Student Athlete named Gatorade Illinois Volleyball Play of the Year

Student Athlete named Gatorade Illinois Volleyball Play of the Year

In its 38th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today
announced Ellie White of Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School is the 2022-23 Gatorade Illinois Volleyball Player of the Year. White is the second Gatorade Illinois Volleyball Player of the Year to be chosen from Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court, distinguishes White as Illinois’ best high school volleyball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year award to be announced in January, White joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners, including Lexi
Sun (2016-17, Santa Fe Christian School, Calif.), Jordan Larson (2004-05, Logan View High School, Neb.), Foluke Akinradewo (2004-05, St. Thomas High School, Fla.) and April Ross (1999-00, Newport Harbor High School, Calif.).

The 5-foot-11 junior outside hitter led the Mighty Macs to a 39-3 record and the Class 4A state championship this past season. White amassed 542 kills by way of a .431 kill percentage and a .348 hitting percentage, including 20 kills in McAuley’s 2-1 win over Benet Academy in the state final. A natural setter, she also compiled 289 digs, 103 blocks and 28 service aces while earning MaxPreps.com First Team All-American honors.

A student ambassador at Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School, White is active in her school’s student government. She has volunteered locally as a youth mentor and volleyball coach. “The girl was unstoppable this year,” said Brad Baker, head coach of Benet Academy. “She was the best offensive player we played against all season. Without her they are not state champions.”

White has maintained a 3.71 GPA in the classroom. She has made a verbal commitment to play volleyball on scholarship at the University of Michigan beginning in the fall of 2024.

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and others as sources to help evaluate and determine the state winners in each sport.

White joins recent Gatorade Illinois Volleyball Players of the Year Katie Hurta (2021-22, Nazareth Academy), Rachel Muisenga (2020-21, Benet Academy), Lexi Rodriguez (2019-20, Sterling High School), and Taylor Landfair (2018-19, Plainfield Central High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.

Being a Gatorade Player of the Year means paying it forward for the next generation. Through Gatorade’s Play it Forward initiative, every Player of the Year receives a grant to give to one of Gatorade’s social impact partners, supporting Gatorade’s ambition to fuel the future of sport. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $3.5 million across more than 1,300 organizations.

For nearly 40 years, Gatorade has honored high school athletes at the top of their game as teammates, supporting their communities and achieving academic success. From CEOs and coaches to star athletes and community leaders, Gatorade Player of the Year winners showcase the power of sport.

To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate studentathletes, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com or follow us on social media on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOY, Instagram at instagram.com/Gatorade and Twitter at twitter.com/Gatorade.

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