State Stories


St. Francis' Molly Haggerty Named Gatorade Illinois Volleyball Player of the Year

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St. Francis junior standout Molly Haggerty, who has already been a part of three state title teams in her career, was named the Gatorade Illinois Player of the Year. Click here to see Haggerty's player profile page on the Gatorade website. The press release, courtesy of Gatorade, announcing Haggerty's award is provided below:

In its 30th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Molly Haggerty of St. Francis High School as its 2014-15 Gatorade Illinois Volleyball Player of the Year. Haggerty is the first Gatorade Illinois Volleyball Player of the Year to be chosen from St. Francis High School.

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 Haggerty as Illinois’s best high school volleyball player. Haggerty joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including USA Volleyball players Kim Glass (2001-02, Horseshoe HS, Penn.), Kim Willoughby (1998-99, 1999-00, Assumption HS, La.) and Ogonna Nnamani (1999-00, University HS, Ill).

The 6-foot-2 junior outside hitter led the Spartans to a 38-4 record and the Class 3A state title this past season. Haggerty slammed 381 kills with 152 digs, 53 blocks and 20 service aces while posting a .540 kill percentage. The 2014 News-Gazette All-State Volleyball Player of the Year, she racked up nine kills in the title-clinching win over Joliet Catholic, including both set-point winners.

Haggerty has maintained a 3.31 GPA in the classroom. She has volunteered locally on behalf of Feed My Starving Children and the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation in addition to donating her time to a holiday toy drive at her school.

“Molly Haggerty is a phenomenal all-around player,” said Alison Williams, head coach at Wauconda High. “She is the best high school player that I have seen in a long time. She is built like a college athlete, with a strong physique and a powerful but effortless swing. She is a smart player who can make a play for her team when needed.”

Haggerty has verbally committed to play volleyball on scholarship at the University of Nebraska beginning in the fall of 2016.

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 high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, 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.

Haggerty joins recent Gatorade Illinois Volleyball Players of the Year Ali Frantti (2013-14, Richmond-Burton Community High School), Lauren Carlini (2012-13, West Aurora High School), Alexis Viliunas (2011-12, Lyons Township High School), Kelly Lamberti (2010-11, Cary-Grove High School), Annemarie Hickey (2009-10, Joilet Catholic Academy), Hannah Werth (2008-09, Glenwood) and Kelly Murphy (2007-08, Joliet Catholic Academy) among the state’s list of former award winners.