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!

Tyrone Fuertes

Tyrone Fuertes first played on the 8th grade volleyball team at Holy Cross in Dewitt, NY coached by Sister Michael Joseph. In high school at New Hartford Central, since there was not a boys’ volleyball program, Tyrone only played in gym class. In 1986 he received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance from the Manhattan School of music. He was so focused in that field that there was no time to play volleyball or any sports unless he was free by chance. Years later he was working on his Master’s degree in Music at the University of Connecticut in the 1990’s, it was at UCONN where he got involved with intramurals and the opportunity to try out and play for the Men’s Club Volleyball team from 1996-1998. It was also during that period that Tyrone had the opportunity to work and play for the future CWVBHF inductee, Jung Park, as an older graduate student. Tyrone got involved as an official in soccer, flag football, basketball and volleyball for UCONN recreational services.

In 1997 he would work on his USA Volleyball certification and receive his Provisional rating during the 1999-2000 season for the New England Region. It was also in 2000 he would receive his certification in High School Federation for the Connecticut Board of Volleyball Officials Northern Board. In 2002, he was asked to join the college board in the CT/RI area. In 2003-2004 he received his certification as a Line Judge and Scorekeeping for Professional Association of Volleyball Officials. As he gradually was moving up the ranks, he received his Regional Rating in 2005 for New England. In 2007 he received his State rating for PAVO. In 2009 he received his PAVO National LJ certification. In 2010 he received his Jr. National Rating for USAV. In 2013 he received his National Scorekeeping rating for USA Volleyball. From 2006-2017 he was the head trainer in charge of training new officials for the CBVO Northern Board. From 2013 to the present he is the Scorekeeping chair for the New England region.

He is among an elite group of officials to work the CIAC State Tournament Finals for both the Girls and Boys as either the Referee, Line Judge or Scorekeeper. For the NCAA as a Line Judge and Scorekeeper he has worked 7 Div. I Women’s Conference Finals, 9 Div. II Women’s Regional Finals, 4 Div. III Women’s Regional Finals, and 3 Men’s Div. III Final Fours. For the NCAA as an official he has worked the Great Northeast Athletic Conference, Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference, New England Women’s & Men’s Athletic Conference tournaments as well as the championship for the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference. For USA Volleyball he has worked championships for both the Girls and Boys National Tournaments as either the Referee, Line Judge, Scorekeeper and the Assistant Scorekeeper. Tyrone currently works for the University of Hartford Athletic Department as the Director of Intramurals. This is a position he has held since Sept 11, 2001. Tyrone while working for the University of Hartford, also received his Master’s degree in Business Administration in 2012.

Paula McNearney

Paula began officiating Girl’s Federation Volleyball in 1981, training with Barbara Startup at Avon High School.  As a non-player, she worked diligently to learn the intricacies of the game and quickly rose through the ranks to become one of the top officials on the board having now refereed over 30 State Tournament Quarter, Semi, and Final matches.

Collegiate officiating was added to her list of accomplishments in the late 80’s as she mastered the differences between the NFHS and NCAA rulebooks.  After receiving her State Rating she began traveling throughout CT and MA to officiate assignments for Division 1, II, and III college matches.

When the sport caught fire and the boys began playing, she was among a few referees who volunteered to officiate as originally the schools had no budget to pay for officials.  She continued these efforts for several years until the CIAC sanctioned the sport around 1995 and remains actively involved officiating the Boys Season to this date.

In the 1990’s she also began volunteering to officiate at the Special Olympic for an event held in New Haven, CT and continued servicing the unified games until 2018 when officials were no longer required.

She continued to challenge herself by adding yet a third set of rules to keep her mind sharp when she entered the USAV officiating ranks in the mid 1990’s.  She worked hard at honing her skills by attending many clinics, asking questions and receiving pertinent information and mentoring from higher ranking officials. Paula also began to take her expertise outside of New England in the late 1990’s as she officiated Regional Juniors competitions, many by invitation, in Reno, Las Vegas, Baltimore, and Philadelphia.  In 2010-11 she was honored to be recommended to officiate the Orlando National AAU Championships, in Orlando, FL which she continues to participate in until the present time.

Perfecting one’s craft and remaining abreast of the ongoing changes which have occurred over the past 40 years in the sport of Volleyball requires consistent dedication to improving one’s skills.  Paula’s level of commitment to be the best possible official she can be is witnessed by her ongoing presence at clinics- at times traveling the country at her own expense to attend these sessions.  Her participation has included: line judge and scoring certification training in New Haven, CT with subsequent yearly clinics to retain her certification.  NCAA, NIT, and USAV Junior National Training sessions in Syracuse and Albany, NY as well as at Rutgers University in NJ and NCAA VB skills training at several PAVO camps outside the Northeast.

Donna Rackie

Donna grew up in Middletown, CT and played multiple sports for the Tigers during her years there, graduating in 1983. Her favorite sport was volleyball where she played has setter for 4 years; junior and senior years on the Varsity Squad and Captain her senior year. Coach Paul Cavaliere led her team to the state semifinal in 1982.

Donna continued her volleyball career as a freshman walk-on for the Bentley University Falcons in the fall of 1983. Coach Sandy Hoffman was a second-year coach and a great influence. Sandy improved the team from an average season of 19 – 12 to a successful 40 – 7 and was later inducted into the American Volleyball Coaches’ Association Hall of Fame. In Donna’s senior year they traveled to Alaska to defeat the University of Alaska and the University of Fairbanks. Donna was named the MVP in her senior year and the Falcons won the Northeast- 10 tournament for the first time and Bentley’s history.

After graduating from college, Donna looked to continue her involvement in volleyball. Fran Vandemeer, a fellow Hall of Famer, trained Donna to become an official. Also tutored by Hall of Fame official Tony Aretakis, she officiated many high school girls’ volleyball games, SCC tournament games and state-level tournament games. After 32 years of officiating she plans to continue as an official for the Southern Board. Donna has also officiated boys’ volleyball for 24 years and serves on the CIAC boys’ volleyball committee.

Beyond officiating, Donna’s involvement includes being an instrumental member of the committee that created the Southern Board of Volleyball Officials. She also continues to assist with mentoring, training, and rating new officials. She has served the SCVBO as the training coordinator for five years and also volunteers to officiate the Connecticut Special Olympics volleyball matches.

Donna resides in Wallingford with her husband David and her children Deanna and Derek.

Cathy Vitelli

Cathy-Beth’s volleyball experience began as a player at West Haven High School. She and her team were finalists in a State Championship game and she was named to the All-State team. She also played at Southern Connecticut State College where she was a four-year starter and played in the National Tournament. She was an assistant coach at Southern in 1975.

Cathy-Beth’s career as an official began in 1972 when she worked high school matches as well as men and women’s collegiate matches and tournaments. In 2003 and continuing to the present, she has officiated scholastic girls’ matches including league and state tournaments and state final matches. She has also officiated boys’ volleyball state tournaments including state finals matches. From 2004 to the present, Cathy-Beth has served as a mentor to the Southern Connecticut Officials Board. She is an approved evaluator to assist the trainer, assigner, and official with development and training. She assists with classes and virtually every aspect of officiating enhancement and supports new and veteran officials to grow their skills and learn new ones. Also during that time until 2015, Cathy-Beth served as a trainer for the board as well, recruiting new officials and training them in play situations, conduct, management, control, and professionalism. Her responsibility included conducting clinics for education, evaluation, and certification testing of officials.

Lastly, Cathy- Beth is the rules interpreter for the board. She is responsible for presenting new rules to the Board of Officials annually. She also clarifies the rules and play situations during the season for officials and coaches. As player and coach, Cathy-Beth was preparing to begin her true calling – as an outstanding official at every level.

Shirley Breuer


Shirley Breuer’s involvement in volleyball began in 1975 when Newington High School started a program in her sophomore year. She was awarded the Coaches Award that sea-son in recognition of her dedication toward improvement. Her dad, seeing how much she loved the sport, laid out a volleyball court in the backyard that summer so she could prac-tice her setting skills with one of her teammates. Under the guidance of Coach Willa Eckersley, the team went on to win the Central Valley Conference in 1977 and finished 7th in the state. Stats weren’t “in vogue” during those days, but she might still hold the school serving record- acing 17 in a row! She continued on, playing at UCONN and then coached E.O. Smith in 1981.

Upon graduation, Shirley played recreationally in the Newington League where her team won championships in 1983, 1985, 1986 and 1987. She played (and officiated) in the Nutmeg Games, winning silver medals in 1990 and 1991 and capturing gold in 1993 and 1995. Moving to South Windsor, she was Captain of her recreation team, “Side Out”, winning championships in 1989-1996, 1998, 2000, and 2012.

She began officiating with the CT Board of High School Volleyball Officials in 1982 and remains an active member of this board at the present time during both the Girls’ and Boys’ seasons. She was also an official on the Women’s Collegiate Board from 1983-1995 until professional obligations in her Physical Therapy career demanded more of her time.

For 28 of her 34 years as an official, Shirley has served as an Executive Board Member. She began as secretary for the girls’ board from 1982-1986 (in the days when you had to type, address and stamp envelopes for 80 members!), moved into the vice president’s position from 1986-1990 and served as president from 1990-1996. She returned to the secretarial position on this board from 2000-2010, resigning to spend time taking care of her mom. From 2011-2015 she held the dual role for secretary/treasurer of the boys’ board. She was also secretary and vice president of the college board from 1984-1993 and was the assigner during the 1994 and 1995 seasons. In addition she has served on rating/training committees throughout her career and has donated her time to officiate Special Olympics, Easter Seal Tournaments, the Cathy D’Apice Memorial Tournament, the Alana Ferrante Memorial Tournament as well as the high school girl’s/boy’s All Star Games.

Shirley has had the honor of officiating many exciting regular season, tournament and state final matches throughout her career, but perhaps the most memorable were: The 1995 Girls’ State Final – Morgan vs. North Branford in which Morgan won 15-13 in the 5th set! May 5, 2008- Lewis Mills vs. Southington Boys at Southington High School – a 47-45 rally point set that took 42 minutes!!

Marie Lavin

Marie Lavin - Official

Marie Lavin began her volleyball officiating career in 1987. Only four years later, in 1991, she officiated her first state tournament final.

Since then, Marie has officiated many matches and fourteen state tournament finals. In her incredible career, she also in one season officiated four state finals, two for girls volleyball and two for boys volleyball.

Marie has served her fellow officials as well. She served as President of the Connecticut Federation of Volleyball Officials from 2004 until 2008. Since 2008, she has served as the Assigning Coordinator for CFVO as well as serving on the Connecticut State Board of Volleyball Officials as secretary for four years and as President of the Board for two years. In addition she has recently served as the Boys Volleyball State Tournament Assigner for 2014 and 2015.

Cindy DeCarlo

Cindy DeCarlo earned her BS and MS in Physical Education from Southern CT State University and later earned her 6th Year in Administration from Southern as well.

From 1978 to 1982, Cindy coached volleyball at Jonathan Law HS in Milford. Then in 1986 she began officiating volleyball as a member of the CT Federation of Volleyball Officials, the CFVO. During this time she held the offices of secretary/treasurer and vice-president as well.

In 1995 she served as a volunteer volleyball official for the International Special Olympics held in New Haven.

In the 1998 – 1999 school year, Cindy left officiating to become an interim elementary building administrator. At the end of that year, she went back to officiating as President of the CFVO. During the years she officiated, Cindy was assigned not only regular season matches, she also officiated conference and state tournaments including finals as both a referee and a down official.

Cindy is a past member of the CIAC Board of Volleyball Officials, and after spearheading the effort for many years to bring both boards of officials under one governing body, which they are now, she has continued her affiliation with the CFVO as an ex-officio member.

Cindy retired 1n 2008 after 35 years of teaching Physical Education in the Milford Public Schools. She is currently working as an adjunct professor at Southern supervising Physical Education Student Teachers.

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

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.