Ed Adajian

Growing up in West Hartford, Connecticut Ed attended both Conard High School and Hall High School. His interest in volleyball began in the Summer of 1969 at Sound View Beach in Old Lyme, Connecticut. “There was a net set up on the sand between two wooden poles. I found myself drawn to the game, even though it was (right back at you) volleyball.” Upon graduating from the University of Hartford in 1979, Ed joined the West Hartford Continuing Education Adult Volleyball program. This proved more organized and in two years he began instructing sessions.

Born out of this experience, in 1986 Ed took over the Hall High School girls’ volleyball program.

In 1990, Ed began his officiating career, while still coaching. Barbara Startup a future Connecticut Women’s Volleyball Hall of Fame Founder and inductee Class of 2011, would prove to be a key mentor with her vast knowledge of the sport. While attending numerous coaching and officiating clinics over the years, Ed credits numerous people for having influenced his career. They include Rick Rowey, Boo Brennan, Joel Dearing, the late Bill McCaffrey, as well as Fran Vandermeer, to name only a few.

Some highlights of Ed’s officiating career include doing lines at the United States Nationals in 1995 located at the Westover Air Force Base in Chicopee, Massachusetts, as well as being a linesperson for a match between a semblance of the United States Men’s National Volleyball Team vs. the Ukrainian Men’s National Team. Ed reflects “I remember that if I so much as blinked, I missed the play. That’s how fast paced the play was. After that experience, doing lines was a walk in the park!” Moving on to the collegiate level, Ed was a member of the Professional Association of Volleyball Officials also referred as the P.A.V.O.

Being selected to officiate the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference State Tournament Finals is considered to be one our states highest achievements. Ed was selected to officiate the CIAC State Tournament Finals for both girls’ and boys’. Over the years, Ed found himself officiating numerous Juniors Club and AAU Tournaments throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. A member of the Connecticut Board of Volleyball Officials since 1990, Ed has participated in the training of new officials and currently enjoys attending both high school and college matches as a spectator and student of the sport. “A good official never stops learning” is Ed’s philosophy. Volleyball today remains one of Ed’s true passions!

Cathy D’Apice

Cathy attended Conard High School in West Hartford, CT, graduating in 1979 with both academic and athletic honors. Cathy played volleyball all four years and was co-captain her senior year, when Conard won their class CCIL division. She was a versatile athlete and was Co-Captain of Conard’s only undefeated women’s basketball team, winning their division and ultimately the State Class L Championship. She also lettered in softball and track. Her nickname was “Ice D’Apice” because she was so cool under pressure. Although fiercely competitive, she would be the first person to flash a smile on the court or give a hand to help a competitor off the floor.

Cathy attended Ithaca College, where she continued her volleyball career playing for Coach Dr. Sara Rich from 1979-1982. She was a four-year starter, and was named Captain her junior and senior years. Selected to New York All-State Women’s Volleyball First Team, Cathy also received the organization’s Most Valuable Player award. In 1983, she was named to the 1983 “Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges”. Cathy loved the sport so much that in the off-season she coached and captained her intramural volleyball team. Cathy graduated a Dean’s List student in 1983, earning a BS in Business and Finance. The Ithaca Volleyball program now has an annual award in Cathy’s memory given to “the senior team member who is an outstanding student, team leader, and positive role model on and off the court”.

After graduation, Cathy continued to compete in area USVBA tournaments and was a member of the New London Volleyball Club that won the New England Women’s Open Division Regional Championship in 1988… this, one year after her diagnosis of breast cancer. She was 25 years old. Over the next several years, she continued to play in doubles tournaments along the East Coast, as well as playing in the inaugural Nutmeg State Games in 1989, and again in 1990, where she received the “Athlete of the Year” across all women’s sports at that year’s games. Cathy accomplished all this while undergoing continued treatment for breast cancer.Cathy died a year later, on September 17, 1991, a few days before her 30th birthday.

Beginning in the spring of 1996, the first annual Cathy D’Apice Memorial Volleyball Tournament was held, raising money for CT-based breast cancer research, under the leadership of Volleyball Hall of Fame member, Fran Vandermeer. The tourney featured a mix of collegiate Division I, II, and III women’s teams, along with several club teams. Participants raised over $100,000 in 20 years of play. There is now an annual research grant given in Cathy’s name by the Connecticut Breast Health Initiative.Cathy is loved and missed by so many.

Jung Park

Jung Park is a graduate of Conard HS and UCONN and currently resides in West Hartford, CT. His volleyball career began as a club player while attending UConn. After graduation even though he was a pretty good player, his teammates felt their team would be better without him and sent him into a forced retirement. When Jung was hired at UConn as the Intramural Director, he quickly realized how much help he would need if he was going to teach other students how to officiate. He became a member of the Connecticut Board of Volleyball Officials in 1997 as well as the USA Volleyball Association. He says he’s been blessed to be helped by many great mentors along the way. With help from his mentors and others in the officiating community, Jung became a dual national official (USAV in 2004 and PAVO, Professional Association of Volleyball Officials, in 2006). In 2010, he successfully completed the FIVB, Federation International de Volleyball, International Referee Course in Argentina then became a certified FIVB international referee in 2011. He currently works in ten different NCAA Division 1 conferences. He has worked numerous NCAA Women’s and Men’s conference, regional and national championships as well as several CT HS state championships and in NAIA, National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Today, Jung continues to serve as the State Rules Interpreter for high school officials in CT. Nationally he also continues to work many events as a member of the USAV and PAVO national rating/training team.

Actively involved with the collegiate club volleyball, he founded and serves as the commissioner of the Northeast Women’s Volleyball Club League (which has grown to fifty college club teams in nine states). He also ventures out to the “Dark Side” of coaching in his spare time, serving as the head coach of the UConn Women’s and Men’s club teams since 1997. He was recognized by NIRSA as the Club National Coach of the Year in 2007.