West Aurora (Aurora, Ill.) senior Lauren Carlini was named the 2012-13 Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year this Tuesday morning. April Ross, who was a former Gatorade National Player of the year(1999-2000) and beach volleyball silver medalist at the 2012 Summer Olympics, surprised Carlini with the news in West Aurora.
“When I received the award, it was a really significant moment for me, so it felt great to surprise Lauren with the news and invite her into one of the most prestigious legacy programs in high school sports,” said Ross. “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.”
Carlini can serve with power behind the line as you can see above. Standing 6-foot-1, Carlini is a senior setter/right-side hitter who recorded 333 kills, 303 assists, 156 digs, 92 aces and 50 blocks this fall and led the Blackhawks to a 32-6 record and the Class 4A sectional semifinals. Carlini had a hitting percentage of .462 and a kill percentage of .594.
Carlini will be going to Wisconsin next year and was rated the nation’s No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2013 by PrepVolleyball.com. Winning the award puts Carlini in the running for the Gatorade Female High School Athlete of the Year award.
“Lauren Carlini is the ultimate physical setter,” said John Tawa, publisher of PrepVolleyball.com. “She is one of the most competitive, hate-to-lose players I have ever seen.”
Carlini has a 3.73 GPA and has done an immense amount of volunteer work as well as working as a youth volleyball coach. Gatorade players of the year obviously exceed on the field, but they must also have academic excellence as well as strong moral character. Congratulations to Ms. Carlini. It is well deserved and we all look forward to seeing what her career holds.