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

Lauren Holt

Lauren Holt had an “inauspicious” start to her volleyball career. As a freshman in high school she tried out for Granby High School’s inaugural season. She was primarily in as a middle blocker and was set a few times on the attack line. She joined the Husky Volleyball Club in the off season of her sophomore year and began to develop what would become outstanding and award earning volleyball skills.

Lauren was recruited by several colleges, but after her visit to Springfield College, she felt her other choices could not compare to what Springfield had to offer its student-athletes. From the family-like team feeling and coaching staff to the welcoming staff and campus, Lauren knew she had found a home. While at Springfield, Lauren was able to pursue both of her passions, being a collegiate volleyball player and getting an education in athletic training.

She ended her career as a four time All-American, two-time national statistical champion for most blocks-per-set in a season, NCAA Post-Graduate scholarship winner, and a nominee for NCAA Woman of the Year. She compiled several NEWMAC conference Athlete of the Year A wards and earned the Springfield College Dearing Pride Award as well as being named the Outstanding Team Sport Athlete for all four years of her career at the college.

But, what was most important to her was making life-long friendships, memories of traveling to Texas and Colorado with the team, and the accomplishment of being a successful student athlete. Now Lauren is pursuing her second passion of athletic training which allows her to help other student athletes stay healthy and pursue their college dreams.

Richard Meyers

Richard attended the University of Oregon, earning a BS in Biology and MS in Physical Education along with a teaching certificate in Biology. While at Oregon he was captain of the water polo team. In 1975 he began his teaching career in Petersburg, Alaska. At first coaching swimming for six years then coached volleyball for five years taking the Vikings to the first ever Alaska 3A State Championship Tournament.

After two years as the Assistant Volleyball Coach at the University of Alaska Anchorage (ranked in the national top 25), Richard was hired at Western Connecticut State University in late August in 1988. Upon arriving in Danbury the entire history Of WCSU volleyball was one page of yellow legal pad paper with about 10 names and telephone numbers. That year WC—SU placed second in the Independent Athletic Conference, then placed first for the next four years before becoming an independent until joining the Little East Conference in 1997 placing second in the LEC in 1997 & 1998.

Western began a string of 49 straight conference wins from 1998-2004 including six straight LEC Titles and five straight Tournament Championships, earning Jive straight NCAA tournament appearances, advancing to the second round three times. During his tenure at Western he coached 4 NCAA All Region players and many IAC All Conference players and 28 LEC player honors with 9 major honor winners. He was Coach of the Year in the LEC 2000 & 2001.

Richard was active nationally as he was a long time member of the AVCA, serving on the AVCA Regional Top 10 Committee. He was also active regionally as Vice President then President of the New England Women’s Volleyball Association. Richard also played in the USVBA Nationals in 1987 and 1988, playing against a team of ex-Olympians in 1988. He played in the Danbury men’s league, the Senior Olympics, the Connecticut State Games and New England Masters, began the Danbury Juniors Program and ran outdoor doubles tournaments and indoor reverse coed tournaments for over 10 years.

While in Alaska he became a commercial fisherman as a salmon trawler. He still trawls commercially for salmon every summer.

Deb O’Brien

Debbie O’Brien began her volleyball career playing at Wethersfield High School for coach John Landry. She often talked to him about her desire to coach volleyball after college. She attended Stonehill College where she played volleyball and earned a B.A. in Elementary Education. After graduation, John asked if she was still interested in coaching. Debbie served as his assistant for four years and took over the program in 1994. She is currently in her twenty-fifth year at Wethersfield.

Since 2010, Debbie has also been the head coach of the Boy’s Volleyball Program at Wethersfield after serving or three years as assistant.

Her teams have often qualified for post-season play, including the conference and state tournament. Many of her players have earned All-Conference and All State honors. In addition to earning CCC divisional titles, one of the honors Deb is most proud of is the six Connecticut Board o Volleyball Officials Sportsmanship Awards her teams have earned. She is also proud of former players who have returned to coach with her, as well as those who have gone on to become successful coaches.

Debbie is presently teaching sixth grade at Charles Wright Elementary School in Wethersfield.

Gloria Bellucci

Gloria grew up in Waterbury before there were high school sport teams for girls. She did earn varsity letters in cheerleading. Gloria graduated from the College of Saint Elizabeth with a B.A. in History and played multiple sports, serving as captain of the basketball team for 4 years. She also coached the Lauralton Hall High School basketball team for 3 years.

Gloria organized and played on a USVBA team in New England when she was appointed as the rst women’s program director or the Waterbury YMCA. She enjoyed playing the sport so much that she decided to become an official.

Her officiating career has spanned over 40 years. She has served as an official for high school girls’ and boys’ volleyball and also collegiate matches. Gloria’s experience includes officiating collegiate tournaments, high school CIAC quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals matches. Gloria has also been chosen to officiate Connecticut high school volleyball all-star games. Gloria has volunteered to officiate at the Connecticut Unified Games also.

Currently Gloria serves as treasurer of Northern Board of Volleyball officials, a position she has held for 35 years. She has also assisted with mentoring, training, and rating of new officials for 35 years. She is the current CIAC contact for Volleyball in the State of Connecticut, a member of the state volleyball board, CIAC Officials’ Advisory Volleyball Board and a member of the Connecticut Women’s Volleyball Hall of Fame Committee.

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.

Elena Lockett

Elena has been an active volleyball player with 33 years’ experience playing both high level beach and indoor volleyball. She is an active coach with 12 years’ experience coaching at the high school and club level. She serves as a camp director and private coach helping to grow the sport locally.

Elena was a 3 year varsity starter at Fitch High School, earning All State Honorable Mention and her team’s choice as Most Valuable Player in 1989. She was a Silver Medalist at Yankee Volleyball Nationals and has earned more than 20 indoor league and beach volleyball championships in New England.

Her record as a Junior Varsity coach at Fitch High School was an impressive 163-21 overall. As an assistant, she was part of 2 Conference Championship teams and the 2008 Class LL State Finalists. Elena also gives her time to young volleyball players in the club system in her area. Her teams have earned 6 Gold Medals and 3 Silver Medals in NERVA Volleyball Tournaments.

Most importantly however is how her peers, specifically two Hall of Fame members, acknowledge and admire her contribution to the sport of volleyball.

“Elena is a true competitor and her love for the game is enduring. I don’t know anyone who has sustained her level of involvement in the sport, competing and coaching over the years. ”

“Elena has been instrumental in the promotion and growth of volleyball in southeastern Connecticut. She demonstrates outstanding leadership qualities and never seeks personal recognition for her efforts.”