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Lynn Spagnesi

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Lynn began her volleyball career at Brien McMahon High School where she played from 1969072.  she was team captain her senior year and her teams were undefeated during her junior and senior seasons. in 1972, they placed 3rd in the state tournament. during her high school career, she also was a member of the field hockey, basketball, track and field, badminton and softball teams.

Lynn continued playing volleyball in college when she went on to SCSU wand was a spiker for Louise Albrecht. She competed on the varsity squad from 1972-1976. The team won first place in the regional tournament in 1976 and qualified for the national tournament.

She received Outstanding College Athletes of America award in 1975. She was listed in the Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities in 1975.

After college Lynn continued to compete playing USVBA for the Connecticut Clippers and the New Haven Dippers for 1977-81. Her teams took first place in the USVBA regional championship in 1977, 79 and 81. She competed in the USVBA national tournament, held in Hilo Hawaii in 1977, representing the Eastern Zone. It was there she played against Olympians Flo Hyman and Debbie Green.

She was a member of the Greater New Haven board of volleyball officials from 1973-77. She also officiated basketball and was an ASA softball umpire.

Lynn also competed in AAU track and field, ASA softball, playing for the Raybestos Brakettes and was assistant women’s basketball coach at SCSU in 1977.

 

The Hour: BMHS hoop stars among Old Timers honorees

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Christine Kenyon O’Connor

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Christine started her volleyball career at Farmington High School where she played from 1965 to 1968. Her team won state championships in 1966, 1967 and 1968. They were undefeated in regional format during those seasons.

After graduation from Farmington High, Christine went on to Ursinas College and then Central Connecticut State University where she competed on the volleyball team and graduated with a BS in Physical Education.

She coached volleyball at Farmington High School from 1974-79 and ’81, accumulating a record of 80-37. Her teams were four time Northwest Conference champions and they won the Class S state title in 1979.

Christine was the 1978 Connecticut High School Volleyball Coach of the Year.

She is presently the physical education coordinator at Irving Robbins Middle School.

 

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Bonnie Jean Kenny

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Bonnie moved on to the University of Tennessee in 1981 where she captained the Lady Vol’s nationally ranked volleyball team. That team enjoyed much success with three appearances in the NCAA tournament, two Southeastern Conference titles and two SEC runner up titles. Bonnie herself was named to the Southeastern Conference all-tournament team in 1982.

Bonnie also excelled academically while at Tennessee.  She was named an Academic All-American in 1984 and remained on the Dean’s list for seven academic quarters.

Upon graduation from the University of Tennessee, bonnie was named head volleyball coach at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. She continued there until 1993 when she took on the position as head coach at the University of Massachusetts where she continues to coach at present.

Form 1980 until the present time, Bonnie has worked as instructor, clinician and director for numerous volleyball camps.

She is a content contributor in both the AVCA Handbook and Championship Volleyball Drills Vol I & II.

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Alesia Vaccari

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Alesia attended The Gilbert School in Winsted, where her team won the 2000 Class S Championship and were finalists in 2001. She was awarded Most Valuable Player in the 2000 tourney and All-State in 2000 and 2001. She was also named CT Player of the Year by the Hartford Courant in 2001. She then enrolled and graduated from Springfield College where she was setter for four years.

During her time running the office at Springfield, they won two NEWMAC Championships and played in two NCAA Regional Finals. She received many individual honors, including three All-Region honors, two honorable mention All-American honors, and was named NEWMAC Player of the Year in 2004. She continues to hold the all-time assist record at Springfield College with 5,196. Coach Joel Dearing stated upon her graduation that even with all of her accolades she would best be remembered for her “love of the game of volleyball.”

Alesia went on to share that passion as an assistant coach at Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY where she was part of the Golden Knights’ 2010 Liberty League Coaching Staff of the Year, helping the program in its first-ever  NCAA tournament berth. She then took the head coaching position at Simmons College in Boston, where she posted a 50-49 career record with the Sharks, reaching the Great Northeast Athletic Conference semifinals in each of her three seasons. Alesia was named the GNAC Coach of the Year in her first season at Simmons, when she led the program to a 20-10 record. In 2012, she was honored by the American Volleyball Coaches Assoc. Thirty Under Thirty Award. In 2014, Alesia was hired as head women’s volleyball coach at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA.

 

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Allison Baker

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Allison N. Baker

Allison was born in Connecticut but raised in Dallas, Texas and Ft Wayne, Indiana. She spent most of her childhood growing up in Ft Wayne. She was introduced to volleyball in the third grade and began playing club volleyball in fourth grade. While living in Indiana, she had the opportunity to train with elite club programs such Munciana Volleyball Club and Sports Performance Volleyball Club. Her father relocated to Glastonbury, Connecticut in 1998 where she began her high school volleyball career as a Tomahawk under Coach Steve Geryk. She made an immediate impact as a setter for the varsity team and after a few games was named the starter. During her sophomore season she was named team captain, a role she held her remaining three years. Glastonbury quickly became a volleyball powerhouse across the state securing the number one spot in the state polls for many weeks in 2001. Allison led the Tomahawks to the CCC West Conference title all four years and the CCC Conference title against rival Maloney in an exciting five game match in 2001, where she totaled 32 kills. Glastonbury made it to the state semifinal match before their season ended with an impressive 21-2 record.

During her high school career she was a four year all conference team member, the three time Allstate team member, member of the Hartford Courant all Courant team, named the 2001 East Region All-Star MVP, and the 2001-2002 Gatorade player of the year. She spent the off-season playing for Pat Ryan’s candidate husky volleyball club on their High Performance team. She joined other top players in the state such as Alesia Vaccari securing the 2002 New England region championship Allison was selected to participate in the USA Junior National High Performance training camp held in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 2001 and named to the USA New England High Performance team which competed in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2002.

After visiting many schools, she committed and signed with the University of Connecticut, before transferring to Providence College after her freshman season. While at Providence, she was a three year starter and named captain her senior year. She was named to numerous all-tournament teams throughout the years and the All-Independent team her senior year. Interestingly, Allison has played every position including club burial at some point during her career.

Allison married her husband Charles, a former member of the Providence College basketball team in 2012 and they are awaiting the arrival of their first baby also due in November. Allison currently works within the juvenile court as a forensic social worker. Her parents and sister were a large part of her success over the years, her father who also played basketball for Providence College passed away in 2010 after a battle with cancer and her mother now resides in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Her sister is a prominent high school basketball coach in North Carolina.

Judy Sochin

Judy Sochin is a 1971 graduate of Maloney High School. She was co captain of the Volleyball Hall of Fame coach Sandi Piantek’s first state championship volleyball team.

Judy began working voluntarily, in the Maloney athletic department in high school and has continued her association in various capacities for over 45 years. Following her graduation from Maloney, Judy attended UConn, where she played volleyball for two years on the club team, prior to its establishment as a varsity sport.

Judy received her undergraduate degree in speech /language pathology in 1975, and later received a Master’s Degree and sixth year certificate in communication disorders/speech pathology from SCSU. She was a speech pathologist in the one area school system for one year in return to Meriden where she continued as a speech/language pathologist for 14 years and several of the district’s schools, until she retired in 2012.

Judy also coached field hockey for Maloney for 13 years. She has been a member of the Hall of Fame committee since this is inception in 2003, serving as chairperson for four years, and was a member of the ninth class of Maloney Hall of Fame inductees receiving her honor in April 2014. Judy is affiliation with the volleyball Hall of Fame began with the inaugural class when she and her co captain presented Sandi Piantek with her award. She was asked to take photographs for the first group of inductees and has photographed every class of inductees since.

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Kaitlin Petrella

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From 2003 to 2006, Kaitlin Petrella led Bunnell High School to three consecutive Class LL State Championships. For her career, she totaled 393 kills, 399 aces, and 725 Digs. She led her team to a 95 and 5 four year record.

In her junior year Kaitlin was named First Team All-Colonial Division and the CT Post and New Haven Register All-Area Team. In her senior year she was named the South West Conference Co-MVP and the Class LL Connecticut State Tournament MVP. She was also named to the All-SWC team and to the All-State First Team.

Kaitlin continued her volleyball career at Central Connecticut State University. She became a Libero and from her sophomore year led her team in digs with 366. Her junior year she set a career dig record with 1,216. She was named Libero of the year in both her junior and senior years. In her senior year she was also named to the First Team All-Conference.

Currently Kaitlin is teaching physical education and health in Stratford, CT. She is also the head coach of the girls’ golf team and the JV volleyball coach at her Alma Mater, Bunnell High School

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Joanna Weiss

Joanna Weiss had an outstanding high school career at Darien HS. From 1999 until she graduated in 2002 her team won three FCIAC championships, three Eastern Division championships and three State Championships. Her team was 89 and 9 for those four years. Her awards included being named captain in her senior year, twice to the All-FCIAC team and twice to the All-State team.

She was just getting started. She continued her career at Cornell University. To say she made a contribution to their team is an understatement to say the least. The year before she arrived on campus, Cornell had tied for last in the Ivy League. Then in her first two years, 2003 and 2004, Joanna was named the most improved player. In her last three years, Cornell was the Ivy League champions. In her junior and senior years, 2005 and 2006, they earned NCAA tournament berths. In 2005 she led her team with an attack percentage of .406, a school record and the 7th best in the nation. Her career attack percentage was .384, another school record. In her senior year, she set her 3rd school record for individual blocks and the led the team to a team school record for blocks with 562. In those two years, Joanna was First Team All-Ivy as well as All-Northeast Region.

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Leah Hettrick

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Leah Hettrick graduated from Maloney High School in Meriden in 2002. In her senior year her team was undefeated state champions. Leah was named to the First Team All-State team and the Connecticut Gatorade Player of the Year.

After graduating, she played at Springfield College from 2003-07. In her first year she was named Rookie of the year. In her second year, she was named to the First Team All-Conference and was voted Springfield College ‘s Volleyball Player of the Year and most Outstanding Female Athlete for team sports.

As a junior, Leah was again voted most outstanding player and female athlete. She also set three school records: digs per match, digs per game in a season and digs per game for a career. She was also named to the All-New England Region Team.

As a senior, she set the final record for digs in a career. She was named to the All-Tournament Team in two of their largest tournaments. She was named not only to the All-New England second team, but to the American Volleyball Coaches Assoc. as honorable mention All-American.

Throughout her volleyball career at Springfield College, Leah was recognized more than 20 times as an out-standing collegiate player.

 

 

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Kate Barile-Cotto

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Katie played at the Morgan School in Clinton from 1995-98.

In her first year, Kate was a conference and state champion. In fact, for all four of her high school years, Kate’s team was conference and state champions.

In Kate’s junior year, she was named 2nd team all-state and a Shoreline Conference Scholar Athlete.

Named captain in her senior year, she led her team back to the state finals. She averaged 18 kills per match during the regular season. Then throughout the tournament she averaged 30 kills per match. She was named Most Valuable Player of the Class S Tournament. The New Haven Register named her both Most Valuable Player and to the All-Area Volleyball Team and Connecticut High School Coaches Assoc. also named her to the All-State team.

Kate finished her high school career with an 82-2 record, four conference championships and four state championships. She went on to play that the University of New Haven where she again distinguished herself as an outstanding volleyball player.