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Mackenzie Cole honored to gain All-American status in volleyball

Connetquot's Mackenzie Cole bumps the ball during the

Connetquot's Mackenzie Cole bumps the ball during the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class AA girls volleyball championship against Penfield at Glens Falls Civic Center in Glens Falls, New York on Nov. 20, 2016. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Each line on Mackenzie Cole’s resume is more impressive than the last.

The Connetquot girls volleyball standout is a state champion (2015), a member of Newsday’s All-Long Island first team in 2015 and Newsday’s Suffolk Player of the Year in 2016.

The junior libero has already verbally committed to Duke and is a member of the U.S. Girls’ Youth National Training Team. And now she’s an All-American, even though she didn’t even know she was nominated.

“I had no idea,” she said. “My mom sent me the article one day, and that’s how I found out. I was out to lunch with my friends and they were all super congratulating. It was super humbling.”

Cole said it was an honor to be named on the same list as Sante Fe Christian’s Lexi Sun, MaxPreps’ Player of the Year.

As a member of the U.S. Training Team, Cole is exposed to different coaches and trainers. Even after being trained by some of the nation’s top volleyball minds, Cole said Thunderbirds coach Justin Hertz is “part of the reason I was able to receive this award.”

Cole’s goals for her senior season in the fall are lofty. She wants to avenge Connetquot’s loss to Penfield in the state Class AA championship game and improve as much as possible before playing for Duke, where she wants to make an impact right away.

But for now, she’s just happy to be recognized among the top talents in the country.

“Being All-State this year and last year was awesome,” Cole said. “But being All-American is an even higher achievement. It’s definitely a cool thing to receive.”

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