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New Orleans — Mount Carmel Academy senior, Ellie Holzman, was surprised at school Wednesday with the news that she had been named the Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year. During lunch, her teammates came in and helped present her with the award.

“I didn’t expect this,” Holzman said. “I would never expect this in any life. It’s an incredible honor and I couldn’t thank everyone enough for helping me get here.”

Holzman, who’s committed to play volleyball for the University of Illinois, had already won the Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of the Louisiana three times. Gatorade honors one student athlete in each of the 50 states, plus Washington D.C. in 12 different sports, and of those 607 state winners, they select one national winner for each of the 12 sports. Holzman was named the top volleyball player in the nation and is now one of just 12 in the entire country—and first ever from Louisiana– to earn the national honor. Of the 12 national winners, they now select just two– one male and one female winner– who will be named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year.

“It is nice and it’s not just me getting this recognition,” Holzman said. “It’s my friends. It’s my family. It’s my coaches. It’s my teammates, because I would be no where without them.”

The Cubs volleyball team just won their 5th-straight state championship this past season, capping-off an incredible high school career for Holzman, who has 4 volleyball state titles under her belt.

The Gatorade National Player of the Year honor also takes into account academics and community service. Holzman holds a 4.0 GPA and has also volunteered at volleyball and basketball camps throughout high school.