Cynthia Barboza Named Girls Gatorade National High School Player of the Year

July 14, 2005

Colorado Springs, Co - Cynthia Barboza is already a household name to citizens of the volleyball world. At Wednesday's ESPN's ESPY Awards at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Calif., Barboza was 'introduced' to the rest of the sports world.

Barboza, who will attend Stanford University and join the nationally-ranked Cardinal women's volleyball team in the Fall of 2005, was presented with the Girls Gatorade National High School Player of the Year award for the 2004-05 season.

An alternate on the 2004 United States Women's Olympic Volleyball Team last summer, Barboza was presented her award by retired soccer star Mia Hamm and WNBA star Lisa Leslie.

'I'm just at a loss for words,' said Barboza, who in January of this year was named the Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year for a second consecutive season, the first volleyball player to achieve that feat. 'It's just such an amazing tradition for me to try to uphold and just seeing where all the athletes who have won it have gone. I'm really pretty excited to see where it takes me.'

Now in their third year, the awards are based on athletic performance, impact on team success and accomplishments. A national sports media panel votes on the winners. NBA star LeBron James and Olympic sprinter Allyson Felix won the inaugural awards. The NBA's Josh Howard and the WNBA's Candace Parker were honored last year.

Barboza graduated from Long Beach Wilson High School this year. Barboza finished her high school career with 2,145 kills, 349 blocks and 152 aces. Her lengthy resume includes 2004 High School Player of the Year by Volleyball Magazine, All-CIF (Southern Section) Division I-AA co-MVP, and four-time first team All-CIF recognition. In 2004, the 6-foot-1 outside hitter/middle blocker averaged 18.3 kills, 1.57 blocks and two aces per match for Long Beach Wilson. Barboza hit an amazing .537 for the season, compiling 14 matches with an attack efficiency greater than .650 and four matches in which she hit better than .800. Her best effort of the season (.840) came against state champion Mira Costa.

In addition, Barboza has already established herself as one of the USA Volleyball's youngest stars. Last summer, Barboza was selected as an alternate for the U.S. Olympic team, and in 2003 was a starter on the USA team that won a bronze medal at the Pan American Games.

Away from the court, Barboza is a straight-A student who is fluent in Spanish, tutors fellow Wilson High School students in Spanish and math, and coaches a girls' youth club volleyball team.

Barboza, along with four other incoming freshman, will join a Cardinal women's volleyball program in the Fall which won the 2004 NCAA title for a sixth time. The Cardinal returns four starters from a team that chalked up a 30-6 record, and swept through six opponents in the post-season to win the national title.

Stanford starts the 2004 campaign on August 26-27 at the AVCA/NACWAA Showcase in Omaha, Ne. The tournament features Stanford, Hawai'i, Nebraska and Penn State. The Cardinal opens the home season September 15-17 at the Stanford Invitational.

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