D-NH's Petersen selected as Gatorade Player of the Year

Dike-New Hartford’s Payton Petersen, pictured here serving during the 2022 state volleyball tournament, earned the Gatorade Iowa Volleyball Player of the Year award last week. (Jake Ryder photo)
Jake Ryder
The Grundy Register

Dike-New Hartford junior Payton Petersen was named Gatorade’s Iowa Volleyball Player of the Year for the 2022-23 season in a press release sent last week.

Petersen is the second D-NH student-athlete to be chosen for the award in its 38-year history - Hannah Willms received the honor in 2009.

The award recognizes high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character on and off the court, in addition to athletic excellence. Petersen is a finalist for Gatorade’s national award of the same name and joins Kora Ruff of Pleasant Valley, Phyona Schrader of Ankeny, Akacia Brown of Cedar Falls and Madi Kubik of West Des Moines Valley among the recent recipients of the award in past years.

The 5-foot-11 junior outside hitter amassed 515 kills by way of a .491 kill percentage and a .366 hitting percentage, and added 298 digs this past season, leading the Wolverines (45-3) to the Class 2A state championship match. Petersen also recorded 64 service aces, 51 blocks and 30 assists. A MaxPreps Second Team All-American selection, Petersen is ranked as the nation’s No. 76 recruit in the Class of 2024 by PrepDig.com. She concluded her junior year with 1,542 kills and 1,066 digs in her prep volleyball career.

“Payton Petersen is one of the most mentally tough kids I have ever seen,” said Jodi Vogt, head coach of Waukee Northwest High School. “She has one of the highest volleyball IQs of any kid I have seen and she consistently shows up to play. She is an all-around great player.

Petersen has maintained a 3.99 GPA in the classroom. She has made a verbal commitment to play volleyball on scholarship at the University of Louisville beginning in the fall of 2024.

Petersen is also a member of the D-NH student council, plays saxophone in the school’s concert and jazz bands and volunteered locally as part of fundraising campaigns for the American Red Cross and cancer research. She has also donated her time as a youth volleyball and basketball coach.

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and others as sources to help evaluate and determine the state winners in each sport.

Being a Gatorade Player of the Year means paying it forward for the next generation. Through Gatorade’s Play it Forward initiative, every Player of the Year receives a grant to give to one of Gatorade’s social impact partners, supporting Gatorade’s ambition to fuel the future of sport. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $3.5 million across more than 1,300 organizations.


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