Ann Marie Bahantka

Ann Marie Bahantka

Ann Marie Bahantka is a graduate of Horseheads High School, and she lettered in volleyball, basketball, softball and track. She represented Central New York Region at three Empire State Games before attending college where she played for the University of New Haven under legendary head coach Debbie Chin!

Ann Marie Bahantka was a key contributor to three New Haven women’s volleyball teams that reached the NCAA postseason, including trips to the Elite Eight in both 1985 and 1988.

Highlighting her junior campaign, Bahantka led the 1987 Chargers in kills (253), hitting percentage (.257) and assists (680). The following year as a senior, she led the Blue and Gold in kills, assists, digs and blocks en route to a 44-6 record and Most Valuable Player honors at the NCAA Regionals. A four-year starter, she earned All-New England Collegiate Conference honors three times and a pair of AVCA All-Region nods.

The Chargers went 141-38 during Bahantka’s four-year career with four NECC Championships. She finished her career with 1,515 assists, 704 kills, 519 digs and 205 blocks.

After graduation, she took over as head coach of Quinnipiac University and led the team to a then-record 32 wins as well as the Northeast-10 regular season and tournament championships. In 1992, she was chosen as the Northeast-10 Conference Coach of the Year. During her five-year tenure at QU she accumulated over 115 wins.

She has been inducted into the Horsehead’s High School Hall of Fame as well as the University of New Haven Hall of Fame.

I never intended to coach (Debbie Chin made me do it) but I was grateful to have the opportunity to give back. Some of my favorite moments were in Costa Rica, Barbados, St Thomas, New Haven middle schools and throughout the Northeast running and participating in clinics to promote Volleyball. I loved practice, training and teaching possibly more than the matches.

Ann Marie’s biggest influence was International Volleyball Hall of Famer, Debbie Green. “She was the reason I wanted to be a setter! She wasn’t the biggest but she led our Olympic teams with poise, dignity and a fierce competitiveness. My greatest moment was meeting her at the national championships (thank you Fran Vandermeer). She was just as classy if not more in person.”

Ann Marie is the co-owner of The Photography Bar and Executive Director of Production Services for Overabove in Chester, CT. She resides in Manchester, New Hampshire with her partner Holly and their canine son Franklin.

Caitlin Stapleton

Upon entering high school, Caitlin Stapleton tried out for the Jonathan Law volleyball team. After making the freshman and JV team her first year, she became a three-year Varsity player. During her sophomore year off season, Caitlin joined the Connecticut juniors’ club team where her potential, skills and passion for the game really started to develop. With the coaching, support and exposure her travel team gave to her, Caitlin was able to catch the attention of many college coaches. During her junior year, Caitlin made the decision to commit to Fairfield University.

Throughout her career as a right side hitter / blocker at Fairfield, Caitlin earned several accolades including MAAC Rookie of the Year. She was instrumental in helping the Stags win back-to-back MAAC championship titles. Caitlin was voted to the MAAC championship all-tournament team twice and received all-MAAC first team honors twice as well as helping Fairfield gain 2 NCAA Division 1 tournament berths. She led the team in kills-per-set and overall hitting percentage in her senior year, and capped her career with a personal-best 22 kills, on a .562 hitting percentage with a win over Manhattan. This accomplishment earned Caitlin a membership in the 1000 + kills Club.

The most rewarding part of Caitlyn’s college experience, however, was how much she was able to grow, not only as an athlete, but as a person. The support she received from coaches, teammates and the entire athletic staff at Fairfield University has had a lasting impact on Stapleton. Today, volleyball is still a huge part of her life. She has competed at the USAV open national championships every year since graduation, and plays and tournaments all year round, whether indoors, on the grass, or beach.

Currently Caitlin is pursuing her other passion to help people and animals. While continuing her pet care / dog-walking business full-time, Caitlin is also studying to become an integrative health coach. She is excited to partner with her own clients, helping them move in the direction of lifelong health and well-being, by not only practicing good nutrition habits, but more importantly making important life style changes. Caitlin also serves as an assistant on the Fairfield women’s volleyball team staff.

Lauren Holt

Lauren Holt had an “inauspicious” start to her volleyball career. As a freshman in high school she tried out for Granby High School’s inaugural season. She was primarily in as a middle blocker and was set a few times on the attack line. She joined the Husky Volleyball Club in the off season of her sophomore year and began to develop what would become outstanding and award earning volleyball skills.

Lauren was recruited by several colleges, but after her visit to Springfield College, she felt her other choices could not compare to what Springfield had to offer its student-athletes. From the family-like team feeling and coaching staff to the welcoming staff and campus, Lauren knew she had found a home. While at Springfield, Lauren was able to pursue both of her passions, being a collegiate volleyball player and getting an education in athletic training.

She ended her career as a four time All-American, two-time national statistical champion for most blocks-per-set in a season, NCAA Post-Graduate scholarship winner, and a nominee for NCAA Woman of the Year. She compiled several NEWMAC conference Athlete of the Year A wards and earned the Springfield College Dearing Pride Award as well as being named the Outstanding Team Sport Athlete for all four years of her career at the college.

But, what was most important to her was making life-long friendships, memories of traveling to Texas and Colorado with the team, and the accomplishment of being a successful student athlete. Now Lauren is pursuing her second passion of athletic training which allows her to help other student athletes stay healthy and pursue their college dreams.

Lisa Drennan


Lisa first played organized volleyball in high school at Greenhills School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She was a four year varsity player and also played varsity softball and basket-ball. After graduation, Lisa played volleyball for Wesleyan University from 2005 through 2008.

While at Wesleyan, Lisa’s teams had four straight winning seasons with an overall record of 73 and 36. Lisa played a major role in their success. As a hitter, she ranked third na-tionally in Division III for kills per set as a senior while also leading the NESCAC for the third year in a row. Lisa was ranked among the top five nationally in Division III in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Over her four years, she amassed 1,865 kills to rank second all-time at Wesleyan. Her average of 4.92 kills per set is tops among all Wesleyan players. She also averaged 2.73 digs, 0.68 blocks and 0.46 aces per set with an outstanding .298 hitting efficiency over her four years.

Lisa finished her career with her second NESCAC Player of the Year honor and was named to her third straight first-team All-NESCAC. Lisa also became Wesleyan’s first American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Second-Team Division III All-American. She had achieved honorable-mention All-America status from the AVCA as a junior and was the only player from a New England college to receive higher than honor-able-mention recognition from AVCA in 2008. In short, Lisa completed her four-year women’s volleyball career as the most decorated player in the 25-year varsity history of the sport at Wesleyan.

Excelling in the classroom as well, Lisa earned District I First-Team Academic All-America honors from the College Sports Information Directors of America, or CoSIDA , and went on to received second-team national honors from CoSIDA, which was the high-est level of achievement ever by a Wesleyan volleyball player. In her senior year, Lisa was Wesleyan’s Hoagland Award winner as well, signifying the outstanding contributor to women’s athletics at the college.

After graduating from Wesleyan, Lisa continued her playing career when she signed a professional contract and played one year of professional volleyball with the Brøndby Volleyball Klub in Denmark.

Lisa has just graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition as a holistic nutrition coach. A month before graduating from the program, Lisa joined the Institute for Integra-tive Nutrition staff as Curriculum Developer for the school. Lisa is passionate about health and wellness, and “walking the talk” to inspire others to live an authentically crea-tive and joyful life!

Judith Schaefer Joslin

Judith Schaefer Joslin played high school volleyball at Maloney in Meriden from 1975 to 1978. She was a member of two state championship teams and one silver medal team. She also won her team’s sportsmanship award.

From 1978 to 1982, she played at Southern Connecticut State University as their middle hitter. She was awarded the most improved player award and was captain of the team in her senior year. In 1981, her team competed in the Regional Championship and won the 2nd place silver medal.

Judith played USVBA volleyball in the open division and competed in the Nationals is 1989. She was a successful high school girls volleyball coach from 1982 to 1997 with various teams. At present, she is the boys volleyball coach at Enfield High School and her success earned her the CIAC Boys Volleyball Coach of the Year Award.

Sheena Carpenter


Sheena began her volleyball career at Westhill High School, where she played from 1978-1981 for Coach Winnie Hamilton.  During the 1980 season, the Vikings won the CIAC State Championship and finished with a perfect 20-0 record.  Sheena attended Eastern Connecticut State University and continued her exemplary volleyball career.  An outstanding hitter during high school and her first year of college, an injury to the team’s setter during her sophomore year changed that.  Eastern coach Floretta “Pinky” Crabtree saw her ability and decided Sheena would fill the slot.  This changing role was a challenge but she found it exciting and was equal to the task.  During her four seasons at Eastern, the team qualified for the NCAA playoffs three times.

Sheena has continued her involvement with volleyball since graduating.  She coached at Quinnipiac College and at Wilbur Cross High School and has worked at numerous camps.  In working with female athletes she has been proud to pass on the attitude that was instilled in her by her high school coach Winnie Hamilton, “that with hard work and confidence, they can achieve anything.”

Sheena is a teacher at Dolan Middle School in Stamford.  She now devotes her time parenting her 8-year-old son Andre.

Kate Sullivan

Kate began her volleyball career at Bloomfield High School where she competed for four years on the varsity level. She served as captain her junior and senior years. Upon graduation from high school in 1977, Kate studied at SCSU where she chose to try out for the volleyball team. She competed in the successful program for four year, as the team went 103-26.  She served as captain during her junior and senior seasons. She was also named athlete of the week numerous times at SCSU.

Kate also played for the New Haven Dippers for eight seasons where she competed in two national tournaments. In 1981 and ’82 Kate worked at SCSU as the assistant volleyball coach to Joan Barbarich. She ran numerous high school volleyball clinics and was involved in coaching summer volleyball camps.

Kathleen Kimball


Kathleen’s first volleyball experience began at Wheeler High School in North Stonington where she played for coach Larry Gula.  Upon graduation in 1991, Kathleen moved on to play for Pinky Crabtree at ECSU from 1992-95 where she was a four-year letter-winner, and was team captain for 3 years.  Kathleen ranked first in the ECSU volleyball team program for total blocks (383), second in kills (1,362) and fourth for total attacked (2,772).

She was the first player from ECSU to achieve the first team Division III All-American status. At that time, Kathleen was only the second player from New England to receive that honor. She was also selected three times each as an all-region and all-New England teams. She was twice selected as the teams’ MVP.

Kathleen is presently teaching middle school Physical Education in Darien, CT; she coaches Junior Olympic volleyball in southwestern Connecticut and still finds time to play volleyball twice a week during the winter and grass doubles in the summer.

Marsha McNeil


Marcia began her volleyball experience while at Westhill High School where she not only competed in volleyball, but basketball and track and field as well. She captained all three teams in her senior year. She achieved all-city and all-county honors for volleyball while at Westhill.  She graduated in 1978.

Marcia then moved on and continued her education and volleyball career playing for coach Debbie Chin at the University of New Haven from 1978 through 1982. She was a four-year starter and a co-captain during her senior year.  She continually led the team in kills and blocks. While competing at UNH, her team earned a 118-61 record. During her freshman year, the team qualified for the quarterfinals of the EAIAW tournament. They continued to qualify for the tournament throughout Marcia’s following three seasons.

The University of New Haven inducted Marcia into their Hall of Fame for both volleyball and basketball.

After UNH, Marcia continued her education at the University of Bridgeport where she earned her MS in Education.

Marcia returned to her high school alma mater to coach volleyball, basketball and track and field. Her career record with her volleyball team at Westhill was an impressive 118-91. The team made numerous trips to the CIAC state tournament, many times advancing to the quarterfinals.

She has sat on various committees and has received numerous service awards. She is presently a police officer with the Stratford Police Department.


Dr. Gail “Gigi” Brown


Dr. Brown’s volleyball interest began as far back as 1964 when she was a young girl who would rig up ladders and ropes to play volleyball with her friends in the back yard of her home. That fascination with the game led to her initial participation on the organized team when she played “homeroom volleyball” at Central Grammar School.  Her volleyball experience grew with her competition on the Milford High School varsity team where she captained the team. She advanced to play with the Connecticut Clippers USVBA team during her senior year at MHS.

Upon graduation from Milford, Gigi continued her education as well as her volleyball career at CCSC where she starred as a hitter.  She led the CCSC team as captain and was selected to numerous tournament all-star teams. She helped Center qualify for AIAW regional tournament play. During her college career, she was also invited to try out for the US Volleyball team in preparation for the World Cup Games in Montvideo, Uruguay. She was one of two players from the east coast invited to the tryouts in Los Angeles.

Gigi coached volleyball at Avon High School and Canton High School during her college years. She capped her athletic career in college when she was awarded the Gail Rutz Award as the outstanding senior female scholar/athlete at CCSC.

After college it was back to the Clippers for two more years of competition, as well as  a stint as assistant coach at the University of Tennessee. It was then that volleyball took a back seat to medical school and her residency.

That hiatus did not end Gigi’s career. She has continued to play in various coed leagues and on women’s teams up to and as recently as 1994.

At present, Dr. Brown is the Medical Director of Rehabilitation for Exeter Health Resources and the Medical Director for Rockington VNA and Hospice, both in Exeter New Hampshire.