COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 22, 2018) – Thayer Hall, a standout member of the 2017 U.S. Women’s Junior National Team, was presented the 2017-18 Gatorade National High School Volleyball Player of the Year honor on Monday.
Hall was presented the award in a surprise celebration. April Ross, a two-time Olympic Games beach volleyball medalist (silver in 2012, bronze in 2016) and 2009 FIVB World Champion, made the official presentation in front of Hall and her family.
Hall led Dorman High School (South Carolina) to a 43-6-1 record in 2017, culminating in the South Carolina Class 5A state championship. She recorded 638 kills, 361 digs, 43 aces and 36 blocks during her senior season.
As part of the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team in 2017, Hall was named the most valuable player of the Women’s U20 Pan American Cup as Team USA won gold. She was later selected to compete in the FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship as the only high school player on the U.S. roster. Hall scored 68 points in the World Championship event as the Americans finished in seventh place.
“Thayer is certainly deserving of this prestigious award,” said USA Volleyball Senior Director Tom Pingel, who served as team leader for the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team in 2017. “Clearly, she is a very gifted athlete who has only scratched the surface of her volleyball potential. Her future is very bright.”
Winning takes work, sweat and grit. Meet @HallThayer02, the 2017-2018 Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year. #GatoradePOY https://t.co/os5gspZdEd pic.twitter.com/aLazBabokX
— Gatorade (@Gatorade) January 22, 2018
The Gatorade award recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Hall has maintained a weighted 4.94 grade point average in the classroom.
Hall has demonstrated her leadership off the court as well. She attends youth volleyball club practices near her hometown of Moore, South Carolina, in order to instruct and to inspire young volleyball players to go after their dreams and to boost their confidence. Hall volunteers locally on behalf of a soup kitchen, the Special Olympics, the Carolina Miracle League and her church. She is a member of the Beta Club and the National Honor Society, and volunteers her time to read to children at local elementary schools in her school district.
Hall, which has earned the state-level Gatorade Player of the Year award three times, will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a $1,000 grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program.
Hall has signed a national letter of intent to play at the University of Florida starting this fall.