The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court, distinguishes Rubin as California’s best high school volleyball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year award to be announced in January, Rubin joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners, including USA Volleyball players Kayla Banwarth (2006-07, Wahlert High School, Iowa), Alisha Glass (2005-06, Leland Public High School, Mich.), Jordan Larson (2004-05, Logan View High School, Neb.) and Foluke Akinradewo (2004-05, St. Thomas High School, Fla.).
The 6-foot-1 senior outside hitter led the Sailors to a 35-0 record, the state Open Division championship and PrepVolleyball.com’s No. 1 national ranking this past season. Rubin recorded 396 kills, 226 digs, 47 service aces, and 38 blocks. The MaxPreps National Player of the Year, she is a two-time All-State selection and the two-time Mission League MVP. She is ranked as the nation’s No. 10 prospect in the Class of 2022 by PrepVolleyball.com and played in the 2021 Under Armour All-America Game.
Rubin has raised funds to benefit cancer and brain tumor research and has volunteered locally on behalf of the Ocean Park Community Center. “I’ve been coaching against Elia Rubin since she was 11 years old and she is one of the best athletes I’ve ever seen,” said Rachel Morris, head coach at La Costa Canyon High School. “Besides her physical ability, her volleyball IQ and understanding of the game is top-notch, better than many coaches.”
Rubin has maintained a weighted 4.12 GPA in the classroom. She has signed a National Letter of Intent to play volleyball on scholarship at Stanford University this fall.
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.
Rubin joins recent Gatorade California Volleyball Players of the Year Jessica Smith (2020-21, Aliso Niguel High School), Mia Tuaniga (2019-20, Mater Dei High School), Natalie Berty (2018-19, Mater Dei High School), and Devon Chang (2017-18, Santa Margarita Catholic High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.
Gatorade has a long-standing history of serving athlete communities and understands how sports instill valuable lifelong skills on and off the field. Through Gatorade’s “Play it Forward” platform, Rubin has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national organization of their choosing that helps young athletes realize the benefits of playing sports. Rubin is also eligible to submit a short video explaining why the organization they chose is deserving of one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants, which will be announced throughout the year. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants has totaled more than $3.5 million across more than 1,300 organizations.
Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners, and educators.