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Patricia Grippi: Volleyball Captain Sets Up Future Success

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This week's Time Warner Cable Business Class NY1 Scholar Athlete of the Week is proof that practice makes perfect. NY1's Anthony Pascale filed the following report.

Before she even entered elementary school, Patricia Grippi was playing volleyball. She started at four years old, as part of a Catholic Youth Organization team.

"I really had a love for the game at a young age," says Grippi.

All those years of practice paid off. Grippi is captain of the Long Island City High School team and a top-ranked player in the city.

"She led the city in serving, I believe two of the four years she played. This past year, she led the division in assists," says volleyball coach Tommy Lehman.

But Grippi hasn't let this success go to her head.

"She knows she's talented, but she increases the level for the other girls, as well. She uses her experience and helps teach and just build up everybody's skills," says Lehman.

"Everyone starts from the bottom and you build your way back up to the top, and you just keep looking up to the other people ask for help. Practice is what counts," says Grippi.

Grippi is a two-sport star and receives rave reviews from her softball coach, who says she stood out every season.

"She had great dedication, discipline, desire, and in order to be a great and special athlete, you need all three of those," says softball coach Harley Watstein.

The athlete has not forgotten where her love of sports began. She now volunteers to coach CYO teams.

"Teach them how to bump, how to set, how to spike, the game plan, rotation. It makes me feel good helping others knowing I was once in that position," says Grippi.

Despite her busy after school schedule, Grippi excels in advanced placement courses.

"If I had to stay up late and do homework or study for a test, school always came first," says Grippi.

"I was fortunate to have a student like Patti because she appreciates her teachers, she respects her classmates, she's a role model here at Long Island City High School," says U.S. history teacher Sophia Kiriakes.

Grippi will enter a nursing program at Queensborough Community College this fall.

"Going to the hospital and volunteering at times, I could see that's something I'm passionate about," she says.

So, for working hard to set herself up for success, Patricia Grippi is this week's Time Warner Cable Business Class NY1 Scholar Athlete of the Week.

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