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New Castle setter Shaffmaster becomes first player to twice earn Gatorade Indiana Volleyball POY honors

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY, January 17, 2020, 3:16 pm

After winning it as a sophomore, New Castle setter Melani Shaffmaster has again been named the Gatorade Indiana Volleyball Player of the Year as a senior.

She’s the first two-time state POY winner for Indiana. 

Yorktown’s Kenzie Knuckles won the award last year. 

One of 51 winners (one for each state, and one for the District of Columbia), Shaffmaster is now in the running to win national Gatorade Player of the Year honors, which will be announced later this month. 

“Melani Shaffmaster is just special,” Hamilton Southeastern coach Jason Young was quoted in the news release announcing the award. “She’s athletically gifted and she puts the ball in the perfect place for her hitters. She’s a match-up nightmare. Honestly, she’s so talented I believe if she continues to improve, she has a chance to set for the National team at some point in her career.”

The 6-foot-4 setter, who has signed to play at the University of Minnesota in the fall, led the Trojans (35-1) to a Class 4A title and a No. 5 ranking by PrepVolleyball.com in the fall. Shaffmaster had 948 assists, 280 kills, 267 digs, 51 aces and 47 blocks, and also earned first-team All-America honors from Under Armour and MaxPreps, as well as all-state honors for the third time.