Joanne Conte

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Joanne’s involvement with volleyball began in 1981 at Maloney High School. She palyed four years in one of the premier programs in the state, coached by Hall of Famer Cindy Opalski. Not only did she learn how to better her skills and playing ability but she also learned the intricacies of the game that would server well as a coach. She showed herself to be someone who could lead as evidenced by her selection as captain. A versatile athlete, Joanne played tennis for four years. She was captain and received the Dan Sullivan Scholarship Award her senior year.

After graduation in 1984, Joanne attended CCSU as an Education major. In the Fall of ’85, she became assistant coach of the Lyman Hall girls’ volleyball team. With that one year coaching experience and start her junior year at Central, Joanne applied for the head coaching position at her alma mater. Maloney’s legendary AD Norb Fahey saw something in young Joanne and hired her for the job; and that rest is, as they say, history. She would remain there for 11 seasons, accruing an impressive 201-33 record, continuing the winning tradition establish by her predecessors. During her tenure as coach, Maloney consistently qualified for post season play, winning 8 CCC South league titles and taking 5 trips to the finals of the CIAC Class L State Championships. In 1989 and 1994, Maloney finished as runner-up and they won the state titles in ’87, ’88 and ’92. Joanne has had many of her players recognized for their playing. They have been selected to receive numerous all-league and all-state honors. Many of her players have gone on to play in college.  Joanne has been honored for her outstanding achievement in coaching as well. She was selected Connecticut High School Coaches Assoc. Volleyball Coach of the Year in 1995. In 1996 she received that National High School Coaches Assoc .District 1 Volleyball Coach of the Year and she was one of eight finalists for the NHCA coach of the year.

Joanne has excelled in her teaching career as well as her coaching career. She received the Meriden Exemplary Project Achievement Award in 2001; Meriden Project Excel’s Influential Teacher Recognition (1998-05); 1998 Nomination for “Who’s Who Among  America’s Teachers.”  In 2008 Joanne was hired as the Supervisor of Language Art (6-12) for the Meriden Public School System.

Joanne said she was most influenced by her grandmother, Freida Burhardt. A strong woman who encouraged Joanne to strive for excellence, a trait she in turn passed on to the young women she has coached.

Ann Moscovics

Ann started playing volleyball as a sophomore at Amity Regional (Amity was a 3-year senior high school) in 1980. With little experience to speak of but a great deal of talent, she tried out and won a spot as a varsity starter, no small feat on one of the top teams in the state. She was a strong side hitter with great passing skills and quickness which made her an effective player in the back row as well as the front. In fact, her combined talent and attitude earned her the team MVP award that year and she helped lead Amity to the Housatonic League title. As a junior, Ann was named team co-captain and helped her team continue its winning ways. Amity won another Housatonic League championship and added a CIAC Class LL State Title. As a junior, Ann was chosen team MVP for a second time and was selected first team All-Housatonic League and All-State. During her senior year it was more of the same. Amity finished the season 19-3 and won a second State Championship. Ann was once again selected team MVP, All-Housatonic League, and All-State. She also played in Team Connecticut on the AAU circuit that year. Ann’s excellence in athletics was not limited to volleyball, she also played basketball and softball at Amity. In basketball she scored more than 1,300 points in three years and in ’83 was selected as a Carnation Women’s Basketball All-American. In softball, Amity won a state title in ’82 and Ann was selected to the All-State team.

After graduating from Amity, Ann attended New Hampshire College. She played four years of Division II basketball with the Penwomen. In ’87, Ann turned her athletic interest to coaching. Her first position was as the head coach of the mane’s volleyball team at Sacred Heart Universtiy where she remained for two seasons. Currently she is coaching at Coginchaug High School in Durham. She is assisting head volleyball coach Clare Matasavage and she has been the head softball coach for four years. Her softball teams have accrued an amazing 19-1 record in post season play, have advanced to the state finals all four years and have won the Class S championship three times.

In 2004, Amity Regional inducted Ann into the Spartan’s Hall of Fame and retired numbers 7 and 20 in her honor and in 2006 she was inducted into the Connecticut High School Softball Hall of Fame.

 

Tamu Cooper-Santos

Tamu (Cooper) Santos was born and raised in New Haven. She entered Hillhouse High School in 1989 and played volleyball for four years. Her senior year she was named co-captain of the team. Tamu was selected to be on the All-District team and received the Hillhouse Intimidator Award.  Also that year, Hillhouse qualified for the CIAC state tournament, but was eliminated in a 5 set match against Hand High School.

Tamu also participated in basketball, track and softball at Hillhouse. She received the New Haven Register Defensive player of the year award her senior year and was a Register Athlete of the Week. She also led the team to the semifinals in the Class L state championship.  Tamu was a member of the state championship Class LL track team her senior year competing in the high jump. She graduated with honors in 1993 and received a full athletic scholarship to Temple University. Tamu was captain of Temple’s team her junior and senior years. An All-American volleyball player, she ranked as high as number two in the nation in hitting efficiency her junior year. As a junior, she also tried out for the Olympic volleyball team making it to the final cut. During her senior year she led Temple to win their first Atlantic Ten Championship. She also led them to their first NCAA tournament appearance.

Upon graduation from Temple in 1998 with a B.A. in Speech, Language and Hearing, Tamu turned pro in volleyball and played all over Europe.  The tour competed in Germany, Italy, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. While competing, Tamu pursued a certificationin Sign Language studies. Upon returning to the US she played a season of basketball for the Community College of Philadelphia. There she was selected Most Valuable Player of the Wattignies Volleyball Club in Lille, France.  She ranked in the Top five in hitting for the Professional “A” French League.  At the end of the season, she signed to return, but later was forced to forfeit and end her professional career due to a knee injury.  Tamu has coached at Bob Bertucci Volleyball Camps and clinics since 1996 for ages 5 to adult.  In 2004 she ran her own camp for Career High School girls’ volleyball team. Most recently, Tamu played in the EBA (Eastern Basketball Alliance) semi pro league for two seasons (2004-5).

In March 2007 Tamu was inducted into the HIllhouse High School Hall of Fame.

She has worked as a speech therapist for the past seven years and is currently pursuing a Masters level certification in the field.  In 2001 Tamu married Ngloa Santos. They have a son, Namumba, and a daughter, Nzinga.

 

Pat Ryan

Pat’s love of the game of volleyball began 30 years ago. He started playing volleyball in 1976, the fall of his senior year in high school in Northampton, MA.  There was no boys’ volleyball team, so in 1975 two boys went out for the girls’ volleyball team.  By his senior year there were actually six boys on the formerly all-girls team.

There were very few opportunities for boys to play volleyball back then and Pat subsequently played club volleyball at UMass/Amherst with his presenter, Steve Geryk.  He played college club volleyball for three years and was named to the All New England team each year and he was selected Player of the Year twice.  After finishing his collegiate club career, Pat started playing with adult teams in New England regional championships (as recently as 2006).  At the US National Championships his teams have placed as high as 3rd (highest ever for a New England team). He was named an Open Division All American four times and was also selected the 30 and over Player of the Year. One of the most memorable highlights of pat’s career was when he played on the USA Select Team at the Pacific Ocean Games in Columbia, South America in 1995 and winning a gold medal.

In 1996 Pat’s friend Steve Geryk convinced him to take the assistant coach position for the Glastonbury High School boys’ team and then to fill in with the girls’ team in the fall of the same year.  That was it… he was hooked on coaching.  In 1999 at the urging of some of his high school players and parents, Pat founded Husky Junior Volleyball Club.  Initially there were only six teams , but it has grown to be the largest USA Volleyball Junior Olympic Club in New England with 30 girls teams and three boys teams.

Pat could not pick just one person who was most influential to his volleyball career. There would be Don Matus (his high school coach) who introduced him to the sport; Dave Castanon (New England regional commissioner for USA Volleyball now) the captain/coach of Pat’s first high level team; and Steve Geryk who brought him into coaching.

Katie Nichols Henry

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Growing up in mystic, Connecticut, with a big push from her father Art, Kim followed the footsteps of her older sister Kate. Kim had the opportunity to jump into the sport at a younger age and participate in several volleyball junior programs and elite camps. Like big sis, Kim found her strengths as a setter. During her high school years at Fitch, Kim was three sport letter winner but always favored volleyball. She was the starting setter during her career at Fitch putting strong stats on the board for both assists and aces. In 1990, her senior year, Kim led the team as captain and setter throughout the season, and into a final match as a high school player. Coached by Mark Sullivan, the 1990 team participated in their first ever state final championship. Although they took a tough loss, Kim demonstrated her love for the sport and team, and along with co-captain Anna Hauptmann, was named to the 1st team Allstate. She also led her team that year in assists, aces and was named Most Valuable Player. Her high school accomplishments earned her both academic and athletic scholarships to several colleges and Kim ultimately attended Springfield College.

Springfield competed at the Div. II level, part of a strong NE-10 Conference. The highlight of her freshman year was the match between Springfield and ECSU where she got to compete against her big Sister Kate and their dad was overjoyed to see them both play. Soon she found her leadership spot as a setter and was named captain both junior and senior year. In 1993, her junior year, Kim had 1,127 assists, led the team with 69 aces, was named to the Tom Hay all-tournament team, as well as MVP of the Tom Hay tournament. In 1994, her senior year, the team had strong performances throughout the season. Once again, Kim led the team with 1185 assists. For her career, Kim had 3033 total assists putting her third for career assists at Springfield. Her other achievements senior year include: East Stroudsburg all tourney team, NE10 Conference team All-Star, MVP of the Northeast Conference tournament, AVCA Division II Northeast region All-Star team, Division II national playoff participant, NE 10 Player of the Week, Springfield College Maroon Club Athlete of the Week, the CDC scholar athlete and the District 1 Academic All American.

Her first year of college, Kim took on the position of head coach for the Western New England men’s volleyball team as a newly developed program. After her first year, she relocated for work to her current residence on Cape Cod where she then played with her sister Kate in doubles beach volleyball tournaments for several years.

Today, Kim resides in Sandwich, with her husband Mike, also an athlete from Springfield College to whom she has been married for the past 21 years. They are raising two beautiful girls, Sydney and Sammi who already like to pepper mom on the beaches of the cape and are quite the little athletes themselves. Kim still follows volleyball closely enjoying watching the Olympic indoor and beach teams, her alma maters, and most recently her niece Allie who played for the past four years at Eastern Connecticut State following in her mom Kate’s footsteps.

Julie Bradley

Julie Bradley has been involved in athletics for most of her life, as a participant, coach, teacher, and official.  She attended Southern Connecticut State College from 1962-66 and play some volleyball there. After graduation she started teaching Physical Education first in North Haven (66-68), then Willimantic (68-70) and then at East Connecticut State University from 1970-74.  Julie’s girls came along in ’74 and ’76 so she took time off to “mother”. When she returned to the field she worked at the Williams School in New London where she taught, coached and was assistant athletic director for 17 years.  She taught for a total of 25 years, grades K-college until retiring in 2005.  Julie has coached track and field, basketball, field hockey and softball.

Julie got involved with officiating volleyball in the early ‘70s. Under the tutelage of her mentors Barbara Startup and Tony Aretakis she has become a much sought after official.  She is called on to work high school games during regular season and tournament play.  Julie has also been called on to help train new officials on many occasions.  After retiring from coaching and teaching, Julie got re-certified to officiate volleyball and is back doing high school and recreational matches.  Although much has changed since she left the game in the 80’s, she loves every minute of officiating and finds it very challenging and rewarding.  In addition to volleyball, she has also officiated softball, soccer, basketball and field hockey.

Julie is still an active athlete, participating and competing on the state and national levels in basketball, racquetball, badminton and track and field.  She has participated in three National Senior Olympics.  She won silver in the 1500m in 2001, silver in basketball and badminton singles and a bronze in badminton doubles in 2005.  This July she competed in the 2007 games and won a silver medal in the 60-64 badminton doubles and placed fourth in the badminton singles and 5th in 3-on-3 basketball.

Julie has been married to her high school sweetheart Barry for 41 years; they have two married daughter Keebyn and Kyndra and two granddaughters Annabelle and Jorja.

Bethany Collins Irwin

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Bethany attended Branford High School from 1980-84 and left a legacy that is remarkable. She was an academic and athletic standout excelling in volleyball, basketball and softball.  Though only a freshman, she found herself pressed into service on the varsity due to injuries to other players, and she helped Branford reach the state quarterfinals. Her sophomore year she became a starter and started to break school records.  During that season, 11th ranked Branford defeated #1 seed Foran High School in a major upset to win the CIAC Class M State Championship.  This was Branford’s first ever state title in a girls’ team sport. In her junior year Bethany participated in the US Junior Olympic Volleyball Championships. That year Branford won its first Housatonic League Championship and captured its second straight championship finishing with a perfect 21-0 season. Always a dominating force in the front row, Bethany showed her versatility by setting a school record for digs from the back row.  Her coach Toni Cartisano said of her “there have been tall volleyball players in the state before bury few have been as quick for their size and I’m not sure anyone tall has master every aspect of the game as she has.”  In her senior year Bethany was selected co-captain and with her poise and leadership she helped her younger teammates in a tough final stretch.  Branford captured its third state championship with a 3-0 sweep in the finals.  Bethany also collected numerous individual awards.  She was a three time All-State selection, three times Most Valuable Player, and a three time All-Housatonic League selection. Her stats and school records include most successful blocks (137); highest kink average (93%); most passes and highest average (1619/87%); most unreturned hits (632); most digs attempted (303 of 445/68%).  She also received Branford’s Sportsmanship, Leadership and Dedication award.

Bethany had a great basketball career.  She helped Branford to two 20-0 seasons and two consecutive CIAC Class L Championships (’83, ’84). She was an All-State selection in both her junior and senior  years and as a senior she was also chosen as a Converse All-American and a Parade All-American.

Sought after by no less than 200 schools, Bethany chose to attend Penn State University.  She also played basketball and earned a degree in Education.  Her athletic accomplishments continued.  She scored over 1,000 points (1,186), was top 10 rebounder (857) and atop 10 blocked shots (92).  After graduation, she taught fifth grade and coached girls’ basketball in Bellafonte, PA for three years.  She then went back to the  Penn St.  community and a new high school girls’ team; she has been there 14 years.

Bethany married Rob Irwin in ’95 and her family includes stepchildren Kate, Kristen, Robbie and their young offspring Parick and Kyla.  Bethany is a member of the New England, Branford and Connecticut Basketball Halls of Fame.

 

Sarah Katinger

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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.

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 Weymann

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.