Krista Blomquist Hall

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Krista started playing volleyball at a very young age. She was taught by her father Chet Blomquist who played collegiate volleyball at Springfield College. Her first organized team experience began in 1980 as a sophomore, when she tried out for the volleyball team at Branford High School. During her junior and senior seasons, the team, coached by Toni Cartisano, competed in the Class M state tournament and won the title both times.

Krista was voted all-league her junior and senior years and first team all-state her senior year. Upon graduation, Krista studied at the University of Connecticut where she played basketball. Krista continued volleyball after college when she began playing beach volleyball while living in south Florida. After moving to southern California in 1993, she played professionally on the Pro Bach Volleyball Tour.  In 1997 and 1998 Krista ranked 5th in the United States and in 1998 she was ranked 20th in the world.  She served as a player representative board member for USAV and was a member of the WPVA Board of Directors.  She is married to Stephen Hall and has a two-year old daughter, Kendra.

Lisa DeGioia Miller

Lisa began her volleyball career at Sheehan High School in Wallingford in 1983 where she was a varsity starter for 3 years. She played outside hitter and averaged 13 kills and 9 blocks per game. In 1985 she co-captained the team, was selected the team’s MVP and garnered first team All-State honors for Class M. Lisa was also selected as a CHSCA Scholar Athlete.

Upon graduation, Lisa furthered her education at Utica College where she earned a basketball scholarship. Now residing in Wallingford with her husband Dave, Lisa is assistant volleyball coach at Sheehan High School and is a volunteer youth volleyball coach for the town of Wallingford. She has just completed her Master’s Degree in Education and will be teaching high school English next fall.

Nell-Ayn Aloi Lynch

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Nell-Ayn made her mark on Connecticut scholastic volleyball while at Amity Regional High School. She began in 1983 and earned her first varsity letter in 1984.

She was selected a team captain in 1986 and her team captured the Class L state titles in 1983, ’85 and ’86.  She was selected to the CIAC All-State team in ’85 and ’86.  Other honors she received while at Amity included the Amity Athlete of the Month in 1985 and the New Haven Register Athlete of the Week in 1986.

She was awarded a full athletic scholarship for volleyball at the University of Connecticut where she started all four years. She was selected the Big East co-player of the in in 1988 and Nell-Ayn was elected co-captain of the UConn team in 1990.

Nel-Ayn has coached with Debbie Chin at her “No. 1 Total Volleyball Camp”. She returned to Amity in 1992 to assist head volleyball coach Paul Thees. While working with Paul, the team won the ’94 and ’95 Class L state titles. She then moved on to become head coach of the Newtown High School volleyball team in ’96. Her team won the Class L state championship that year.

 

Newtown Bee: Nell-Ayn (Aloi) Lynch, a social studies teacher at the Newtown Middle School, will be inducted

Christine Kenyon O’Connor

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Christine started her volleyball career at Farmington High School where she played from 1965 to 1968. Her team won state championships in 1966, 1967 and 1968. They were undefeated in regional format during those seasons.

After graduation from Farmington High, Christine went on to Ursinas College and then Central Connecticut State University where she competed on the volleyball team and graduated with a BS in Physical Education.

She coached volleyball at Farmington High School from 1974-79 and ’81, accumulating a record of 80-37. Her teams were four time Northwest Conference champions and they won the Class S state title in 1979.

Christine was the 1978 Connecticut High School Volleyball Coach of the Year.

She is presently the physical education coordinator at Irving Robbins Middle School.

 

Lynn Spagnesi

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Lynn began her volleyball career at Brien McMahon High School where she played from 1969072.  she was team captain her senior year and her teams were undefeated during her junior and senior seasons. in 1972, they placed 3rd in the state tournament. during her high school career, she also was a member of the field hockey, basketball, track and field, badminton and softball teams.

Lynn continued playing volleyball in college when she went on to SCSU wand was a spiker for Louise Albrecht. She competed on the varsity squad from 1972-1976. The team won first place in the regional tournament in 1976 and qualified for the national tournament.

She received Outstanding College Athletes of America award in 1975. She was listed in the Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities in 1975.

After college Lynn continued to compete playing USVBA for the Connecticut Clippers and the New Haven Dippers for 1977-81. Her teams took first place in the USVBA regional championship in 1977, 79 and 81. She competed in the USVBA national tournament, held in Hilo Hawaii in 1977, representing the Eastern Zone. It was there she played against Olympians Flo Hyman and Debbie Green.

She was a member of the Greater New Haven board of volleyball officials from 1973-77. She also officiated basketball and was an ASA softball umpire.

Lynn also competed in AAU track and field, ASA softball, playing for the Raybestos Brakettes and was assistant women’s basketball coach at SCSU in 1977.

 

The Hour: BMHS hoop stars among Old Timers honorees

Bonnie Jean Kenny

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Bonnie moved on to the University of Tennessee in 1981 where she captained the Lady Vol’s nationally ranked volleyball team. That team enjoyed much success with three appearances in the NCAA tournament, two Southeastern Conference titles and two SEC runner up titles. Bonnie herself was named to the Southeastern Conference all-tournament team in 1982.

Bonnie also excelled academically while at Tennessee.  She was named an Academic All-American in 1984 and remained on the Dean’s list for seven academic quarters.

Upon graduation from the University of Tennessee, bonnie was named head volleyball coach at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. She continued there until 1993 when she took on the position as head coach at the University of Massachusetts where she continues to coach at present.

Form 1980 until the present time, Bonnie has worked as instructor, clinician and director for numerous volleyball camps.

She is a content contributor in both the AVCA Handbook and Championship Volleyball Drills Vol I & II.

Allison Baker

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Allison N. Baker

Allison was born in Connecticut but raised in Dallas, Texas and Ft Wayne, Indiana. She spent most of her childhood growing up in Ft Wayne. She was introduced to volleyball in the third grade and began playing club volleyball in fourth grade. While living in Indiana, she had the opportunity to train with elite club programs such Munciana Volleyball Club and Sports Performance Volleyball Club. Her father relocated to Glastonbury, Connecticut in 1998 where she began her high school volleyball career as a Tomahawk under Coach Steve Geryk. She made an immediate impact as a setter for the varsity team and after a few games was named the starter. During her sophomore season she was named team captain, a role she held her remaining three years. Glastonbury quickly became a volleyball powerhouse across the state securing the number one spot in the state polls for many weeks in 2001. Allison led the Tomahawks to the CCC West Conference title all four years and the CCC Conference title against rival Maloney in an exciting five game match in 2001, where she totaled 32 kills. Glastonbury made it to the state semifinal match before their season ended with an impressive 21-2 record.

During her high school career she was a four year all conference team member, the three time Allstate team member, member of the Hartford Courant all Courant team, named the 2001 East Region All-Star MVP, and the 2001-2002 Gatorade player of the year. She spent the off-season playing for Pat Ryan’s candidate husky volleyball club on their High Performance team. She joined other top players in the state such as Alesia Vaccari securing the 2002 New England region championship Allison was selected to participate in the USA Junior National High Performance training camp held in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 2001 and named to the USA New England High Performance team which competed in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2002.

After visiting many schools, she committed and signed with the University of Connecticut, before transferring to Providence College after her freshman season. While at Providence, she was a three year starter and named captain her senior year. She was named to numerous all-tournament teams throughout the years and the All-Independent team her senior year. Interestingly, Allison has played every position including club burial at some point during her career.

Allison married her husband Charles, a former member of the Providence College basketball team in 2012 and they are awaiting the arrival of their first baby also due in November. Allison currently works within the juvenile court as a forensic social worker. Her parents and sister were a large part of her success over the years, her father who also played basketball for Providence College passed away in 2010 after a battle with cancer and her mother now resides in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Her sister is a prominent high school basketball coach in North Carolina.

Judy Sochin

Judy Sochin is a 1971 graduate of Maloney High School. She was co captain of the Volleyball Hall of Fame coach Sandi Piantek’s first state championship volleyball team.

Judy began working voluntarily, in the Maloney athletic department in high school and has continued her association in various capacities for over 45 years. Following her graduation from Maloney, Judy attended UConn, where she played volleyball for two years on the club team, prior to its establishment as a varsity sport.

Judy received her undergraduate degree in speech /language pathology in 1975, and later received a Master’s Degree and sixth year certificate in communication disorders/speech pathology from SCSU. She was a speech pathologist in the one area school system for one year in return to Meriden where she continued as a speech/language pathologist for 14 years and several of the district’s schools, until she retired in 2012.

Judy also coached field hockey for Maloney for 13 years. She has been a member of the Hall of Fame committee since this is inception in 2003, serving as chairperson for four years, and was a member of the ninth class of Maloney Hall of Fame inductees receiving her honor in April 2014. Judy is affiliation with the volleyball Hall of Fame began with the inaugural class when she and her co captain presented Sandi Piantek with her award. She was asked to take photographs for the first group of inductees and has photographed every class of inductees since.

Alesia Vaccari

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Alesia attended The Gilbert School in Winsted, where her team won the 2000 Class S Championship and were finalists in 2001. She was awarded Most Valuable Player in the 2000 tourney and All-State in 2000 and 2001. She was also named CT Player of the Year by the Hartford Courant in 2001. She then enrolled and graduated from Springfield College where she was setter for four years.

During her time running the office at Springfield, they won two NEWMAC Championships and played in two NCAA Regional Finals. She received many individual honors, including three All-Region honors, two honorable mention All-American honors, and was named NEWMAC Player of the Year in 2004. She continues to hold the all-time assist record at Springfield College with 5,196. Coach Joel Dearing stated upon her graduation that even with all of her accolades she would best be remembered for her “love of the game of volleyball.”

Alesia went on to share that passion as an assistant coach at Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY where she was part of the Golden Knights’ 2010 Liberty League Coaching Staff of the Year, helping the program in its first-ever  NCAA tournament berth. She then took the head coaching position at Simmons College in Boston, where she posted a 50-49 career record with the Sharks, reaching the Great Northeast Athletic Conference semifinals in each of her three seasons. Alesia was named the GNAC Coach of the Year in her first season at Simmons, when she led the program to a 20-10 record. In 2012, she was honored by the American Volleyball Coaches Assoc. Thirty Under Thirty Award. In 2014, Alesia was hired as head women’s volleyball coach at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA.

 

Joanna Weiss

Joanna Weiss had an outstanding high school career at Darien HS. From 1999 until she graduated in 2002 her team won three FCIAC championships, three Eastern Division championships and three State Championships. Her team was 89 and 9 for those four years. Her awards included being named captain in her senior year, twice to the All-FCIAC team and twice to the All-State team.

She was just getting started. She continued her career at Cornell University. To say she made a contribution to their team is an understatement to say the least. The year before she arrived on campus, Cornell had tied for last in the Ivy League. Then in her first two years, 2003 and 2004, Joanna was named the most improved player. In her last three years, Cornell was the Ivy League champions. In her junior and senior years, 2005 and 2006, they earned NCAA tournament berths. In 2005 she led her team with an attack percentage of .406, a school record and the 7th best in the nation. Her career attack percentage was .384, another school record. In her senior year, she set her 3rd school record for individual blocks and the led the team to a team school record for blocks with 562. In those two years, Joanna was First Team All-Ivy as well as All-Northeast Region.