When Caitlin Greiner takes the court for tonight’s Columbus East-Columbus North matchup, she’ll be on a different side than the one which she had been accustomed.
The former East, Miami (Ohio) and Indiana University star is in her first season as North volleyball coach. Tonight, she’ll go against her high school alma mater for the first time when the Bull Dogs play host to the Class 4A No. 3 Olympians.
“I thought it was going to be a lot more different and strange for me just always being with East, but I think because I’m so far displaced from being in high school, and I work with North and East athletes every single day, it wasn’t as awkward and hard as I thought it was going to be,” Greiner said.
Then known as Caitie Watts, the 5-foot-8 setter was a two-time All-State player for the Olympians and earned multiple Mid-American Conference Player of the Week awards in her two years at Miami. But the desire to play Big Ten volleyball led her to IU, where she played her final two years.
“I loved Miami of Ohio,” Greiner said. “I loved the campus, loved the education, but Big Ten volleyball — getting to play against Penn State.”
After graduating from IU in 2008 with a degree in exercise science, Greiner went to work at Acceleration Indiana in Columbus, where she is a manager and trainer or athletes.
“A lot of exercise science majors don’t necessarily get to fall into something like this because there are very few training facilities like this around the world,” Greiner said. “But I was fortunate enough that they opened up this one in Columbus around the same time that I was done (with school).”
Greiner also began coaching club volleyball after graduation and now heads the Columbus North Volleyball Club.
“The main thing that kind of drew me to Caitlin was her dedication to the sport of volleyball,” North athletics director Jeff Hester said. “I would consider her a volleyball purist. Her background as a player, and her coaching experience just set her apart.”
It’s been an eventful past few months for Greiner. In April, she ran her second Boston Marathon. Then in May, she married former North tennis player Zach Greiner, who she met at IU.
But the volleyball season hasn’t been all smooth sailing. The Bull Dogs lost sophomore libero Hannah Vittorio to a dislocated knee in the Blue-White scrimmage. Then, setter Quin Shoultz, the team’s lone senior, strained a ligament in thumb and pulled part of the bone off with it and missed about three weeks of action.
North is 6-14 following Tuesday’s four-set win at Scottsburg.
“We started out with a lot of injuries,” Greiner said. “We’re young, and I knew it was going to be hard, and it’s always difficult the first year coming into a new program and setting kind of the tone of how you want the program to go for the next handful of years. It was a learning curve for myself and my coaching staff, as well as the girls.”
The Greiner File
Title: Head volleyball coach at Columbus North and manager/trainer at Acceleration Indiana
High school: Columbus East
Colleges: Miami (Ohio), Indiana University
Family: Husband Zach, a former tennis player at North
Hobbies: Marathon running, volleyball