COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Gatorade announced that Rock Bridge's Ella Swindle is the 2021-22 Missouri Volleyball Player of the Year on Tuesday morning.
The award recognizes a player with both academic and athletic excellence. Swindle will join elite company on the winners list, including USA volleyball players Kayla Banwarth, Alisha Glass, Jordan Larson, and more.
The 6-foot-2 setter has already committed to playing volleyball at the University of Texas in a little over a year. She finished her junior season with 690 assists, 173 digs, and led the Bruins to the semifinal round of the state championship. As one of USA Volleyball's Under-18 Women's Team alternates in the summer before her junior season, Swindle is ranked as the No. 8 recruit in the nation for the class of 2023.
Swindle also has managed to maintain a 4.0 GPA in the classrooms of Rock Bridge High School.
The ABC17 Sports team caught up with Swindle during her junior season. You can watch that story in the video player below.
As a result of the honor, through Gatorade's "Play it Forward," platform, Swindle will have the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national organization of her that choosing that helps young athletes realize the benefits of playing sports. Swindle is also eligible to submit a short video explaining why the organization she chose is deserving of one of 12 $10,000 spotlight grants.