South Portland senior volleyball standout Molly Mawhinney, joined by her parents, Mark and Judy, and several teammates, signs her National Letter of Intent Wednesday to attend and play at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. Mawhinney, the state’s premier hitter, who was named South Portland’s Fall Female Athlete of the Year and Maine’s Gatorade Player of the Year after leading the Red Riots to their first Class A state final, said that joining a program that went to the NCAA Division II tournament a year ago, is the culmination of a dream.

“I’m excited to be playing for another four years,” said Mawhinney, who plans to study criminal justice. “I fell in love with the school. Academics and athletics. It all clicked. Playing at South Portland made me learn how to play as a teammate and become a leader.”

“Molly’s a super-hard worker,” said Red Riots coach Nicole Kane. “I think she’ll work even harder in college. Volleyball is her sport. It’s what she does day-in, day-out. She has natural ability and can motivate other players.”