Farmington Hills Mercy’s Jess Mruzik wins Gatorade Michigan Volleyball Player of the Year award for 2018-19
Farmington Hills Mercy junior outside hitter Jess Mruzik has been named the Gatorade Michigan Volleyball Player of the Year, the award’s sponsor announced Tuesday.
As the state winner, Mruzik is now eligible for the Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year award, to be unveiled later this month.
A 6-foot-1 dominating presence on the outside — with 420 kills, 165 digs, 65 aces and 50 assists in 43 matches — Mruzik helped lead the top-ranked Marlins (52-3) to the Division 1 semifinals, where they fell to eventual champ Lake Orion.
Mruzik is Mercy’s second winner of the award, joining Maddy Doyle (2011-12).
The junior missed 12 matches for the Marlins early in the season, as she captained the 2018 USA Volleyball Youth National Team to a tournament win at the NORCECA Continental Championships in Honduras, earning MVP honors in the process.
This year marks the fifth time in its 24 years of existence that Michigan’s Gatorade POY award has gone to a junior. Each of the other four times — with Novi’s Erin O’Leary in 2016-17, Macomb Dakota’s Carli Snyder in 2012-13, Fraser’s Angela McGinnis in 2002-03 and Portage Northern’s Kim Taskey in 1997-98 — the winner repeated as a senior.
Since the Michigan Volleyball Coaches Association began handing out Miss Volleyball — which, by rule, can only go to a senior — 17 seasons ago in 2003, the two awards have only agreed seven times.
Volleyball Gatorade Player of the Year Award winners
2018-19 — Jess Mruzik, Jr., Farmington Hills Mercy
2017-18 — Erin O’Leary, Sr., Novi*
2016-17 — Erin O’Leary, Jr., Novi
2015-16 — Gia Milana, Sr., Romeo*
2014-15 — Katherine Carlson, Sr., Pontiac Notre Dame Prep*
2013-14 — Carli Snyder, Sr., Macomb Dakota*
2012-13 — Carli Snyder, Jr., Macomb Dakota
2011-12 — Maddy Doyle, Sr., Farmington Hills Mercy*
2010-11 — Alex Lovell, Sr., Birmingham Marian
2009-10 — Rachel Charles, Sr., Birmingham Marian
2008-09 — Megan Hendrickson, Sr., Jenison
2007-08 — Molly Coldren, Sr., Pontiac Notre Dame Prep
2006-07 — Kristen Arthurs, Sr., Monroe St. Mary CC
2005-06 — Alisha Glass, Sr., Leland*
2004-05 — Lauren Paolini, Sr., Saline
2003-04 — Angela McGinnis, Sr., Fraser*
2002-03 — Angela McGinnis, Jr., Fraser
2001-02 — Erin Cobler, Sr., Dexter
2000-01 — LaTonya Coates, Sr., Bangor
1999-00 — Jenny Rood, Sr., Rockford
1998-99 — Kim Taskey, Sr., Portage Northern
1997-98 — Kim Taskey, Jr., Portage Northern
1996-97 — Lindsey Spresser, Sr., Portage Northern
1995-96 — Carrie Schonveld, Sr., Portage Central
* — Also won MIVCA’s Miss Volleyball award (started in 2003)