Molly Mawhinney of South Portland High School has been selected as the 2017-2018 Gatorade Maine Volleyball Player of the Year.

Mawhinney, the daughter of Orono natives Mark and Judy Mawhinney, is the first player from South Portland to earn the honor.

The award recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court.

The 5-foot-11 senior outside hitter recorded 181 kills, 111 digs and 66 service aces, leading the Red Riots (10-7) to their first Class A state final appearance. A first-team All-State and All-Conference honoree, Mawhinney was also named the Class A Player of the Year by the Maine Volleyball Coaches Association.

Mawhinney is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year award to be announced in January.

Mawhinney has volunteered locally on behalf of the Preble Street homeless shelter and resource center.

“Molly Mawhinney would be a standout on any team in the state,” said Melissa Brandt, head coach at Massabesic High School in Waterboro. “Her experience and maturity just add to her skills on the court. She’s developed as a great player over the last few years.”

Mawhinney has maintained a B average in the classroom. She remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.

As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Mawhinney will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support.