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.

 

Tessa Smolinski

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Tessa Smolinski played scholastically at RHAM High School, where she was the school’s Scholar Athlete-of-the-Year as a senior. She became the program’s first Gatorade Connecticut Volleyball Player-of-the-Year when she led the Sachems to an undefeated season and a third straight Class “M” state championship. Smolinski was a two-time Most Valuable Player of the state title match and a two-time first-team Class “M” All-Stater.

After high school, Tessa attended Springfield College where she participated in four NCAA Division III tournaments and won two New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) post-season tournaments. She had a career 1556 kills and 1355 digs while at Springfield. As a senior, she was chosen as the NEWMAC Player-of-the-Year, and repeated as a second-team AVCA All-American. She is also the recipient of the NCAA Elite 89 Award, which is presented to the player at the national championships with the highest GPA, as she graduated with a 3.99 GPA.

Smolinski is an experienced clinician at various volleyball camps and clinics. She is now an assistant coach under Megan Silver-Droesch at the University of Connecticut, while pursuing a Doctorate in Audiology at the University.

Kate Whalen

Kate Whalen - Scholastic Player

Kate Whalen attended Cheshire High School where for all four years; she was a three sport athlete. She played volleyball, basketball and softball. While she was recognized in all three sports for her accomplishments, it was in volleyball that she truly excelled.

In 1981 Kate was named the Most Improved Player. In 1982, she was named team Captain and later, her Team’s Most Valuable Player. In her career, she received both league and state honors. She was named to the 1st Team All Housatonic League, and the All State Class L 2nd Team.

Kate attended the University of New Haven on a volleyball/softball scholarship. In her senior year, she credits her coach Debbie Chin with influencing her career, resulting in her current position as the Senior Associate Director of Athletics at Adelphi University.

Marina Rose

Marina Rose

Marina Rose attended Coventry High School where she earned three varsity letters in track and field and four varsity letters in basketball and volleyball.

Marina’s greatest accomplishments were earned playing volleyball. She was named captain of the volleyball team in both her junior and senior year. During her four years on the team, Coventry won four consecutive Class S State Championships. In those championships, she was named the Most Valuable Player in three of the four state championship matches.

In 2013, Marina was named the Gatorade Connecticut Player of the Year, as well as the MaxPreps Small Schools High School Volleyball Player of the Year. Marina now attends Providence College and is a junior. She plays on the volleyball team and this year she earned the title of captain.

Marina studies Health Policy and Management at Providence College and wants to pursue medicine after her years at Providence to become an Obstetrician. Her younger sister, Emma is currently playing volleyball at Iona College and is a freshman. Marina loves to play beach volleyball doubles with Emma and enjoys coaching when she can.