By John Gabrielsen on Dec 14, 2010

In its third decade of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPN RISE, announced Meghan Sipe of Cheyenne East High School as its 2010-11 Gatorade Wyoming Volleyball Player of the Year.

Sipe is the first Gatorade Wyoming Volleyball Player of the Year to be chosen from Cheyenne East 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 court, distinguishes Sipe as Wyoming's best high school volleyball player.

Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year award announced in December, Sipe joins an elite alumni association of past state volleyball award winners, including USA Volleyball Olympians Kim Glass (2001-02, Horseshoe HS, Penn.), Kim Willoughby (1998-99, 1999-00, Assumption HS, La.) and Ogonna Nnamani (1999-00, University HS, Ill).

The 6-foot-1 senior outside hitter recorded 615 kills, 267 digs, 90 service aces, 46 blocks and 37 assists this past season while posting a hitting percentage of .370, leading the Thunderbirds (20-15) to the Class 4A state semifinals.

The Class 4A Player of the Year as named by the Wyoming Coaches Association, Sipe averaged 5.8 kills, 2.5 digs, 0.8 service aces, 0.4 blocks and 0.4 assists per game. In three Class 4A state tournament matches, she recorded 65 kills, 32 digs, 32 service receptions, eight service aces and seven blocks.

Sipe has maintained a 3.83 GPA in the classroom. In addition to donating her time as a youth softball, basketball and volleyball instructor, she has volunteered on behalf of her church community, the Girls Scouts of America and the Special Olympics.

"She dominated the largest classification in Wyoming," said Kerry Will, head coach of rival Cheyenne Central High. "She is clearly the best at her position. She led all passers and attackers. She plays left side and doesn't see as many attacks on her side of the net, but when she does, she's huge. She's a great blocker. She also plays middle back defense, so that she can dig more balls. She is an outstanding player all the way around."

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

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.

Sipe joins recent Gatorade Wyoming Volleyball Players of the Year Paige Hellbaum (2009-10, Wheatland) and two-time winner Emily Rochelle (2008-09 & 2007-08, Kelly Walsh) among the state's list of former award winners.