Mt. Lebanon's Grattan named volleyball player of the year

| Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, 10:38 p.m.

Player of the year

Caroline Grattan

Mt. Lebanon, Senior outside hitter

Mt. Lebanon's Caroline Grattan has been quite overwhelmed with all the attention she has received for her volleyball play during her senior year. An all-section, all-WPIAL and all-state player, the Temple recruit led the Blue Devils to the WPIAL Class AAA championship this season.

On Monday night, she added another treasured honor to her resume, one that will stick with her. Grattan, along with football player Aaron Pavlik, received the school's Honor the Game Award.

“It's given to one female and male player out of all the fall sports,” said Grattan, who carries a 5.0 grade-point average. “It's an award for kids who not only demonstrate skill in their sport but the ability to influence young players, show sportsmanship and be a leader.

“It felt really great. Senior year has been a little overwhelming for me with everything that's been happening. I was really excited about it.”

Mt. Lebanon coach Jeff Schilling lauded Grattan's physical gifts and ability to play well above the net thanks to her 6-foot frame and leaping ability. He also cited her volleyball IQ and ability to understand shot making and how to read attackers on the other side of the net.

“We're not anywhere near where we finished without her on our squad,” Schilling said.

For her efforts on the court this season, Grattan has been selected as the Tribune-Review's girls volleyball player of the year.

How did it feel to win the WPIAL title this year?

Nobody really realized it was a possibility for us to come out as strong as we did. I put in a lot of hard work. Winning that WPIAL title was a chance to be able to show not only my school but our team and the other schools that we put a lot of work into it.

What did it take to have the success your team did this year?

Developing the younger players was a huge part of wining WPIAL. We had a lot of younger girls who had to step up this year. We had to get them to focus and get them comfortable playing on a varsity court.

When you were an underclassmen, who helped you develop?

I had a chance to play with some great volleyball players. My junior year, Lauren Dadowski was the other outside hitter. She really helped me develop my skills and taught me how the game works. Seeing her as a positive role model helped me fill that role.

How did it feel to be named all-state?

It was really surprising and just a really great honor to be accepted as one of the top 50 players in the state. I didn't have words when I found out. It was very overwhelming.

What are some of your strengths on the court?

I think just paying attention to the game in general. Volleyball is a very mental game. It's easy to get sucked into the emotional aspect of it. One of my strengths is just to recognize what's going on, how I can help the situation, and then keeping the energy up and keeping the momentum going.

What will you miss most about high school volleyball?

Being able to bond with everyone is a great opportunity. You become really attached with kids you meet. Building that emotional bond is something I'll really miss.

What did you like about Temple?

It's got such great people and is in such a great city. I'll be able to discover more about myself and get to know different types of people. I like that I'm staying on the East Coast. The coach is such a nice guy and is willing to work with me. It was a perfect fit for me.

What can you expect playing at the Division I level?

I know I'll have to work very hard and grow a lot my first year as a freshman player. I'm excited to see what it's all about.

What are you involved with outside of volleyball?

I play ultimate Frisbee in the spring.

How did you get started playingvolleyball?

My sister (Olivia) started when she was in sixth grade. I have always been tall. She told me I should try out. By the time high school came around, I realized all I wanted to do was play volleyball.

Who are your role models and why?

My sister was a big role model for me. When I was a freshman, I had just moved from Churchill and I was at Sacred Heart before then. Seeing her develop so well on the team, being able to see her perform so well, that was a really great inspiration for me.

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