Latrobe volleyball player headed to George Mason
TribLIVE Sports Videos
It was three years ago that a self-proclaimed gangly and uncoordinated kid named Garrett Kollar didn't make the Latrobe basketball team. With a desire to stay active and at the behest of friends, he started attending open gym tryouts for volleyball, a sport he never played before.
Fast forward to the present and that uncoordinated kid is now a 6-6 senior and Division I recruit after Kollar gave a verbal commitment Nov. 23 to play middle hitter at George Mason University. Now able to look back at everything that happened in the past few years, Kollar still can't believe that showing up for volleyball tryouts on a whim blossomed into a life-changing event.
“I ended up falling in love with it,” he said. “Each year I just kept working harder and harder and it ended up taking me here. I guess things worked out perfectly. If I didn't get cut from that basketball team, I wouldn't have been able to be here, and I'm very happy where I'm at now.”
Kollar said his first priority when selecting a school was academics. He is ranked in the top 10 percent of his class and takes advanced placement physics, calculus and computer science. He wants to major in engineering.
Kollar was offered a partial academic scholarship and the chance to compete for an additional athletic scholarship. He said the team only has four and a half full scholarships and those are divvied out to the starters.
He can't sign a letter of intent until February, but said he is “locked in” with the Patriots, who he chose over Juniata, Nazareth and Springfield College.
“Anytime you can make that decision before your season starts, you can take a little breather and just play your game,” Latrobe coach Drew Vosefski said. “It's funny at the high school level; it gives you confidence but also puts a target on your back.
“Garrett's the kind of person that regardless of what his accolades are, he's going to prove to everyone he deserves what he's got.”
Kollar is excited to play at the next level, but his immediate focus is finishing his high school career strong. Last season he had 85 kills, 25 blocks and 10 aces.
“It's not like I tell myself I don't need to get any better,” he said. “I still have a long way to go and know I have a lot to improve on.”
That attitude has carried him to this point and he hopes even further.
“I know that with more training and the attention my play style will get from (George Mason) coach (Fred) Chao and (assistant) Eli (Porr), I will be able to hang with the D-1 guys,” Kollar said.
After everything he has proved so far, it's hard not to believe him.
Ed Phillipps is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers not limiting themselves in free agency
- Big names become available this week via free agency; will Steelers be tempted?
- Blaze rips through Salem house
- Under Rutherford, it’s been a sizeable shakeup for Penguins
- Burnett’s farewell tour wishlist has just 1 item: Pirates World Series
- ‘Shark Tank’ companies have change of heart
- Winnik impresses Penguins in first workout
- Buffet: Berkshire’s built to last
- Faithful stand together in Wilkinsburg
- More departments in region eye equipping officers with Narcan to treat overdoses
- Penguins’ Kunitz makes a dream come true