University of Texas commit Lexi Sun, the top-ranked commitment in the country, has been named the Gatorade National Player of the Year. The organization gives out an award to one athlete in each of 12 sports in each state, naming them the Gatorade State Player of the Year, and then gives out 12 National Player of the Year awards.
She was surprised with the award by legendary beach volleyball player April Ross, the 2016 USA Volleyball Beach Player of the Year. Sun was playing beach volleyball with her friends when Ross came by pretending to be riding an ice cream cart. When she opened her cooler, though, the massive National Player of the Year trophy emerged and surprised Sun by announcing the honor.
Olympic medalist April Ross surprised @Gatorade National Player of the Year Lexi Sun with the best kind of "ice cream" she could imagine pic.twitter.com/ydV1pWyq43
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 25, 2017
Sun is a 6’2″ outside hitter from Encinitas, California who plays for the Coast Volleyball Club and Santa Fe Christian High School. During her senior season, she averaged 5.53 kills/set with a .435 hitting percentage and over two-and-a-half digs per set as well. She was a member of the USA Beach U17 National Team that won gold at the 2017 FIVB World Championships.
Ross won the award in the year 2000 before going on to play at USC, and her current beach partner Kerri Walsh won it 4 years earlier in 1996 – the first recipient.
Sun is the first University of Texas commit to win the award in its 22-year history. She was also named the state winner in California.
All-Time Award Winners
|1996||Kerri Walsh||San Jose, CA||Stanford|
|1997||Denise Boylan||Lisle, IL||Notre Dame|
|1998||Sara Sandrik||Pelham, AL||Stanford|
|1999||Logan Tom||Salt Lake City, UT||Stanford|
|2000||April Ross||Newport Beach, CA||USC|
|2001||Ogonna Nnamani||Bloomington, IL||Stanford|
|2002||Bre Ladd||Tucson, AZ||Arizona|
|2003||Kristin Richards||Orem, UT||Stanford|
|2004||Cynthia Barboza||Long Beach, CA||Stanford|
|2005||Cynthia Barboza||Long Beach, CA||Stanford|
|2006||Megan Hodge||Durham, NC||Penn State|
|2007||Alix Klineman||Manhattan Beach, CA||Stanford|
|2008||Kelly Murphy||Wilmington, IL||Florida|
|2009||Gina Mancuso||Papillion, NE||Nebraska|
|2010||Ashley Wittman||Shakopee, MN||Minnesota|
|2011||Krista Vansant||Redlands, CA||Washington|
|2012||Jordan Burgess||Tampa, FL||Stanford|
|2013||Lauren Carlini||Aurora, IL||Wisconsin|
|2014||Alexa Filley||Louisville, KY||Auburn|
|2015||Mikaela Foecke||Fort Madison, IA||Nebraska|
|2016||Khalia Lanier||Phoenix, AZ||USC|