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.

Val Dickinson


Val attended High School at Principia Upper School, in Elsa, Illinois from 1977 through 1979 and attended Principia College in St. Louis Missouri. While in college, she was named to the all-league team her junior and senior years.


She played USVBA with Connecticut Women’s Volleyball Hall of Fame member Fran VanderMeer. She played for the New London Volleyball Club, and the New Britain Volleyball Club. In 1988 while playing for New Britain, they won the New England women’s AA Open Division Regional Championship.


Val became a volleyball official and officiated with the Fairfield Board of Officials for 12 years and also served as the board’s coordinator. As an official, she was assigned many CIAC state tournament games.


It was said of Val first and foremost- she loved the game of volleyball. Whether as a player or an official, she always had a tremendous amount of positive energy. When she officiated, her energy was probably the first thing the players and coaches noticed about her.


Val connected with everyone she came in contact with. She always wanted to be the best official she could be. When major rule changes occurred, she was willing to accept the changes and she worked hard to adapt to the new rules. She wanted to make the right calls-or no calls- at the right times, for the right reasons. She was such a good person and her personal qualities were evident in all of her interactions with players, coaches, and administrators. She had the ability to keep the game in the proper perspective and kept her sense of humor even in stressful situations.


Val was an excellent referee because she cared about the job she did, and she cared about the players. She kept up with the game and she was always fair and impartial in her decision-making. Her professionalism, support a volleyball, and her dedication to the sport will never be forgotten.


Lehigh Sports: In Memory of Mom

Stratford Star

Brenda A. Reilly


Brenda received her BA and MA in Physical Education from California State University at Los Angeles. She continued her education receiving her Doctorate in Physical Education from Springfield College.

Brenda played on the Connecticut Clippers USVA team from ’75-’79.  During that span she also worked as a NAGSW volleyball referee.

She was a member of numerous top-level softball teams including the Raybestos Brakettes.

During her tenure at CCSU, Brenda was the associate athletic director, taught Physical Education, and coached volleyball for 8 years, qualifying for the EIAW Regionals 7 times, softball and was the head women’s basketball coach for 25 years. Brenda’s coaching experiences apart from CCSU included:

  • Assistant coach of the 1991 Olympic Sports Festival Women’s basketball team;
  • The Raybestos Brakettes farm team;
  • Pitching coach for the Italian National softball team;
  • Coaching the Connecticut Falcons to two women’s professional world softball championships;
  • Coaching women’s professional softball team against the People’s Republic of China in a seven game series (7-0).

She received numerous awards for her contributions to women’s sports in Connecticut. Some include:

  • 2000 Women’s Basketball Assoc. Jostens-Berenson Service Award;
  • 1994 induction into the VFW New Britain Sports Hall of Fame (first woman)
  • 1992 Nutmeg Games Living Legend Award
  • 1990 Kodak District I Coach of the Year;
  • 1988 Connecticut Sports Writers’ Gold Key Award.

Brenda Reilly was truly an icon in women’s sports in Connecticut.

New York Times Obituary

Matthew Hurlock


When Matt Hurlock started coaching at Coventry in 2001, his first season ended with his team 6-21. Things were about to change. Just two years later, in 2003, Coventry won their first Class S State Championship.

Since 2003, Coventry has played in eight consecutive Class S finals. They won seven titles from 2003-2010, finishing 2nd in 2005. Those years also included four undefeated seasons and an 84 match winning streak from ’06-’08.

In 2010, Coventry finished their fourth undefeated season (24-0) as state champions and became the first small school to ever be voted #1 in Connecticut.

During is career, Marr was awarded the High School Coach of the Year for girls volleyball  by the Connecticut Sports Writers’ Alliance and in 2010 he was awarded the Girls Volleyball Coach of the Year by the Connecticut High School Coaches Assoc.

Hartford Courant
Hartford Courant: Matthew J. Hurlock Gymnasium Dedication Ceremony

Vincent Buehler

Vincent began his lifelong association with volleyball at the age of 16 when he started playing with the American Turners in New York City. At age 18 he became the player/coach for the Turners, a position he held for the next 15 years.  During that time, his team competed in many USA Volleyball National Championships.

In 1970, Vincent became a regional referee in the Garden Empire in New York City for USA Volleyball. Two years later he earned his national rating for USAV. He was selected to referee at Madison Square Garden for the US National Team at an exhibition match.

Vincent moved to Connecticut in 1970 where he began his 28-year officiating career refereeing girls’ high school games. He contributed as a referee assignor for the Fairfield county area assigning 43 high schools. He also held the position as rules interpreter for that district.

He started the Fairfield County USA Jr. Olympic girls’ volleyball program and set up volleyball camps in Fairfield county for high school girls.

Vincent also game of his time as a volunteer for the Special Olympics World Games in New Haven and he served as the co-coordinator for the 3rd Annual Easter Seals Volleyball Marathon.

Vincent received awards from the town of Stratford for his time and donations to the sports programs in the schools. Most recently he was honored by the FCIAC when they named their league MVP aware after Vincent A. Buehler.

During his 42 years of participation in the sport of volleyball, it is believed that he played and officiated somewhere between 35,000 to 40,000 games.

Volleyball was his number one passion.

Jean Hunt


Jean graduated from Boston University and UCONN.  She began her teaching and coaching career in 1952 at Litchfield High School where she coached soccer, basketball, field hockey and cheerleading. She left that position to continue her career at Farmington High School where she coached from 1957 until 1981. While at Farmington, Jean distinguished herself as an accomplished volleyball coach from 1965-1974. During that time her teams accumulated a record of 73-3. There were undefeated in regular season and regional competition.

There were the CIAC State Champions consecutively from 1966-1972. There were also runners-up in 1974.

Jean also coached badminton, basketball, field hockey, softball and track and field at Farmington where she led her teams to 11 state championships, 8 conference championships and 19 undefeated seasons.

In 1967, her field hockey, badminton, basketball and volleyball teams were all undefeated and that year the badminton and volleyball teams took home state championships. Her overall record is 509-139 with 44 ties.   She has received numerous awards for her work in coaching and teaching. Most recently she was honored by the National of Girls and Women in Sport and was name a Project Acclaim Mentor.

Collinsville Press (obituary)