Gatorade® National Volleyball Player of the Year: Krista Vansant

World Champion and Pro Beach Volleyball Player April Ross Surprises Standout with Elite Honor

Dec 15, 2010, 15:00 ET from Gatorade

REDLANDS, Calif., Dec. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- In its 26th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPN RISE, today announced Krista Vansant of Redlands East Valley High School (Redlands, Calif.) as its 2010-11 Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year.  Vansant was surprised with the news at Redlands East Valley High School by World Champion and Pro Beach Volleyball player April Ross, who earned Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year honors in 1999-00.

"When I received the award, it was a really significant moment for me, so it felt great to surprise Krista with the news and invite her into one of the most prestigious legacy programs in high school sports," said Ross, who won two events on the 2010 FIVB World Tour. "Gatorade has been on the sidelines fueling athletic performance for years, so to be recognized by a brand that understands the game and truly helps athletes perform is a huge honor for these kids."

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 Vansant as the nation's best high school volleyball player.  A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select Vansant from more than 403,000 high school volleyball players nationwide. Vansant is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade Female High School Athlete of the Year award, to be presented at a special afternoon ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July.

The 6-foot-2 senior outside hitter recorded 589 kills, 299 digs, 33 blocks and 26 service aces this past season while posting a kill percentage of .557, leading the Wildcats (30-6) to the California Interscholastic Federation State Division I regional semifinals. An Under Armour All-American and the California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section Division 1A Player of the Year, Vansant amassed 180 kills, 78 digs, nine blocks and seven service aces in seven postseason matches this fall. The nation's No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2011 as rated by, she produced 565 kills, 233 digs, 72 service aces, 36 assists and 30 blocks as a junior, leading the Wildcats (37-4) to the Division 2 state title game.  A 2010 USA Junior Nationals 18-Open All-Tournament Team selection and 2008 U.S. Girls Youth National Training Team roster invitee, Vansant captured 2008 National Sophomore of the Year honors.

Vansant has maintained a 3.61 GPA in the classroom. The Redlands East Valley 2010 Homecoming Queen and a member of her school's chapter of Rachel's Challenge, a national student-empowerment initiative, Vansant has volunteered locally as a coach at youth volleyball clinics in addition to participating in a literacy-outreach program in her area.  She has also donated her time to Associated Student Body initiatives at her school.

"No player in California drew more focus than Vansant did, yet she was able to consistently defeat double and triple blocks to help her team win," said Publisher John Tawa. "Facing a talent deficit against most other elite Southern California teams, Redlands East Valley rode Vansant's big right arm and unyielding desire to the CIF Southern Section 1A finals, then pulled off the upset of the playoffs by upending then-national-top-10 La Costa Canyon on the road in the Southern California regionals."

Vansant has signed a National Letter of Intent to play volleyball on scholarship at the University of Washington beginning in the fall of 2011.

"Without question, Krista is deserving of recognition as the nation's best high school volleyball player based on her statistics on the court and the impact her accomplishments have had on Redland East Valley's success," said Gatorade Senior Vice President of Sports Marketing Jennifer Storms.  "But she is also a shining example to peers and aspiring young athletes of what a leader and a student-athlete should be.  She represents everything we hope for in a Gatorade Player of the Year recipient."

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 ESPN RISE and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, 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.

Former notable Gatorade National Players of the Year include:

  • Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning
  • AVP Champion and Gold Medalist Kerri Walsh
  • Kansas City Royals Cy Young award-winner Zach Grienke
  • WNBA all-time leading scorer and rebounder Lisa Leslie

For more information on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of former winners, and future announcement dates, visit the Gatorade Player of the Year Web site at, on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter at










Krista Vansant

Ashley Wittman

Gina Mancuso

Kelly Murphy

Redlands East Valley HS/Redlands, CA

Shakopee/Shakopee, MN

Papillion-La Vista/Papillion, NE

Joliet Catholic/Joliet, IL

High School Senior

University of Minnesota

University of Nebraska

University of Florida


Alix Klineman

Mira Costa/Manhattan Beach, CA

Stanford University


Megan Hodge

Riverside/Durham, NC

USA Volleyball


Cynthia Barboza

Wilson Classical/Long Beach, CA

Toray Arrows (Japan)


Cynthia Barboza

Wilson Classical/Long Beach, CA

Toray Arrows (Japan)


Kristin Richards

Timpanogos/Orem, UT

USA Volleyball


Bre Ladd

Canyon Del Oro/Tucson, AZ

Attended Univ. Of Arizona


Ogonna Nnamani

University/Normal, IL

VK Prostejov (Czech Republic)


April Ross

Newport Harbor/Newport Beach, CA

Pro Beach Volleyball


Logan Tom

Highland/Salt Lake City, UT

USA Volleyball


Sara Sandrik

Pelham/Pelham, AL

Stanford Graduate


Denise Boylan

Benet Academy/Lisle, IL

Notre Dame Graduate


Kerri Walsh

Archbishop Mitty/San Jose, CA

Pro Beach Volleyball

SOURCE Gatorade