Brianna Root

Brianna found volleyball first at Chippens Hill Middle School in Bristol when she was only 13. Playing 3 years of volleyball in middle school gave her the courage to attend camps the summer before her freshman year in high school where she so badly just wanted to make the JV team. Her very first game ever on the high school court, was the first game of the season her freshman year as a starting setter for the Varsity team. She remained in that spot for the next 4 years.

During her reign at BEHS, Brianna was a three-time All-CCC South and two-time All-State Performer. Three out of her four high school years that were documented on Max Preps amassed 223 sets played, averaging 9 assists per set, 1997 total assists, 137 aces, 462 digs and 120 kills. BEHS took home a pair of CCC Tournament titles during her tenure and in 2012, Bristol Eastern High School won the Class L State Championship. It was this moment that made Brianna realize she wanted to play this sport in college. For the next three years, Brianna played volleyball at school in-season and played for Connecticut Juniors in the off-season.

Her collegiate career was even better. Brianna moved on to Post University, where she continued her volleyball career and her studies in Sport Management and Communication and Media Studies. Brianna accumulated a program record 4,753 assists, including 1,092 in her senior season. She tallied 1,314 assists as a freshman, 1,226 as a sophomore, and 1,121 as a junior. Despite being a setter, her defensive presence was also felt on the court where she had a career 1301 digs at Post. She earned two trips to the NCAA Division II East Region Tournament, was CACC and ECAC Rookie of the Year in 2015, then claimed DII CCA East Region Second Team as a sophomore. She was a First Team All-CACC selection in her freshman, sophomore and junior seasons, then was Second Team All-CACC as a senior.

Brianna sits in the CACC Tournament record books holding the 1st and 3rd spots for most assists ever recorded in a CACC tournament game: 67 total against Wilmington U on 11/20/15 and 59 against Georgian Court U 11/14/17. She also holds the 3rd place spot for most assists per CACC tournament at 144 in 2015. In regular season CACC play she holds the 4th place spot for assists per set in a season at 10.95 in 2016 and 8th place for career assists in a season at 1,314 in 2015.

She was nominated in 2019 for the prestigious NCAA Woman of the Year award.

She just wasn’t ready to stop after her four years of college volleyball, so she jumped at the opportunity to attend the University of Essex in Colchester, England to be able to continue playing volleyball while earning her Master’s Degree in Management. Her run at a professional career was cut short by COVID and she now resides in Oklahoma working for a baseball organization, the Tulsa Drillers, a double A affiliate of the LA Dodgers.

With her busy work schedule, she is currently working on a 2nd master’s degree and she still makes time to help kids learn the sport of volleyball and continues to play. Coaching is likely in her near future!

Devon Michaelis

Devon played Libero for the Farmington High School volleyball team for four seasons, winning the Class L State Championship in 2014. She also played for the Husky Volleyball Club and won the 18’s NERVA Championship in 2015.

As a multi-sport athlete, she also won two Class L State Championships in the Javelin throw and threw for a 4th Place finish at the New England Open in 2015. She also holds the current Farmington HS School record in the event. Following high school, Devon walked on to the Boston College Varsity volleyball team which competes in the Power-5 conference. Starting as the Libero by the end of her Freshman year, Devon also achieved ACC-academic honors each season on the team. During her junior and senior years, she played for the Boston College Women’s Club Volleyball team, earning 9th and 3rd place finishes at NCVF Nationals.

In reflecting on my high school volleyball career, I can recognize the truly exceptional group of athletes we had on our team at Farmington High School. Especially during my junior and senior years, when every player on the court exhibited an unstoppable desire to compete, challenge themselves, each other and win. Particularly my classmates and fellow captains, Sophie Borg, Abby Arena and Sarah Lipinski who each played a huge role in leading our team to a State Championship. They pushed through every sprint, timed mile, practice, point and match, inspiring all others in the gym. I am fortunate to call them lifelong friends, along with so many others I have met through this sport, whether teammates, coaches, or opponents.

Additionally, I could never have accomplished as much in this sport if it was not for the support I received from Coach Arena along the way. Under her direction we learned to believe and reach beyond our limits, allow our failures to fuel our victories, and most of all trust one another. These lessons she instilled in high school have rung true in the years since, as I am sure they have played a part in my collegiate and professional success as well as that of my teammates.

Outside of athletics, Devon is pursuing a career in law. She is set to graduate from the UConn School of Law and sits for the Connecticut bar exam this Winter.

Sarah Veilleux

Sarah graduated from RHAM high school in 2014. Playing under Tim Guernsey in both volleyball and basketball where she was a 4-year starter for both teams.

In the four years that Sarah played volleyball at RHAM HS, she contributed to an impressive team overall record of 84-8 and Central Connecticut Conference record of 56-0. As a freshman she won her first CIAC Class M State Championship in 2010 and then as a senior winning a CIAC Class L State Championship 2013. She finished her high school career with 1,271 kills and 2,079 points, respectively.

In addition to her team successes, Sarah was also acknowledged with the following personal accolades:

  • 1st Team CCC East – 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013
  • 1st Team All-Hartford Courant – 2010, 2011 & 2012
  • 2nd Team All-State – 2011
  • 1st Team All-State – 2012 & 2013
  • Max Preps Player of the Week – 2012
  • Under Armour Watch List – 2013
  • CHSCA Player of the Year – 2013
  • Hartford Courant Player of the Year – 2013
  • Class L State Final MVP – 2013
  • Senior All Star Blue – 2013
  • Gatorade Player of the Year – 2013
  • All Academic 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013
  • Team Most Improved Player – 2010
  • Team Most Valuable Player – 2011 & 2013

A gifted two sport athlete, Sarah attended Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia on a full basketball scholarship. Helping the team to the Atlantic 10 championship game in 2018. She was also twice named the Philly Big 5 Female Scholar Athlete, was the MVP of the 2017/2018 Hawk Classic, and a member of the 2017/2018 Atlantic 10 Conference All-Academic team. At Saint Joseph’s, she is ranked second all-time in free throw percentage.

Sarah graduated from Saint Joseph’s in 2017 with a BS in both Finance and Accounting where she was named a Sutula Scholar by the accounting department. As a fifth-year senior she earned an MBA in Business Intelligence and Analytics. After graduation Sarah worked for two years in public accounting earning her CPA during that time. She now works for a private equity firm based in Philadelphia.

Janice Ehorn

Janice’s volleyball career started at an earlier age than most females in Connecticut. As a young girl she started playing alongside her two older sisters, Marcia and Carrie, both of whom were on the Amity Class LL championship team in 2003 coached by Paul Thees.

Janice joined Amity’s varsity team a year later in 2004 as a middle blocker. During her freshman year, she got to play alongside one of her sisters which made the transition to high school an easy one and helped her continue the Amity winning tradition by making it to the Class LL State semifinals match that season. But only playing front row is a middle blocker was not what Ehorn had in mind for her tenure at Amity. She decided to join the Connecticut Jr Travel Club program her freshman year and developed as an all-around player which helped her play all the way around for her remaining three years at Amity.

In her sophomore year, despite being out for half of the season due to injury, Janice helped lead the Spartans to the Class LL State quarterfinals match. During the season, she was named all-area by the New Haven Register, Connecticut Post, Hartford Courant, first team all-SCC and first-team All-State, all honors which she also earned during her Junior and senior years. During her junior season at Amity, Ehorn set a school record of 370 kills. She ended her four-year Varsity career with a total of 1,108 kills. In her final season at Amity, Ehorn was named the 2007 SCC tournament MVP and the 2007 Connecticut Volleyball Gatorade Player of the Year.

While playing high school volleyball, Janice was part of the Connecticut Jrs Travel Club program for 4 years coach by Mike Brienza’s and during her junior season, the team went undefeated, they were the New England region Champions and they were also ranked number one in the region.
After High School, Janice attended Wingate University in North Carolina where she continued to be part of a winning tradition. During her for years at Wingate, under a head coach Shelton Collier, the Lady Bulldogs amassed a record of 130 – 7, winning the SAC conference tournament every season to advance to the Division II tournament where they visited the sweet sixteen twice and the elite eight once.

Currently, Janice is an insurance agent for The Milford Insurance Agency in Connecticut. The agency was originally started by her grandparents and is now owned by her parents. Janice is working to continue the tradition and help the local area with their insurance needs. But if she is not in the office, Janice can be found playing volleyball, both indoor and outdoor, or spending time with her family.

Sage Esposito

Sage Esposito played volleyball at Foran High School Volleyball from 2007-2010. She was a setter and a 4 year starter. She captained the Foran team her junior and senior year. Her accolades include All-State Team selection in 2010 and 2009 as well as a second team selection in 2008. The New Haven Register awarded Sage an All-Area selection in 2010, 2009 and 2008. Sage earned a 2010 Connecticut Post All-Star award and New Haven Register Volleyball Most Valuable player designation. The Register also named Page Female Athlete of the Year for 2010-2011. She was chosen by area coaches to play in the Senior All Star Volleyball game her senior year. Sage also earned All-SCC division honors in 2010, 2009 and 2008.

Sage currently holds 2 school records in assists (1992) and assists for a single match (48). She was also a member of the Foran High School softball team from 2008-2011 where she was a 4 year varsity team member, a 3 year starter at second base and a captain in 2011. She earned All-State 2nd team and All – Area honors from the New Haven Register in 2011. Sage batted an amazing .541 her senior year for the 2011 Class M State Champions and #1 Ranked Team in the state.

She went on play volleyball for the University of Connecticut from 2011-2014 where she was a defensive specialist 2011-2013, and switched to setter in the 6-2 offense her senior year. She played in 342 sets, 106 matches, compiled 592 assists, 68 aces, 620 digs. Sage earned Big East All-Academic Team honors for the 2011-2012 school year. She also sang with the A Capella group “Rubyfruit”at UCONN.

She graduated in 2015 with a BS degree in Communications and went on to the University of Michigan to earn a MS degree in Human Computer Interaction. She is currently working at ESPN in New York City.

Sage will be married to Sergio Campbell in December 2018.

Milford Mirror

Maite Mendizabal

Maite started every match for Bunnell High School for four years, 2003-2006. In that time the Lady-Bulldogs amassed a 95-5 record with three State Championships and three Southwest Conference Championships. After hitting middle her first two years, Maite was all-state stand out on the left side in her junior year and then was effective as a right side hitter in her senior year. Her career totals include 1074 kills, 122 aces, and 460 digs and 175 blocks.

In her sophomore year, Maite earned First Team All-SWC with her team winning the Class LL State Championship, defeating Cheshire High School in the finals. As a junior and senior, Maite was named First Team All-State, First Team All-SWC, and the CT Post, New Haven Register and Hartford Courant All-Area Team. Maite helped lead Bunnell to two #1 rankings in the state in 2004 and 2006.

In her senior year, Bunnell finished with a 25-0 record winning every match 3-0, never allowing a team to reach 20 points. Bunnell defeated Shelton in the Class “LL” State Championship for the second year in a row. Her play earned her the 2006 SWC tournament MVP by the attending coaches.

While playing high school volleyball, Maite was also part of the 2005 and 2006 New England Regional Champions. The 18- I Connecticut Juniors travel team consisted of elite players in the state. During her senior year, they were named 2007 #1 ranked team in the region. Maite graduated from Central Connecticut State University where she played volleyball on scholarship. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Health Promotion from CCSU. Maite went on to become the assistant volleyball coach at the University of New Haven while pursuing a Master’s Degree in Sports Management. While at UNH, the team won two Northeast-IO Tournament Championships, earned a trip to the 2013 NCAA Division Il Sweet 16, and in 2012 played in the NCAA Division Il Elite 8 .

Currently, Maite is teaching Physical Education in Derby, CT. She is in her fifth season as head volleyball coach at her alma mater, Bunnell High School.

Kyley Reed

Kyley graduated from Rocky Hill High School in 2012. She was a member of the volleyball team for all four years. As a freshman, she was awarded Offensive Player of the Year. Her team qualified for the state tournament and advanced to the 2nd round. By her sophomore year, she earned Most Valuable Player on her team, qualifying again for the state tournament. Kyley was named to the All State First Team by area coaches. Her junior year she was again the team’s Most Valuable Player, as Rocky Hill advanced to the second round of the state tournament. Kyley was again First-Team All-State and in addition was ranked number two in the nation in hitting percentage. In her senior year, Kyley was recognized as one of the top players in the nation.

Rocky Hill was the Class M State champions. Each of their matches in the State Championship was a five set victory. In the finals, Rocky Hill defeated Joel Barlow three games to two. Kyley was again Most Valuable Player, First-Team All-State and number two in the nation in hitting percentage. In addition, she was ranked number seven in the nation for kills per set, was named the to the American Volleyball Coaches Association First-Team All-America, and was awarded The Connecticut Gatorade Player of the Year.

In her career, Kyley’s statistics included 1,517 kills, a final hitting percentage of over .500, 127 blocks, almost 1100 digs, and 362 service aces. She was a six-time American Volleyball Coaches Association National Player of the Week. Kyley also played softball in her sophomore year and participated in indoor and outdoor track her sophomore and junior years at Rocky Hill High School.

Kylee attended and graduated from Rice University in Houston, Texas where she played volleyball on a full scholarship. She is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Liberal Arts at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT.

Erica Webster Kearney

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Erica played at Cheshire High School from 1996 to 1999. She was a three year starter.

In 1996, her team won the SCC – Southern Connecticut Conference title. In 1997, she was a defensive specialist amassing 149 digs and 42 serving aces. Her team won the Housatonic Conference Championship and the Class L State Championship.

In 1998, playing both offense and defense, Erica had 240 kills, 160 digs, and 50 aces. Her team again won the SCC Conference title and their 2nd Class L State Championship. In addition, Erica was named to the All-Housatonic Team, the All-State 2nd Team, and the New Haven Register named her to their All-Area Team.

In 1999, her senior year, Erica finished her outstanding career with 239 kills, 149 digs and 27 aces. Her team again won their conference title in which Erica was named the Most Valuable Player. They were Class L State Run-ners Up and she was named to the All-Housatonic Team. That year, Erica was named not only First Team All-State but the Senior All-Star Team as well. The New Haven Register named her to their All-Area Team and the Hartford Courant named her Connecticut Player of the Year.

In all, Erica’s career record at Cheshire was 93 and 6. Her teams won four Housatonic titles, three Southern Connecticut Conference titles, one Class L State Runner-Up title and two Class L State Championships. She was also named to two All-Housatonic Teams, two All-State Teams, two All-Area Teams and a Senior All-Star Team.

After her distinguished career, Erica played for Springfield College and was captain in her senior year.

Madison McCaffery

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Madison McCaffery played at Ludlowe in Fairfield from 2007-2010. She also played basketball and lacrosse but decided in her junior year to play on a travel volleyball team and concentrate on volleyball. Concentrating on volleyball cer-tainly paid off as Madison became the captain of her team. In both her junior and senior year, Ludlowe was the runner up in not only their FCIAC Confer-ence – but also in Class LL state tournament as well.

Madison had an outstanding high school career. She finished her career with 107 career aces, 92 career blocks, 471 career digs, and 603 career kills – a Lud-lowe school record. She was recognized many times for her hard work and ac-complishments. In 2010, she was named the “Blue Streak” Player of the week and the month in her conference. She was also awarded the Most Valuable Player for the Ludlowe team and was named to the First Team All-Conference squad. Also in her senior year, she played in one of her most memorable matches. It was the semi-finals of the state tournament. Ludlowe was playing Mercy High School. It was a tight match throughout and Ludlowe was up 2 sets to 1. Madison remembers a few bad passes late in the third set which could have led them to fall apart mentally, but they stuck together as a team and were able to fight through and eventually win 3 to 2. Ludlowe finished runner up that year but Madison was named the 2010 Most Valuable Player in the State Tour-nament and was named to the Class LL First Team All-State.

In addition, Madison was named to the Senior All-Star Game by the Connecti-cut High School Coaches Association and was the 2010 Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year for Connecticut.

Madison continued playing club volleyball at the University of Delaware. In her junior and senior year, she was president of the club.

http://www.gatorade.com/poy/assets/writable/12266/2010-11_VB_MMccaffery.pdf

Dorothy Franco-Reed

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Dorothy’s distinguished career began in 1972 when she entered Milford High School.  At that time, athletic seasons were not as rigidly defined, so as a freshman, Dorothy was able to play four sports: volleyball, swimming/diving, basketball and softball.  It was that year that she first walked into the gym to try out for volleyball, a sport she had never played, and she was nervous. She overcame her anxiety, and with determination and hard work she made the team.  Just two weeks into the season, to her surprise, her coach, Edna Fraser moved her up to the varsity.  Although there were no all-star teams for volleyball in the early 70’s, Dorothy was a standout for her team.  She was an aggressive hitter, tenacious on defense and a powerful server.  While at Milford, Dorothy earned 13 varsity letters.  She was captain of the volleyball team her senior year, the tennis team her junior and senior years and the basketball team her sophomore, junior and senior seasons.  She competed in state tournaments in five sports: volleyball, basketball, swimming/diving, and tennis.

Dorothy received one of the first NCAA scholarships for women.  She attended the University of Alabama on a volleyball and basketball scholarship.  She was a four-year varsity volleyball player earning letters each year.  She appeared in three AIAW National Championship tournaments.

In 1980, Dorothy started teaching in Milford, but left in ’81 to train for the Olympic Games (Team Handball). She made the team and represent the US in the ’84 Games.  The team finished fourth, missing a medal by a goal.

After the Olympics, Dorothy began a 13 year college coaching career which took her at the University of Minnesota, Tulane University and the University of Alabama.  After marriage and two children, Dorothy decided to discontinue her Division I coaching career and she returned to Milford to resume her teaching career.

Dorothy has been the Athletic Coordinator at Newington High School since 2001. She has been a sports commentator and color analyst for ESPN in 1997, broadcasting NCAA and international volleyball events. She lives in Rocky Hill with her husband Tom and children Ty and Kyley.