of Missouri's top track athletes. A native of Nigeria, Member-Meneh was among the national leaders in kills in 2015 when she received MaxPreps All-American honors.Stats (as of Oct. 17):
South is 27-3-3 as Member-Meneh is averaging 7.2 kills (59.6 percent) and 5.3 digs in 70 sets.
MissouriOH - Jenny Mosser, Lakeville South (Minn.), 5-11 Sr.Notable:
In a recent five-set (3-2) loss to No. 5 ranked Eagan, Mosser had 49 kills. She also helped Lakeville South set a state record and win a state championship in the 4-by-400 meter relay in the spring. She is a multi-time all-state and MaxPreps All-American selection.Stats (as of Oct. 17):
Averaging 7.3 kills (49.3 percent), South is 22-3 on the season. She is averaging 3.4 digs and has returned 300 serves (4.6 average) with only 19 errors in 65 sets.Future college:
UCLAOH - Meredith Norris, Corunna (Mich.), 6-3 Sr.Notable:
Named a MaxPreps All-American and the player of the year on the 2015 Lansing State Journal's Elite Team, she holds the MHSAA record for kills in a match with 56. She has over 2,000 career kills and had 836 kills as a junior and 754 as a sophomore to put her at 13th and 21st on the state list for most kills in a season.Stats (as of Oct. 17):
Norris leads the 25-8 Cavaliers with 6.0 kills per game (41.4 percent), 44 aces and is second in digs (330) and blocks and third in serve receptions (357 with only 17 errors).
Future college: Michigan StateOH - Paige Hammons, Sacred Heart (Louisville, Ky.), 6-2 Sr.Notable:
A member of the 2016 Women's Junior National Team, Hammons led Sacred Heart to team titles at the Louisville Invitational and Nike Phoenix tournament. She was named MVP at both and is a returning MaxPreps All-American.Stats (as of Oct. 17):
Hammons has led Sacred Heart to a 34-4 record by averaging 5.3 kills (47.2 percent) and 2.7 digs. She also has 453 serve receptions (27 errors), 46 blocks and is serving 93 percent.Future college:
FloridaOH - Lexi Sun, Santa Fe Christian (Solana Beach, Calif.), 6-3 Sr.Notable:
Sun spent the summer playing for Team USA. Sun helped her team to second place in the NORCECA U20 Continental Championships for North and Central America. She recorded 11 kills and one block in the final game.Stats (as of Oct. 17):
In leading the Eagles (23-7) to their first winning season in four years, Sun is averaging 5.6 kills (58.8 percent) and 2.9 digs. She also is serving 90 percent and has committed just 15 errors in 264 serve receptions.Future college:
TexasOH - Meghan McClure, Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.), 6-1 Sr.Notable:
A MaxPreps All-American in 2015, McClure was MVP of the 2016 California Challenge as Santa Margarita took home the gold. She had 24 kills in two match wins over previously No. 1 ranked Mater Dei earlier this season.Stats (as of Oct. 17):
She is averaging 3.9 kills (40 percent), serving 97.5, 2.2 digs and has a dozen errors in 235 serve receptions. She also has 48 blocks. SMHS is 26-4 on the season.Future college:
StanfordS - Madison Lilley, Blue Valley West (Stilwell, Kan.), 5-11 Sr.Notable:
A member of the USA Junior Women's Team, Lilley is the top player on the No. 1 team in the country. She is a three-time MaxPreps All-American and was Prepvolleyball.com 2015 National Junior of the Year. She led Blue Valley to a 6A state title in 2015.Stats (as of Oct. 17):
In leading the Jaguars to a 37-0 record, she is averaging 2.0 kills (63.6 percent), serving 96.5 percent, has 68 blocks (1.1 average), has 117 digs and has recorded 641 assists (9.6 per set average).Future college:
KentuckyS - Erin O'Leary, Novi (Mich.), 5-11 Jr.Notable:
A MaxPreps A-A a year ago, O'Leary was first team Class A all-state, the only sophomore honored. She is a 2016 member of the U.S. Girls Youth National Team. She has more than 3,600 assists in her three seasons at Novi, which has a 144-9 record with O'Leary on the court.Stats (as of Oct. 17):
In leading Novi to 33-1 mark, O'Leary is averaging 9.2 assists, 2.7 digs, and 1.6 kills (51.6 percent) and has 44 aces (92.7 percent, 248 points) and 28 blocks in 78 sets.Future college:
MichiganOH - Caroline Marsh, North Henderson (Hendersonville, N.C.), 5-11 Sr.Notable:
A three-time MaxPreps All-American, Marsh is a two-time Times-News Player of the Year, reigning Times-News Female Athlete of the year and three-time All-WNCAC Team. She has over 2,000 kills and 440 blocks in four seasons.Stats (as of Oct. 17):
Marsh is averaging 7.6 kills (44.5 kill percentage), with 48 aces, 51 blocks and 239 digs in 63 sets as North Henderson is 19-2. Future college:
UNC WilmingtonOH - Mackenzie May, Wahlert (Dubuque, Iowa), 6-3 Sr.Notable:
May, a member of the 2016 Women's Junior National Team, has led a young Wahlert team to a 23-6 mark this season. She is a two-time MaxPreps All-American. She will play both indoor and beach volleyball at UCLA. May received her first recruiting letter as an eighth grader.Stats (as of Oct. 17):
In 72 sets, she is averaging 6.8 kills (46.3 percent), 35 aces, 29 blocks and 150 digs as Wahlert is 23-6.Future college:
UCLAA-A - Nicklin Hames, Webb (Knoxville, Tenn.), 5-11 Jr.Notable:
The 2015 MaxPreps All-American was named PrepXtra's 2015 Player of the Year. She was also named Prepvolleyball.com Freshman of the Year in 2014. She has led Webb to three straight 2A state titles. Her sophomore sister, Kayleigh, was the MaxPreps 2015 National Freshman of the Year.Stats (as of Oct. 17):
In leading Webb to a 40-8 record, Hames is averaging 3.4 kills (51.5 percent), 3.3 digs and 6.5 assists. She also has served 96.5 percent for 108 aces and 407 points and 42 blocks in 130 sets. She has returned 250 serves with only 10 errors.Future college:
NebraskaOH - Charley Niego, Mother McAuley (Chicago), 6-1 Jr.Notable:
She wears the No. 5 jersey of her mother Theresa Boyle-Niego, which had been in retirement since the early 1990s. Niego elevates her game against highly ranked teams. In games against Kentucky powers Assumption, Mercy and Notre Dame Academy, she excelled with 81 kills and 60 digs in eight sets. All were Mother McAuley victories.Stats (as of Oct. 17):
In leading Mother McAuley to a 32-1 record, Niego is averaging 6.1 kills (49.6 percent), serving 96 percent (272 points), has 353 digs (5.4) and 268 serve receptions with 15 errors in 65 sets.Future college: