Prep Volleyball Player of the Year: Jackson's Emmy Allen
When Jackson needed a point this season it turned to the junior outside hitter, who is looking forward to bigger things next season
It is hard to believe that she is only a junior.
Now Allen has one more honor that she can add to the list: The Herald's All-Area Player of the Year as voted on by the coaches, fans and Herald staff.
After losing in their opening match of the season to Burlington-Edison, the Timberwolves breezed through the competition into the state tournament before falling in the semifinals to Olympia, who went on to win the state championship.
For The Herald's volleyball All-Area first and second teams, click here
"Obviously it didn't end the way we wanted it to," Allen said. "It's always hard after winning not to get anything other than first, but we had a really young team. We didn't have any seniors and I think we made a huge improvement throughout the year."
With only one year left in her high school career, the goal remains the same for Allen.
"I just want to win state," Allen said. "I just want to win state my senior year.
"Individually and as a team I just want to dominate."
Allen and the rest of her Jackson teammates might have the opportunity to do just that as the Timberwolves return every player next season, which undoubtedly will make them one of, if not the, favorite to win it all next season.
The depth of the Timberwolves is certainly their strength.
"It's not like I am on a team that has just one player," Allen said. "Our whole entire team is just solid."
But Allen is the player that the Timberwolves look to most when the team needs a crucial point and she has made a habit out of coming through in those situations.
"Emmy is a really consistent player," Ashley Allen said. "She was last year and was even more so this year. I think that is one of her biggest improvements.
"It was nice to have that. She has been working a lot on her physicality. She has gotten a lot stronger, a lot more endurance, she is jumping a lot higher. I think that has made a huge difference in her game."
Allen's game speaks for itself, but with other great players in the area it stands to reason that how far the Timberwolves got in the playoffs helped Allen secure this award. And she doesn't have any shortage of compliments for her teammates who helped her get it.
"I'm super proud of my team," Allen said. "I love my team. Everyone on our team is committed. Everyone is in there for the same goal. Sometimes you will get on a team where some people have mixed feelings about it or not everyone wants it as bad and every single person on our team wanted to win and had that drive to do that."
Ashley Allen can provide an interesting perspective on Emmy's accomplishments as her sister.
"As her sister I'm proud of here because I have been through all of this," Coach Allen said. "I certainly never attained as many awards as she has and she is only a junior.
"She has completely blown away expectations that I've set if you want to put it that way and just way surpassed what I was ever able to do. It really comes down to her work ethic. She has put in a lot of time. She has worked really hard to get to where she is, so I certainly think she deserves it."
Everything that Emmy has accomplished on the court has already gotten her several looks from many different colleges. She has not made any decisions yet and said it changes from day to day. But as of now she has five schools she considers her favorites -- San Diego, Colorado State, Washington State University, the University of Southern California and Oregon State University.
She is still struggling to come to a decision, but said she wants to have one made by January.
But before she steps foot on a college court, she still has one more season at Jackson.
Winning another state title is the goal, but what is the greater motivator, remembering the success of her sophomore year, or coming up short as a junior?
"Losing, I hate losing," Allen said.
And luckily for the Allen sisters and fans of Jackson volleyball the Timberwolves return their entire experienced, talented team for one more shot at the crown.
Coach Allen said that it is the surrounding cast that gives Jackson the best chance to win.
"If Emmy was the only player on the team, it's not going to be a good team," Allen said. "You have to have a bunch of good players."
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