Gatorade Player of the Year honors were bestowed on players across the country on Monday. Three of those players will don Arizona uniforms over the coming two years. Missouri and North Carolina winners, Carlie Cisneros and Avery Scoggins, are headed to Tucson for the 2024 season. Paige Thies of Oregon will follow in 2025.
Cisneros is considered the top player in the class by some, including Prep Volleyball. The six-foot-one outside hitter also earned AVCA All-American first-team honors.
Cisneros finished her prep career by attending her final all-star game at UA Next in Tampa last week. She did not play due to minor surgery on her hand that she had following her high school season.
Getting the surgery done and sitting out the UA Next game were important to Cisneros so she could be on campus for spring volleyball. She graduated from Liberty North in Kansas City, Missouri early and will enroll at Arizona for the spring semester.
The outside hitter will be important for Arizona due to her passing and attacking ability. Arizona had difficulty passing the ball last year. Cisneros is expected to make a big contribution on that front.
It was the second straight state Gatorade Player of the Year recognition for Cisneros. On the court, she had 405 kills on a .362 hitting percentage, 356 digs, 52 blocks, and 49 service aces. She set Liberty North’s career kills record with 1,642.
Scoggins took on a big load when her team’s top outside hitter went down. The six-foot setter helped lead the squad to the state title despite the missing firepower, earning MVP honors for the championship tournament. It was just one reason she became Middle Creek High’s first North Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year winner and a second-team AVCA All-American.
Scoggins was a big reason the Mustangs went 26-1. She had 919 assists, 218 digs, 45 blocks, and 54 aces. She also contributed 110 kills on a .355 hitting percentage.
Unlike her future teammates, Thies won’t be in Tucson for a while. She won’t even sign with the Wildcats until November of 2024. That’s because Oregon’s honoree is still just a junior.
The six-foot-two outside hitter led her team to the state championship match this past season. She had 404 kills, bringing her career total to 1,303 kills. She added 125 digs and 35 aces for the year. She also had a .396 hitting percentage.
The national Gatorade Player of the Year winner will be picked from among the 51 representatives from the 50 states and the District of Columbia.