In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Ellie Holzman of Mount Carmel Academy as its 2018-19 Gatorade Louisiana Volleyball Player of the Year. Holzman is the fifth Gatorade Louisiana Volleyball Player of the Year to be chosen from Mount Carmel Academy.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Holzman as Louisiana’s best high school volleyball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year award to be announced in January, Holzman joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including USA Volleyball players Kayla Banwarth (2006-07, Wahlert High School, Iowa), Alisha Glass (2005-06, Leland Public High School, Mich.), Jordan Larson (2004-05, Logan View High School, Neb.) and Foluke Akinradewo (2004-05, St. Thomas H High School S, Fla.).
The two-time returning Gatorade State Player of the Year, the 6-foot-2 senior middle blocker and outside hitter led the Cubs to a 42-2 record and a fourth-straight Division I state championship this past season. Holzman slammed 571 kills and compiled 303 digs to go with 101 blocks and 30 service aces, posting a kill percentage of .533 and a hitting percentage of .486. A two-time MaxPreps First Team All-American selection, she concluded her prep volleyball career with 2,426 kills, 1,379 digs and 749 blocks.
A member of the Latin National Honor Society and MCA’s Book Club, Holzman has volunteered locally with an anti-drug program and as a youth volleyball and basketball coach. “Ellie is a complete player,” said Jody Walker, head coach of Mandeville High School. “She can hurt you offensively, but also played defense and was very good at it.”
Holzman has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom. She has signed a National Letter of Intent to play volleyball on scholarship at the University of Illinois this fall.
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 the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, 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.
Three-time winner Holzman joins Gatorade Louisiana Volleyball Players of the Year Kristen Nuss (2015-16, Mount Carmel Academy), and Katie Kampen (2014-15 & 2013-14, Mount Carmel Academy) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Holzman has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of her choosing. She is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.