Class of 2006
Priscilla Wallis Schulz
Priscilla played volleyball at Staples High School from 1971-1973. In these early days of women’s athletics there was no state tournament or All-Star team but Priscilla’s athletic ability and volleyball skills would not go unnoticed. She was an outstanding player and team leader and was selected as team co-captain in 1973.
Priscilla attended Southern Connecticut State College where she continued playing volleyball for Coach Lou Albrecht and then for Coach Joan Barbarich. It was at Southern that Priscilla’s abilities as a setter emerged. As her skills sharpened in this position, she gain confidence and experience is the team’s playmaker. In her senior year she was selected as team captain and she was also chosen as the team’s Most Outstanding Player. In 1977 Priscilla and her teammates qualified for the regional tournament with a 15-6 record. The team made an excellent showing losing in the regional semifinals. Priscilla’s years at Southern are full of memories not only of great matches, but also great teammates. She shared the floor with players like Lynn Spagnesi, Cindy Opalski, and Fran VanDermeer, to name a few.
After graduating from Southern, Priscilla was hired as a physical education/special education teacher at New Canaan High School where she still teaches today. She coached volleyball there from 1978-2002. Continuing to achieve success as a coach Priscilla was selected as the Connecticut High School Volleyball Coach of the Year 1999-2000. She has also been selected to coach the Connecticut High School All-Star game twice (1991 and 2002). She has been serving as the FCIAC volleyball chairperson since 1999.
Priscilla has been married to Dave Schulz for 27 years. They have two daughters who are carrying on the family athletic legacy. Kerry is a former all-state volleyball and tennis player who is currently captain of the Providence College tennis team and Kristin a former all-state field hockey player and currently a field hockey player at the College of the Holy Cross.
Josie’s volleyball career begins at Darien High School in 1994. An excellent athlete, under the guidance of Coach Laurie LaRusso, she developed and improved her volleyball skills to become one of the top players in the state. Josie’s personal achievements are considerable. She was a four-year starter selected as team captain in both her junior and senior years. She also earned many league honors. Showing great promise early in her career, she was a FCIAC honorable mention as a freshman. She made first-team all-FCIAC in 1996, ‘97, and ’98. She was also the states most viable player in ‘96 and ‘98. Josie was on the Bridgeport Post All-Star team in 1996, ’97, and ‘98 and she was the team’s most valuable player in 1998.
Josie and her teammates also amassed an impressive record. Darien won the FCIAC championship from 1995- 1998. They were CIAC state champions in 1995, 96, and 98 and were ranked number one in Connecticut each of those years. In fact during the four years that Josie played at Darien, the team lost only one match.
Josie attended Duke University after graduation and continue to play volleyball. She was a four-year starter there playing defensive specialist/libero. Josie was selected all-ACC first-team in 2001 and second team in 2002. Also in 2002 she was chosen team captain and became a member of the 1000 Dig Club.
Josie graduated in 2002 and became Academic Support Center Supervisor at American School in Tokyo, Japan (2003-2004). She traveled Southeast Asia that summer and went to work at MD Sport. Currently Josie works for Urban Outfitters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Fred has been involved with the sport of volleyball for 27 years. He started the volleyball program at Ellington High School in 1979. Back in those early days of emerging girls’ athletics there was no assistant coach and Fred ran both the JV and varsity programs himself for 10 years. The girls were forced to wear old boys’ basketball shorts and strap type shirts. In spite of these hardships, Fred developed Ellington into one of the top volleyball programs in the state. His 25 year record is 299-176. Under Fred’s leadership Ellington won 7 conference championship, they qualified for the CIAC state tournament 18 times, reached the semifinals three times and were state runner-up once. Fred coached many outstanding players in his career. Eighteen of his former players went on to play in college and at least 15 have been involved as coaches ensuring that his legacy in volleyball will continue. In 1999 Fred was honored by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association as the Volleyball Coach of the Year.
Fred has also been active on the organizational level of volleyball. He served on the CIAC state committee for nine years and as a chairperson of the State Volleyball Association for six years. Along with John Fontana, Fred initiated the first, and has been responsible for all subsequent, volleyball all- state awards and banquets. He was involved with the first Connecticut Volleyball Senior All-Star game selection committee and he also selected as coach one year.
During the last 15 years Fred has been a volleyball official for the Connecticut Volleyball Board of Officials (CBVO) working high school girls’ and boys’ games as well as prep schools. For the past two years he has officiated at the Baystate Games, has coached and officiated at the Connecticut Nutmeg Games. He has also officiated at both the Special Olympics and Unified Games. Fred currently is chairperson of the CBVO. He is also involved with adult volleyball leagues in town trying to increase community awareness of the skill, recreation and fun of the game.
Hartford Courant: Colosimo Evolves Into An Expert
Betsy J. Gilmartin
Betsy has been involved with volleyball for almost 40 years. She has participated in every possible aspect of the game: officiating, playing, coaching, committee member and administrator. When Betsy attended high school there were few if any opportunities for girls to play scholastic sports. So girls had to look for other places to play and that meant recreational leagues. Being a good athlete who wanted to play, Betsy looked and found her outlet at the Meriden Girls’ Club where she played basketball and softball. In fact, her basketball team won the New England championship one year.
It should come as no surprise that when Betsy arrived at Southern Connecticut State College in 1964 she tried out for every team she could. Possessing excellent athletic ability, a positive attitude and tremendous desire she not only played basketball and softball but she also made the field hockey and track teams in spite of her lack of experience in the sports. Betsy also played on Southern’s first volleyball team in her senior year.
Betsy’s brief college experience in volleyball set her on quite a journey. From 1969- 1972 she continued playing volleyball on the Connecticut Clippers US Volleyball Association team along with other CTWVHF members John Joyce, Debbie Chin and Linda Hamm. The Clippers were very successful and qualified to compete in four national tournaments (Knoxville, Birmingham, Salt Lake City and Honolulu). They were also instrumental in introducing “power volleyball” to our area providing numerous clinics to high school and college players and coaches.
In 1968 that she was hired to teach physical education and coach at North Haven High School. She tried her hand at officiating volleyball for a couple of years and then turned to coaching. She coached the North Haven volleyball team from 1970- 1972. Then in 1979 she served as assistant volleyball coach at Central Connecticut State University. Betsy was hired at Mercy High School in Middletown in 1983, serving as PE teacher, coach and athletic director. In 1984 she returned to coaching starting Mercy’s volleyball program. During her 10 year tenure as coach, Mercy qualified for state tournament play six times and advanced to the semifinals one year.
Betsy also served volleyball in leadership roles other than coaching. From 1987- 1996 she served on the CIAC volleyball committee. She was volleyball chairman of the Connecticut High School Coaches’ Association from 1987- 1993. Betsy is a founder and cochairman of the Senior All-Star game. She has been the chairman of the Southern Connecticut Conference Volleyball Coaches since 1994 and she is a founding member of the Connecticut Scholastic Woman’s Volleyball Hall of Fame.
Sarah arrived at Bunnell High School in 1994. She was a dedicated basketball and softball player planning to play a sport in the fall to stay in shape. She decided to try volleyball. At tryouts the first test of the day was arm strength, and when Sarah threw the ball from the service line to the back wall of the gym, Coach Dave Jockle took notice. He not only picked her for the team, he put her on varsity.
Sarah took to this new sport, quickly developing into one of the top players in the state. She has earned honors not only from her high school and state, but she has also earned national recognition. Sarah holds the following Bunnell team records: 521 single-season and 1584 career kills; 174 single-season and 500 career aces; 288 single-season and 723 career digs. In 1994, she was named to the all-conference team and selected all-area by the Connecticut Post and the New Haven Register. Remember she was a freshman and had only played one season of volleyball. In fact Sarah was named all-conference and all-area four years in a row! In 1996 and 97 she was selected in the Connecticut Post and the New Haven Register as the Volleyball Player of the Year. She was also the New Haven Register Female Athlete of the Year in 1997.
Sarah also earned national recognition. She is listed in the National High School Sports Record Book (2006). She is ranked sixth and seventh for all-time kills in a match with 43 in 1996 and 41 in 1997. She is ranked fourth all-time for service aces in a career and she is ranked sixth all-time for service aces in a match (17 in 1997). With Sarah’s help Bunnell made it to two state finals and in 1997 they defeated Darien in the tournament, handing them their first loss in five years. Sarah was named to the first team all-state three years in a row, 1995, ‘96, and ‘97. She was a Gatorade Player of the Year in Connecticut in 1996 and 1997 and she was a Gatorade Player of the Year in New England in 1997.
After graduating from Bunnell, Sarah played volleyball at Providence College and continued her winning ways. She was a four-year starter at the outside hitter position. She was named to the Big East all-rookie team in 1998 and the All-Big East team in 1999 and 2001. She holds the all-time Providence College records for career kills, digs and attacks.
Cindy attended Southern Connecticut State University where she played volleyball for Lou Albrecht and Joan Barbarich. A savvy outside hitter for the Owls, she played in two AIAW tournaments and was captain of the squad in her senior year.
In 1979 she took over the program at Maloney High School in Meriden. Stepping into such a well-known and successful program could’ve been a daunting task to some, but Cindy was more than up to it. During her seven year tenure from 1979 to 1985 she and her teams amassed an amazing record of 147 wins and 11 losses including four undefeated seasons (1979, 80, 81 and 84). Under Cindy’s guidance Maloney won the C IAC State Class L Championship (they played up in class) in 1979 and 84 and they were runner-up in 1985. In 1981 Maloney was part of the longest high school winning streak in the United States. Cindy also produced many outstanding players, among them all-staters Bonnie Kenny, Kim Sokel and Anne Marie Larese. There were also numerous all-league awards and league titles.
After leaving Maloney, Cindy worked with the US Volleyball Junior Olympic Program for five years coaching the Connecticut team at numerous national qualifiers. She coached and trained some of the top players to come out of Connecticut. Cindy is now in her 20th season as an intercollegiate head coach. In 1986 she was hired at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. In her four years there she led the team to a 96- 42 record and the school’s first-ever conference title in 1988. She was the AV CA coach of the year in the Atlantic region and Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.
In 1990 Cindy arrived at Bucknell University and has transformed Bison volleyball into one of the top programs in the East. They were recognized as the most improved team in the nation by Volleyball Monthly in 1993; recorded the best record in school history in 1995 at 26-7; won the first-ever Patriot League automatic bid to the 1998 NCAA tournament; and in 2003 posted a school record 11 Patriot League wins en route to a second-place finish. Bucknell has won four of the last 11 Patriot League regular-season titles under a plastic Cindy. Cindy one of her 300th career match in 2004 and she has been named the Patriot League coach of the year three times: 1997, 2000 and 2003.