Academic All-Star: Catelyn Linke - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Academic All-Star: Catelyn Linke

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 For Pasco Bulldog Catelyn Linke, age ain't nothing' but a number.  The sophomore has taken over as serious asset for the school's volleyball program this year.

"I don't see myself as younger.  I feel like we're all playing volleyball.  We've all played this sport for a long time, and I'm just playing how I've always played."

The Bulldogs agree.  They selected Catelyn as one of three captains.

"They picked two seniors and then they picked Catelyn.  It didn't surprise me.  She's doing great things on the court.  She's doing great things off the court. She's just a good person," said head coach Jackie Fluaitt.

Still, Linke knows that there is plenty left to learn on the courts.

"The intensity.  It's way different in high school because you're playing against seniors that are three years older than you, so they've been around the game longer and they know a lot more."

Linke originally played volleyball because she wanted to be like her big sister.

"My sister started playing when I was in the second grade and I wanted to do everything that she did."

Since then, she has developed into a smart and scrappy player.

"She hits the ball hard, and it's fun to see that.  And she digs up a lot of balls, and it's fun to see that.  But she also gives a lot of support to those other kids. She's just a great teammate," said Fluaitt.

And Linke certainly values her role as a leader on this squad.

"You have to be a leader on and off the court.  You're not going to go partying every weekend and you're going to be a good student.  You have to be a good person."

The Pasco Bulldogs are heading into playoffs as co-champs of the MCC for the first time since 1998.  Linke is thrilled to be along for the historic ride.

"It means a lot because volleyball is the only sport I play.  I've played it since I was in the third grade and it's just a really big part of my life.  It's awesome to be a part of Pasco history."