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Emmaus High School Student-Athlete named Gatorade Pennsylvania Volleyball Player of the Year

CHICAGO (January 13, 2020) — In its 35th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Macy Van Den Elzen of Emmaus High School as its 2019-20 Gatorade Pennsylvania Volleyball Player of the Year. Van Den Elzen is the first Gatorade Pennsylvania Volleyball Player of the Year to be chosen from Emmaus 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 field, distinguishes Van Den Elzen as Pennsylvania’s best high school volleyball player.  Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year award to be announced in January, Van Den Elzen joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including USA Volleyball players Kayla Banwarth (2006-07, Wahlert High School, Iowa), Alisha Glass (2005-06, Leland Public High School, Mich.), Jordan Larson (2004-05, Logan View High School, Neb.) and Foluke Akinradewo (2004-05, St. Thomas High School, Fla.).

The 6-foot-4 senior outside hitter recorded 410 kills, 144 digs, 71 service aces and 50 blocks this past season, leading the Green Hornets (22-9-2) to the Class 4A state tournament. A two-time All-State honoree, Van Den Elzen posted a hitting percentage of .372 in 2019. She was also selected as East Penn Conference and District XI MVP, and was named a 2019-20 Under Armour First Team All-American.      

A mentor for younger students in her school, Van Den Elzen has volunteered locally on behalf of an autism awareness campaign. “Van Den Elzen is unstoppable at the net,” said Mike Krause, head coach at Parkland High School. “She’s 6-foot-3 and she can dominate a game; she has a tremendous impact on her team. We tried everything and we couldn’t block her.”     

Van Den Elzen has maintained a 4.08 GPA in the classroom. She has signed a National Letter of Intent to play volleyball on scholarship at Penn State University this fall.

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 work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

Van Den Elzen joins recent Gatorade Pennsylvania Volleyball Players of the Year Abby Miller (2018 – 19, North Allegheny Senior High School), Renee Schultz (2017-18, Bishop Shanahan High School), Sam Graver (2016-17, Parkland High School), Kristin Krause (2015-16, Parkland High School), Meg Morningstar (2014-15, North Allegheny High School), and Taylor Leath (2013-14, State College Area High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.

As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Van Den Elzen has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of her choosing. She is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.

Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators.

To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit www.Gatorade.com/POY, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.

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