Gysin this week also has been named San Jose-area Player of the Year for the second straight year by the Mercury News. They are two in a long line of accolades for this 6-foot-1 junior superstar, who has been a starter on three consecutive Lancer state title squads. Last year, as a sophomore, Gysin also was named Student Sports National Junior of the Year, first-team all-state by CalHiSports.com, MVP of the state tourney and National Player of the Year by Volleyball Magazine. This year, she was named MVP of the Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions, MVP of the West Coast Athletic League and all-tournament at the Archbishop Mitty National Invitational, the Torrey Pines California Challenge and for the state final, where she had 22 kills and 19 digs.
It was a year in which Gysin led the Lancers in kills with 296 and in digs with 334, but neither the stats nor the accolades showed the kind of complete player she was. She added a devastating jump serve and improved blocking to an already vast skill set, making her a formidable opponent for any team. Bret Almazan-Cezar, the head coach at rival Archbishop Mitty, likened her to NBA all-time great Bill Russell, saying it's not her kills that make her so dangerous, but the rest of her all-around game.
Gysin?s first-year coach, Kim Oden, said that the junior possessed all of the intangibles that add up to a great player.
"She loves competition," Oden said. "She loves to keep the ball off the floor. If there is a go-to player on the other side, she wants to be matched up against her. That's not normal."
"She's strong even though she's not built like muscle-woman," continued Oden. "She's athletic and she's cool under pressure."
Oden, a two-time Olympian who's seen her share of terrific talent, said Gysin's vision and intelligence, above all else, was what set her apart.
"Her court sense is unparalleled," she said. "She grew up on the beach watching her parents play. Her parents really have passed on a lot to her. She loves watching good people play. She can assimilate that kind of information and make the transition from her head to her game. Watching her do that has been fun for me."
Klein has been the architect of Marymount's state-title hat trick. The fifth-year coach inherited a strong program at the small, Los Angeles-area Catholic school nestled below the hills of Bel-Air, and kicked it up a notch, taking the experiences she had as a player at Orange County Volleyball Club and Pepperdine University and putting them to use on a Sailors' program hungry to achieve.
"I think we work harder than anyone else," she said. "I believe you've got to work hard to win. We do all kinds of stuff to get the girls tougher."
Playing in tiny Div. IV, Klein wasn't content having a program that simply beat up on smaller schools. After a couple of years in which she got her feet wet learning the coaching ropes, she challenged her squads to play the toughest tournaments around. "We have to play in the best tourneys," she said. "I want to upset people. That's what's fun for me. Plus I have really good, competitive players with great attitudes."
Last year, Marymount gained national attention when the Sailors barely lost to Torrey Pines in the finals of the California Challenge en route to a 33-4 year and a second state title. Undeterred by the prospect of losing four veteran starters, including two setters who made major contributions at UCLA and Miami this year, Klein set out to construct an even tougher schedule. With a gritty, never say die style inspired by their coach, the Sailors played national champ St. Francis tougher than anyone other than Mitty and won more than their share of big matches in a 31-4 year that netted them a final ranking of 20 in the Student Sports FAB 50.
First Team All-State
Setter: Ashley Dutro, 5-7 Jr., St. Francis (Mountain View)
Middle Blocker: Diane Copenhagen, 6-2 Jr., St. Francis (Mountain View)
Middle Blocker: Jania Motton, 6-1 Sr., Liberty (Bakersfield)
Outside Hitter: Jessica Gysin, 6-1 Jr., St. Francis (Mountain View)
Outside Hitter: Cynthia Barboza, 6-1 Soph., Wilson (Long Beach)
Opposite: Cassandra Kolkka, 6-0 Sr., Buchanan (Clovis)
Defensive Specialist: Courtnay Leonard, 5-4 Sr., Archbishop Mitty (San Jose)
Second Team All-State
Setter: Alli Dillon, 5-8 Sr., Wilson (Long Beach)
Middle Blocker: Brandy Magee, 6-3 Sr., Capistrano Valley (Mission Viejo)
Middle Blocker: Kristin McClune, 6-3 Sr., Newport Harbor (Newport Beach)
Outside Hitter: Amanda Fox, 6-3 Sr., El Molino (Forestville)
Outside Hitter: Becky Green, 6-0 Sr., Marina (Huntington Beach)
Setter/Outside Hitter: Stesha Selsky, 5-9 Jr., Marymount (Los Angeles)
Defensive Specialist: Brianna Galvin, 5-7 Sr., St. Francis (Mountain View)
Third Team All-State
Setter: Crystal Matich, 5-10 Jr., El Molino (Forestville)
Middle Blocker: Rachell Johnson, 6-0 Sr., Torrey Pines (San Diego)
Middle Blocker/Setter: Dyanne Lawlor, 6-2 Sr., Esperanza (Anaheim)
Outside Hitter: Ali Daley, 6-0 OH, Nevada Union (Grass Valley, Calif.)
Outside Hitter: Mallorie Croal, 6-1 Soph., Mater Dei (Santa Ana)
Opposite: Kara Uhl, 5-11 Jr., Los Alamitos
Defensive Specialist: Laura Kroneberger, 5-7 Sr., Los Alamitos
Fourth Team All-State
Setter: Heather Hughes, 6-0 Jr., Fallbrook
Middle Blocker: Noelle Quinn, 6-0 Sr., Bishop Montgomery (Torrance)
Middle Blocker: Katie Turley-Molony, 6-0 Sr., Presentation (San Jose)
Outside Hitter: Kelly Crow, 6-0 Jr., San Ramon Valley
Outside Hitter: Megan Pura, 6-0 Sr., Notre Dame (Salinas)
Opposite: Emily Allen, 5-10 Sr., Archbishop Mitty (San Jose)
Defensive Specialist: Kristin Jackson, 5-4 Jr., Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach)
Fifth Team All-State
Setter: Jessie Shull, 5-6 Sr., Warren (Downey)
Middle Blocker: Virginia Levanas, 6-3 Sr., Marymount (Los Angeles)
Middle Blocker: Christina Kirk, 6-1 Sr., Archbishop Mitty (San Jose)
Outside Hitter: Missie Stidham, 5-11 Jr., Buchanan (Clovis)
Outside Hitter: Alex Fisher, 6-1 Soph., Menlo School (Atherton)
Opposite: Katie Rowell, 5-10 Sr., Los Gatos
Defensive Specialist: Ana Perez, 5-6 Sr., Mater Dei (Santa Ana)
Sixth Team All-State
Setter: Alex Dunphy, 6-0 Sr., Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood)
Middle Blocker: Erin Saltman, 6-3 Sr., La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad)
Middle Blocker: Kelli Tennant, 6-3 Soph., Chaparral (Temecula)
Outside Hitter: Jamie Garbisch, 5-11 Sr., Los Alamitos
Outside Hitter: Sydney Donahue, 5-7 Jr., Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach)
Opposite: Paris Raissina, 5-11 Sr., Presentation (San Jose)
Defensive Specialist: Natalie Bjelejac, 5-5 Jr., Marymount (Los Angeles)
Seventh Team All-State
Setter: Ashley Tarutis, 5-9 Jr., Los Alamitos
Middle Blocker: Kristina Baum, 6-1 Sr., California (Whittier)
Middle Blocker: Kristen Voysen, 6-3 Sr., Quartz Hill (Lancaster)
Outside Hitter: Cori Dayton, 6-0 Jr., Mission Viejo
Outside Hitter: Jodi Hardin, 5-11 Sr., Liberty (Bakersfield)
Opposite: Nicole Read, 6-0 Sr., Bishop Montgomery (Torrance)
Defensive Specialist: Cassie Mosley, 5-5 Sr., Buchanan (Clovis)
Eighth Team All-State
Setter: Caroline Walters, 5-9 Jr., Los Gatos
Middle Blocker: Brett Quirarte, 6-1 Jr., Wilson (Long Beach)
Middle Blocker: Candice Wiggins, 5-11 Jr., La Jolla Country Day (La Jolla)
Outside Hitter: Kim Dabo, 5-10 Sr., San Benito (Hollister)
Outside Hitter: Jenny Ferguson, 5-10 Sr., Pleasant Valley (Chico)
Opposite: Colby Lyman, 6-0 Sr., St. Francis (Mountain View)
Defensive Specialist: Jenna Lofstrom, 5-7 Jr., South Torrance (Torrance)
Senior State Player of the Year: Motton
Junior State Player of the Year: Gysin
Sophomore State Player of the Year: Barboza
Freshman State Player of the Year: Ashley Engle, 6-2 RS, Esperanza (Anaheim)
STATE PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
(All selected by CalHiSports.com)
2002 -- Jessica Gysin (St. Francis, Mountain View) Jr.
2001 -- Lindsay Sherburne (Mitty, San Jose) Sr.
2000 -- Jennifer Saleaumua (Bonita Vista, Chula Vista) Sr.
1999 -- April Ross (Newport Harbor, Newport Beach) Sr.
1998 -- Jennifer Carey (Newport Harbor, Newport Beach) Sr.
1997 -- Nikki Hartley (St. Francis, Mountain View) Sr.
1996 -- Janae Henry (Centennial, Bakersfield) Sr.
1995 -- Kerri Walsh (Mitty, San Jose) Sr.
1994 -- Misty May (Newport Harbor, Newport Beach) Sr.
1993 -- Misty May (Newport Harbor, Newport Beach) Jr.
1992 -- Tanisha Larkin (Poly, Long Beach) Sr.
1991 -- Zrinka Kristich (La Habra) Sr.
1990 -- Missy Clements (La Habra) Sr.
1989 -- Piper Hahn (Mira Costa, Manhattan Beach) Sr.
1988 -- Bev Oden (Irvine) Sr.
1987 -- Jenny Evans (Newport Harbor, Newport Beach) Sr.
1986 -- Keba Phipps (Artesia, Lakewood) Sr.
1985 -- Tara Cross (Southern Calif. Christian, Anaheim) Sr.
1984 -- Elaina Oden (Irvine) Sr.
1983 -- Wendy Rush (Rim of the World, Lake Arrowhead) Sr.
1982 -- Alisa Eischen (Marian Catholic, San Diego) Sr.
1981 -- Kim Oden (Irvine) Sr.
1980 -- Linda Vaughn (Fremont, Sunnyvale) Sr.
1979 -- Necie Thompson (Gahr, Cerritos) Sr.
1978 -- Cheryl Jo Johnson (Newport Harbor, Newport Beach) Sr.
1977 -- Mary Motah (Santa Fe, Santa Fe Springs) Sr.
1976 -- Chris Anderson (Laguna Beach) Sr.
1975 -- Denise Corlett (Marlborough, Los Angeles) Sr.
1974 -- Denise Corlett (Marlborough, Los Angeles) Jr.