Kenai Central's Emma Beck attacks against Seward's Mikinley Williams and Robin Cronin on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023, at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai’s Beck named Gatorade Alaska Volleyball Player of the Year

Kenai Central senior Emma Beck was named the 2023-24 Gatorade Alaska Volleyball Player of the Year on Monday.

The Gatorade website has its Alaska volleyball players of the year going all the way back to 1995-96. Beck is the first player from the Kenai Peninsula to win the award.

According to a press release, the Gatorade award recognizes those who excel not just in athletics, but also in the classroom and the community.

Beck had a strong case in all three areas.

The Kardinals went 21-1 this season in full length matches and won their second straight Class 3A state championship — the only two volleyball championships in Kenai Central’s history.

Beck was at the center of it all, with the press release saying she finished with 810 kills, an average of 5.9 per set. Beck also had 352 digs, 100 aces, 90 blocks and 62 assists. She also was the Most Outstanding Hitter at Class 3A state.

“Her volleyball IQ is off the charts,” Mountain City Christian Academy coach Serge Duchatellier said in a released statement. “Not only could she hammer the ball from the right side, but she was also acutely aware that she could tip it over the block just as easily.

“She caused havoc for my defenders and also played well on the back row.”

In Beck’s four-year career, the Kardinals lost only three full-length matches.

The Gatorade award follows some other prestigious national awards for Beck.

On Oct. 25, Beck was one of 747 athletes, and one of six Alaskans, given the American Volleyball Coaches Association Best and Brightest First Team award. Athletes must excel on and off the court, with a 3.8 unweighted grade-point average required for the first team.

On Nov. 1, Emma was one of two Alaskans to make the AVCA All-Region Team. Alaska is in Region 10, along with Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.

That made Emma eligible for the AVCA High School All-America Team and on Nov. 8 Emma made the High School All-America Third Team. There are 50 girls on the first team, 50 girls on the second team and 50 girls on the third team.

In the classroom, Beck has a 4.0 grade-point average. She also is the student body president.

In the community, the release said Beck has volunteered locally to help support cancer research and has served as a middle school volleyball coach.

Beck intends to play volleyball in college, but still has not made a college selection.

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