Ashley Grubler is the best Grubler now.
She and her sister Mallory each enjoyed memorable volleyball careers at Cardozo, dominant tenures that include city championship and division titles.
On June 11 at the Brooklyn Marriott, however, Ashley separated herself from her older sister when she won the Wingate Award — given to the top senior in each sport — for girls’ volleyball, an honor her sister never achieved.
“My sister never got one,” said Ashley, the New York Post’s All-City girls’ volleyball Player of the Year. “I wanted to beat her. It means a lot. Now it’s in the Grubler house.”
It was a memorable senior year for Ashley, who led Cardozo to a second straight city championship. The Bayside native had 19 kills in a victory over Susan Wagner in the semis and 13 kills in the championship match against rival Francis Lewis to cap a magical career. Even more importantly, the senior became a leader, the key to the Judges’ playoff run after an uneven regular season.
Before the playoffs, Coach Danny Scarola talked with his star about not just leading her teammates with her powerful swings on the court, but taking the pressure off of them. She was hard on herself and that attitude wasn’t beneficial. In the postseason, she cut out the negativity, encouraging teammates and her play, in addition to theirs, picked up as a result.
“She knows she had to take on more of a vocal role and I knew she had it in her,” Scarola said previously. “It’s great to watch high school kids finally realize they had it in them and they all of a sudden take it upon themselves to do that.”
Ashley added: “It was exactly how I pictured my senior year and more because I won the award.”
“It was an honor, to be among so many really, really good athletes and be one of them,” she said. “It was fun. It was very rewarding. My hard work paid off.”
Ashley is headed to Penn State, where she may walk-on. She hasn’t decided yet, because her major — veterinary and biomedical sciences — may be too demanding. She exchanged e-mails with the program’s coaches in the fall, so there is still an option.
No matter what happens, Ashley will always have her four years at Cardozo, the two city titles and the Wingate Award. She’ll also have the edge on Mallory as well.
“Having a champion and the Wingate, it gives me bragging rights even though she had a fantastic four years,” Ashley said. “I don’t know if she’s jealous. I haven’t asked. She was real proud of me.”
©2012 Community News Group
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