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By land or by sea: St. Paul’s senior Reynolds dominating prep school scene

  • St. Paul’s School senior Catherine Reynolds takes a swing at a ball during a volleyball match this fall in Concord. Rich Miyara / NH Sports Photography

  • Catherine Reynolds (9) celebrates with teammates during a St. Paul’s School volleyball match this fall. Rich Miyara / NH Sports Photography

  • Catherine Reynolds (9) celebrates with teammates during a St. Paul’s School volleyball match this fall. Rich Miyara / NH Sports Photography

  • Catherine Reynolds sets the ball during a St. Paul’s School volleyball match this fall. Rich Miyara / NH Sports Photography

  • St. Paul’s School senior Catherine Reynolds (second from right) rows with the girls’ crew team during a race with Exeter last spring. Karen Bobotas / Courtesy of St. Paul’s School athletics



Monitor staff
Sunday, December 02, 2018

She holds three different volleyball records at St. Paul’s School, became the first player in program history to surpass 1,000 career assists and helped the Big Red reach the New England Prep School Athletic Conference Class A Tournament four straight times.

Oh, and she can hold her own in a boat, too.

By land or by sea, St. Paul’s senior Catherine Reynolds is dominating the prep school scene.

This past fall, playing under her father, Scott Reynolds, Catherine put a bow on her final volleyball season with another Final Four trip and another NEPSAC First-Team selection. When spring rolls around, she’ll man first boat for the school’s defending champion rowing team.

“Volleyball and crew are two very different sports,” Catherine said. “I got into crew my freshman year and it’s been a great experience. It’s a very different sport and teaches a lot of discipline, grit, and things that have definitely helped me kind of increase my level of competition in volleyball.”

In the gym, Reynolds is a masterful orchestrator of the offense, running the show as a setter at St. Paul’s for the last four years.

She’s the school’s record holder in career games played (230), service aces (190) and assists (1,200), all while leading the Big Red to a 58-19 overall record during her four seasons.

“She came from Concord High as the libero, a defensive player, but I knew she was capable of setting and we needed a good one,” said Scott, the longtime volleyball coach at St. Paul’s who got the chance to coach his daughter for the first time at the high school level. “She transitioned from being a defensive player to being our offensive leader as the setter and she took to it pretty quickly.”

Quicker than even he expected.

“She honestly exceeded any of my hopes,” the elder Reynolds said. “I knew she would be a competent setter. I didn’t realize she would be probably one of the top setters in New England.”

But that’s exactly what Catherine began to blossom into as a player, partly from her experience in the NEPSAC league, and partly from her time with the Capital Region Volleyball Club playing alongside some of the best talent the state has to offer for the last seven years.

“She has the ability to make everybody around her play significantly better just by the way she plays,” said Renee Zobel, who coaches Reynolds on the club’s U18 Open team. “Volleyball is a thinking sport and her position is kind of like a quarterback where you’re making all the decisions. To see her really embrace the sport and playing that chess match from that position, making very fast and smart decisions, that’s one thing that really sets her apart and makes her, in my opinion, one of the best setters we have in New Hampshire.”

In the water, Reynolds is the same fierce and intellectual competitor.

Required by St. Paul’s to participate in one sport per term as an underclassmen, Reynolds took to the rowing team during her freshman year and almost immediately produced favorable results.

In May, with Reynolds in the five seat on the first boat, the Big Red defended their New England title and hoisted the Kenneth F. Burns Trophy for the second straight year at the New England Interscholastic Rowing Association held in Worcester, Mass.

“I was really surprised that I was actually good at it,” Catherine said. “Crew has taught me so much and I’ve grown so much from it. Last year I was on first (boat), the year before I was on second (boat), but it’s honestly not something that I love to do. I appreciate the workout it gives me and the discipline it teaches, but it’s definitely not my passion where with volleyball I look forward to practice every day.”

Her multisport talent, paired with her academics will have the St. Paul’s senior on the campus of Worcester Polytechnic Institute next fall.

She will continue to play volleyball and may even still row, but that’s not what’s driving her.

“I didn’t really understand the concept of a technical institute until I visited campus,” Catherine said. “The project-based learning and the different things you learn to apply to real-life experiences really appealed to me. All of the research opportunities and career resources they offered really just made me fall in love with the school.”