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THE WINNER: Samantha Higgins
School: Coventry (R.I.)
Athletic achievement: She led the Knotty Oakers to a 19-0 record and a third straight Division I state title this past season. Despite missing five matches with a thumb injury, Higgins recorded 128 kills, 36 blocks, 22 digs and 20 service aces. The Division I Player of the Year, she was a two-time First Team All-State selection and a two-time Division I state tournament MVP.
Academic excellence: Higgins has maintained a weighted 4.13 GPA.
Exemplary character: She has volunteered on behalf of multiple area-beautification projects in addition to donating her time locally with an anti-bullying campaign and as a youth volleyball coach.
“Samantha has developed the skills that make her the go-to player on Coventry’s team and the most dangerous attacker and defender on the court,” said Victoria Tefft, head coach of North Kingstown (R.I.). “She consistently demonstrates knowledge of the game, court sense ability to attack and defend in pressure situations and the ability to finish plays.”
THE FUTURE: Higgins remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.