Dubuque volleyball player named Gatorade Player of the Year - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque volleyball player named Gatorade Player of the Year

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There are many things you can call Mackenzie May: Mississippi Valley Conference Player of the Year, High School All American, State Champion.

Now you can add one more to the ever growing list: Iowa's Gatorade Player of the Year.

May, who just graduated from Dubuque's Wahlert Catholic High School last week, helped lead the Golden Eagles to their first state title since 2005.

She led the state with 6.8 kills per set, but also excelled off the court.

She posted a 4.09 grade point average and does volunteer work--both those points helping her earn this award.

Of all her accolades, May says this one means the most.

"Now I've been grouped in with so many players that I have looked up to in my past and still now, I look up to. Just knowing that I'm in that group with them is amazing to think of," she said.

May's volleyball career began in earnest when she was just eight years old.

"There was a lot of conversations, put the ball down, before you break something again, please. Because she did always have a ball in her hand," her mother Crystal May said.

Mackenzie's been playing ever since, racking up awards and plenty of experience.

"It truly seems to be the source of her joy. She is so happy. When she's not playing volleyball for a while, there seems to be a cranky withdrawal syndrome that none of us seem to like, so we're happy to send her back to practice," Crystal said.

But May isn't content with what she's accomplished, which also includes a stint on the junior national team last year (she'll try out for this year's team as well). 

She hopes to follow in the footsteps of the last Golden Eagle to be named the Gatorade Player of the Year: Kayla Banwarth.

Banwarth went on to play in the Olympics this past summer, helping the U.S. earn bronze in Rio.

"For me, obviously having the same dream, I just, now I can look at that and see it's possible to reach that," Mackenzie said.

May will head to Los Angeles in June, where she'll be playing both indoor and beach volleyball for UCLA.

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