For the third time in five seasons, a Lewis-Palmer athlete has captured the coveted Colorado Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year award.
Senior setter McKenna Sciacca was announced as this year’s winner the morning of Jan. 14.
“I was getting ready for school, and my dad kept coming into my room and telling me to read my email,” Sciacca said. “When I read it, I was awestruck.
“I did not think I would win this award. It was one of my goals and I am so honored.”
The award recognizes outstanding athletic excellence, high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court.
Sciacca, a 5-foot-11 senior who will play for the University of Northern Colorado this fall, helped the Rangers to a 28-1 record and their third consecutive Class 4A state championship in November. She recorded 829 assists, 246 digs, 64 service aces and 39 blocks.
She was named the CHSAA 4A Player of the Year and was also a prepvolleyball.com All-American.
Off the court, Sciacca has assisted in an elementary school classroom and has volunteered locally on behalf of youth volleyball programs.
Sciacca has maintained a 3.48 GPA.
She won three state championships with the Rangers from 2016-18. The teams were 86-1 over that stretch.
Sciacca joins Alexa Smith (2014) and Michaela Putnicki (2016) — a teammate of Sciacca’s — as the other Lewis-Palmer winners of the award.
Smith — who had a stellar collegiate career for Purdue and Colorado, and played two seasons with Putnicki (2015-16) — was a source of admiration for Sciacca.
“I looked up to Alexa, and Michaela was amazing to play with,” Sciacca said. “I never thought I’d be joining them as winners of this award.”
Sciacca is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year award, to be announced later this month.
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia for a variety of sports: football, girls’ volleyball, boys’ and girls’ cross-country, boys’ and girls’ basketball, boys’ and girls’ soccer, baseball, softball and boys’ and girls’ track and field. The state winners are then in the running for the national awards for each sport.
The Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee administers the selection process. The committee works with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep-sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Other non-Rangers winners of the volleyball award from Colorado include: Keeley Davis (2017, Rock Canyon), Shannon Webb (2015, Cherokee Trail), and Haleigh Washington (2013, Doherty).
Sciacca is the fifth Lewis-Palmer athlete to win Gatorade Player of the Year, joining Smith, Putnicki, Josh Scott (basketball, 2012) and Paul Tillotson (baseball (2016).