Ellie Holzman Gatorade national POY: Ellie Holzman of Mount Carmel Academy in New Orleans is the 2018-19 Gatorade national volleyball player of the year.

Holzman, a 6-foot-1 outside hitter, led her team to its fourth consecutive Division I (Class 5A) state title. She has signed with Illinois and told VBM she will move to Champaign in June after graduating from the Catholic all-girls high school.

Holzman, the first Louisiana player to win the award, was surprised by her prep teammates during her lunch hour Wednesday.

Mount Carmel finished 42-2 this past season as Holzman had 571 kills, 303 digs, 101 blocks and 30 aces. Holzman won the Gatorade Louisiana player-of-the-year award three times.

Last year’s winner was Thayer Hall of South Carolina, who was a standout freshman at Florida this past season. The only two-time winner since the award was first given in 1996 to Kerri Walsh is Cynthia Barboza. Other winners include Logan Tom, April Ross, Megan Hodge, Alix Klineman, Kelly Murphy, Krista Vansant, Lauren Carlini, Mikaela Foecke, and Khalia Lanier.

Click here for Gatorade’s complete news release, including a video about Holzman.

FIVB women’s Olympic groupings set: USA Volleyball announced Wednesday that the FIVB has officially announced groupings for the first stage of the 2020 Olympic Games qualification process for both men’s and women’s indoor volleyball.

It was explained that the Intercontinental Olympic Qualification Tournament will be broken down into six pools of four teams per gender. The winner of each round-robin pool will earn a spot in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

The USA women, ranked third in the world, are in a pool with Argentina, Bulgaria and Kazakhstan and will play in a tournament August 2-4.

The USA men, ranked second, are in a pool with Belgium, Netherlands and Korea. The tournament will be August 9-11.

Tournament hosts are up for bid.

USA Volleyball added that the Olympic qualification process continues in January 2020 for those countries that did not win their respective intercontinental qualification pool. Each of the five continental confederations (NORCECA-North America/Central America and Caribbean, AVC-Asia, CAVB-Africa, CEV-Europe and CSV-South America) will organize their own Olympic Qualification Tournament to advance one team per gender to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Click here for the compete USA Volleyball news release.

Women’s pools (# in parenthesis represents current world ranking)
Pool A: Serbia (#1), Puerto Rico (#13), Thailand (#14), Poland (#26)
Pool B: China (#2), Turkey (#12), Germany (#15), Czech Republic (#24)
Pool C: USA (#3), Argentina (#11), Bulgaria (#16), Kazakhstan (#23)
Pool D: Brazil (#4), Dominican Republic (#10), Cameroon (#17), Azerbaijan (#22)
Pool E: Russia (#5), Korea (#9), Canada (#18), Mexico (#21)
Pool F: Netherlands (#7), Italy (#8), Belgium (#19), Kenya (#20)
Men’s pools (# in parenthesis represents current world ranking)
Pool A: Brazil (#1), Egypt (#13), Bulgaria (#14), Puerto Rico (#24T)
Pool B: USA (#2), Belgium (#12), Netherlands (#15), Korea (#24T)
Pool C: Italy (#3), Serbia (#10), Australia (#16), Cameroon (#23)
Pool D: Poland (#4), France (#9), Slovenia (#17), Tunisia (#22)
Pool E: Russia (#5), Iran (#8), Cuba (#18), Mexico (#21)
Pool F: Canada (#6), Argentina (#7), Finland (#19), China (#20)

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