Lisa Cirmo Peterson

Lisa Cirmo Peterson

Lisa Cirmo Peterson

Lisa Cirmo Peterson played for Cheshire High School and was coached by Cynthia Hitchcock from 1976-1978. In 1978, Lisa was chosen captain of the team.

In 1976, Cheshire volleyball captured the Housatonic League championship and won the Connecticut Class M title.  In 1977, Cheshire once again won both the league and state championships and, in 1977, Lisa was selected as a member of the All-Housatonic league.

Lisa joined her team to tour Poland in July 1976 playing exhibition volleyball, with Debbie Chin coaching the team.  Cheshire was selected to participate in these “friendly” games in recognition of Coach Hitchcock’s legendary win-loss record.

Cynthia Hitchcock also coached Lisa for Cheshire High School’s track team where she was team captain in 1978 and 1979.  In 1978, Lisa was honored with the Kimberly and Sandra Hitchcock Memorial Award for Sportsmanship.

In 1979, Lisa entered the University of Missouri and was invited to try out for the Division 1 volleyball team as a walk-on player.

Lisa graduated from the University of Missouri and earned a graduate degree from                    St. Joseph University. Her 30-year professional career includes Food and Nutrition Editor for several magazines and a registered dietitian.

Sue Bavone

A lifelong resident of Oakville, Sue Bavone graduated from Watertown High School where she played volleyball, softball and basketball until a back injury ended her playing career in her junior year.  After graduation, she went on to CCSU, where she earned a BA in Communications.  She began her coaching career at her alma mater in 1985, where she coached for 8 seasons (53-92).  

After leaving WHS in 1992, Sue decided to pursue a degree in Special Education so she went back to CCSU part-time while working at the Wheeler Clinic’s Northwest Village School as an Instructional Assistant for special needs students.  

In 1994, Sue was named the head Girls’ Volleyball Cheshire High School, where she continues to coach today.  Now, in her 27th season, Sue has amassed an impressive 540-98 record at CHS.  Her teams have been among the best in the Southern CT Conference and in the state having won 18 Division Titles, and 14 SCC conference titles.  (Sue’s teams have reached the finals of the SCC tournament an incredible 19 times in 27 seasons).  She has also brought teams to 8 Class LL State Finals, winning 4 State Championships (‘97, ‘98, ‘07, ‘13).  

For her efforts with the girls, she has been named a Coach of the Year by; The New Haven Register (‘98,’07, ’12, ’13, ’14, ‘18) the CT High School Coach of the Year (2003), the Franciscan Life Center Coach of the Year (1999), the Olympia Club Coach of the Year (2001) and The Ct Sports Writers Association (2013), Southern Ct Conference Coach of the Year (2015, 2018), and the Water/Oak Circle of Sports Coach of the Year (2018).

In 1996, Sue earned a BA in Special Education from CCSU and was hired as a Special Education Teacher at Cheshire High.  Sue also earned a Master’s of Learning Degree from Sacred Heart University in 2000.  She is currently a SPED Teacher at Cheshire High.

Sue’s greatest pleasure is seeing the positive impact that her programs have had on her players after they have graduated from high school.  Her coaching staff for both teams has always been composed of former players and the sheer number that come back to help with camps, clinics or just come to visit, overwhelms her with a great sense of pride and satisfaction and makes all the years of hard work so worth it.   Her coaching philosophy is simple…”to instill in my players a love for the game of volleyball, while providing them with a positive atmosphere in which to grow as a player and as a person.”  Sue has done that countless times over.

Sue is a member of:

  • The New England Regional Volleyball Association (NERVA)
  • The Yankee Volleyball Association
  • The CT High School Coaches Association (CHSCA)
  • The CT Junior Olympic Volleyball Association (CJVBA) 
  • The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA)
  • The Massachusetts High School Volleyball Coaches Association (MVCA)

Erica Webster Kearney


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.

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.

Cynthia Hitchcock

Cindy is one of the pioneers of girls’ athletics in this area.

She started her coaching career in 1970 at Cheshire High School where she coached both volleyball and basketball.  She also coached the girls’ track team from 1973-1981.  Cindy’s intensity and competitive attitude helped build Cheshire into one of the most successful athletic programs in the state. During Cindy’s career her volleyball teams compiled an impressive record including 3 state championships, 7 Housatonic League championships and an amazing 57 game winning streak.  Many of the athletes under Cindy’s guidance received All-League and All-State honors and many went on to play in college.

At the helm of the basketball team for twenty years, Cindy’s teams were very successful.  Her leadership gained her many honors including being named Coach of the Year by the Tap Off Club in 1982 and being inducted into the Tap Off Club Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Connecticut Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995.

Today Cindy is retired from teaching and coaching, but she is embarking on a new career- as a volleyball official!  She also spends time with her son Bruce, daughter-in-law Susan and grandsons Bruce and Blake.

Sandy Hastings Reichel

Sandy Hastings played High School volleyball at Cheshire from 1976-1978. Her teams won two state championships in both 1977 and 1978. Sandy also played on the Junior National Volleyball Team in 1978 and 1979.

Sandy played Division I collegiate volleyball at Rutgers University from 1978-1980. In her first year, her team played in the National Championships at the University of Alabama. She also played at San Diego State University in 1980 and 1981. They were ranked #4 in the country both years.

Sandy also played both USVBA and AAU volleyball in 1979 and 1980 and her teams were nationally ranked.

Doreen Paul

Doreen played for Cheshire High School and was coached by Cynthia Hitchcock from 1975-1977.  In 1975 her team captured the Housatonic League championship, as they did the 1976 as well.  Also in 1976 they won the Class M state title.

Doreen was named to the All-State team and later participated in tryouts for the US Olympic volleyball team.  In July 1976 she toured Poland playing exhibition volleyball with the Cheshire High School team.  By 1977, Doreen was captain of her team and once again they won league and state championships.

During her years on the team, teh Cheshire Hish volleyball team enjoyed a 62-match winning streak. Doreen coached volleyball at Saint Rose of Lima in New Haven from 1991-1992. She is presently self-employed and working out of New Haven.