From many, there will be one. And while there’s still no guarantee contending athletes will win their own state at this point in the season, a number of elite performers are making a case for Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year consideration. Here’s the scoop on the latest top candidate.
Senior setter, The Woodlands (Texas)
Greatness Present: Perfection is hard to attain, but Courtney Eckenrode has brought Woodlands to the precipice. The Highlanders (38-0) enter the Class 5A state tournament this week having dropped just four sets all season despite a brutal in-state schedule.
Eckenrode has logged her fourth consecutive season with 700 or more assists, averaging 9.5 per game this fall. The 5-foot-9 senior has added 290 digs, 31 service aces and a hitting percentage of .348 while sparking her squad to PrepVolleyball.com’s No. 2 ranking nationally.
A Lone Star Volleyball First Team All-Texas selection, Eckenrode earned MVP honors at this past August’s Texas Volleyball Invitational.
And, as a side note, the future is bright for Woodlands whenever Eckenrode’s remarkable career comes to an end this season. Consider this: The Highlanders’ freshmen and JV teams are also undefeated.
Greatness Past: A four-time First Team All-District selection, Eckenrode led the Highlanders (36-3) to the regional semifinals and a No. 78 ranking in PrepVolleyball.com’s top 100 in 2012.
Greatness Future: Eckenrode has verbally committed to San Diego State.
Make no mistake: The Gatorade State Volleyball Player of the Year races aren’t over, and the National POY race is now heating up. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list.Check back for daily updates on the top contenders making their case.