SOMA Star Athlete: Grace Petroccia

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Grace Petroccia, of Maplewood, is a senior at Columbia High School, where she is a senior captain on the school’s girls’ volleyball team. She began playing volleyball during her freshman year and became a setter. She used to play softball, basketball and soccer as well, but is now focused on just volleyball. And that focus and hard work has yielded results: Earlier this month, she reached 500 assists, a milestone she had greatly been looking forward to.


When did you first get involved with volleyball?

I got involved in volleyball during the summer going into my freshman year in 2015.


What is your favorite memory from participating in volleyball?

My favorite memory has to be meeting all of my phenomenal teammates — ones that are still with me, and those that graduated. There’s a special bond that comes with being someone’s teammate, and I wouldn’t want to have that bond with anyone else except this amazing group of strong women.


What do you like to do for fun when you aren’t on the court?

When I’m not on the court, I love to spend time with my friends.


Do you serve overhand or underhand? Why do you go with that style?

I serve overhand, mostly because that is the style that my coach, Juan Bas, prefers. I also think that an overhand serve provides more power.


Do you have any superstitions relating to volleyball?

I think that I play better when I have my red ribbon in my hair. I don’t know why, maybe I think it gives me some sort of power.


If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I would go to Greenland. Something about it is so appealing to me.


What is something that most people probably don’t know about you?

People often don’t know how much I love to watch documentaries. It’s my dream to direct one.


Is there any specific music you listen to to get pumped up for a game?

I usually let my teammates choose, but the music I listen to before a game varies depending on what mood I’m in. But my go-to is definitely rap.