Hannah Veith graduated from Worthington Kilbourne High School on June 1, less than two weeks after finalizing her college plans.

Hannah Veith graduated from Worthington Kilbourne High School on June 1, less than two weeks after finalizing her college plans.

Veith signed a scholarship offer May 21 to play Division I college volleyball at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh.

Until hearing from Robert Morris coach Rob Thomas earlier in the month, Veith was set to attend Ohio State and play club volleyball, having given up on the idea of playing at the college varsity level.

Veith -- who was the OCC-Cardinal Division Player of the Year, first-team all-district and third-team all-state last fall -- had looked at some smaller schools, but since they couldn't offer her an athletics scholarship, she found Ohio State gave her the best package in terms of education and affordability. Otterbein was in the mix, too, but then Veith received a letter from Thomas in the mail two weeks before she eventually signed, asking if she still was open to the idea of playing volleyball at the college level.

"I knew I wanted to play club at OSU or Otterbein and I was pretty much set on Ohio State," Veith said. "But to be able to play for a Division I school and basically getting paid for it, that was what I wanted to do."

The time between Thomas' initial contact and signing day passed quickly, and it was a situation that came about mostly through coincidence.

Thomas had seen Veith play during the club season of her junior year, but at the time he wasn't looking to recruit juniors. He made note of her club team and contact number for the coach and filed it away.

A routine cleaning out of the satchel in which he carries team information led to his rediscovering of Veith's contact information. He contacted the club coach and found out that Veith had decided not to play club volleyball. Instead she traveled to New York City for an internship program that Kilbourne offered to select seniors. That turned out to be good news in more ways than one for Thomas. He was getting a driven personality that other schools had missed.

"We were a little bit deeper at middle blocker, but I wanted to get one," Thomas said. "I think that by virtue of doing that internship, she did not play club volleyball and I think she would have been gobbled up (by another school) if she did play club."

Thomas had remembered seeing her as a junior and then was impressed by Veith's athleticism. That along with her height -- 6-foot-1 -- gave her the baseline qualities needed to play in college. He said Veith has to continue working to improve her speed, but also that that is normal to say about incoming freshmen.

Veith became serious about volleyball after her sophomore year on the junior varsity. She had a feeling the program was on an upswing. The Wolves had finished a program-best 18-7 in 2005 and she was planning to help the varsity from falling back.

Also, there was another thing that bothered her about that season -- Kilbourne lost to Thomas Worthington in a district semifinal.

"I thought about wanting to do more as far as a team," Veith said. "At the end of my sophomore when we lost to Thomas I realized what it meant to me -- not just for myself. We were a great team. We didn't want to keep losing to Thomas."

But the next year they did. After defeating Thomas in the regular season, the Wolves fell again to the Cardinals in a district semifinal in a match that could have given the Wolves a program-best for wins in a season, but again they finished 18-7.

But Kilbourne was 9-1 in the OCC-Cardinal that year and won the program's first OCC championship. They repeated as champions last year, but had to share the title with Olentangy as both teams were 8-2. Veith had 110 blocks. The season ended with the program's first trip to a district final, in which it fell to Watterson 25-16, 25-23, 25-13.

Veith, whose father Robert was a local dentist before dying at the age of 48 during her junior year, is the program's first player to receive a Division I college scholarship offer without having to walk-on first.