Kate Barile-Cotto

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Katie played at the Morgan School in Clinton from 1995-98.

In her first year, Kate was a conference and state champion. In fact, for all four of her high school years, Kate’s team was conference and state champions.

In Kate’s junior year, she was named 2nd team all-state and a Shoreline Conference Scholar Athlete.

Named captain in her senior year, she led her team back to the state finals. She averaged 18 kills per match during the regular season. Then throughout the tournament she averaged 30 kills per match. She was named Most Valuable Player of the Class S Tournament. The New Haven Register named her both Most Valuable Player and to the All-Area Volleyball Team and Connecticut High School Coaches Assoc. also named her to the All-State team.

Kate finished her high school career with an 82-2 record, four conference championships and four state championships. She went on to play that the University of New Haven where she again distinguished herself as an outstanding volleyball player.

 

Tony Aretakis

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Tony started officiating in the Groton Parks and Recreation volleyball program from 1976-1984. Then in  the winter of 1983, Tony met referee Bruno Lucas while competing in Branford’s “Chester Bloomquist” invitational volleyball tournament. After watching Tony officiate, Bruno suggested Tony contact Barbara Startup to get certified. The rest is, as they say, history.

During the early years as a certified high school and college volleyball official. Tony credits as his mentors, Barb startup, Fran Vandermeer, and Bruno Lucas that he worked with and learned from. In his 29 year high school officiating career, Tony officiated eight state high school finals, numerous semifinal and may league and conference finals. He was the Connecticut high school rules interpreter for 10 years and was voted the Connecticut Volleyball Official of the Year in 1998.

As a college official, Tony officiated for 25 years retiring in 2009.  From 1994-96 he was selected to officiate the Division III NCAA Regional playoffs through the finals. He was also chairperson of the Connecticut College Board for two terms. He felt his job was made easy by the work of board members Kathy Ferrachiccio and Shirley Breuer.

Besides officiating, Tony has been an outstanding volleyball player. He played on championship teams starting in his 20’s and continuing throughout his playing career. He just won another championship at 60 years old.

As a player and official, Tony Aretakis is one of the best.

 

Matthew Hurlock

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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

Leah Hettrick

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Leah Hettrick graduated from Maloney High School in Meriden in 2002. In her senior year her team was undefeated state champions. Leah was named to the First Team All-State team and the Connecticut Gatorade Player of the Year.

After graduating, she played at Springfield College from 2003-07. In her first year she was named Rookie of the year. In her second year, she was named to the First Team All-Conference and was voted Springfield College ‘s Volleyball Player of the Year and most Outstanding Female Athlete for team sports.

As a junior, Leah was again voted most outstanding player and female athlete. She also set three school records: digs per match, digs per game in a season and digs per game for a career. She was also named to the All-New England Region Team.

As a senior, she set the final record for digs in a career. She was named to the All-Tournament Team in two of their largest tournaments. She was named not only to the All-New England second team, but to the American Volleyball Coaches Assoc. as honorable mention All-American.

Throughout her volleyball career at Springfield College, Leah was recognized more than 20 times as an out-standing collegiate player.

 

 

Laurie LaRusso

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Laurie graduated from Indiana University and received her graduate degree from Sacred Hart University. she taught at the elementary and middle school levels and now teaches at Darien High School.

Laurie started coaching volleyball at Darien in 1982. Since then her teams have won 21  FCIAC League Championships and 15 State Championships.  They had 11 undefeated seasons with winning streaks of 121 and 140 consecutive matches- the latter is the 8th longest in high school athletics. They were also named the #1 team in the Connecticut final coaches poll 9 times.  Her career record is now 583-81.

Her players included 65 first team all-league, 28 all-state, 15 most valuable players, four Gatorade Players of the Year and one All-American.

Laurie has been honored as the girls’ volleyball coach fourteen times. Her honors include FCIAC League Coach of the Year, Connecticut High School Coaches Assoc. Coach of the Year and National High School Coaches Assoc. Coach of the Year.

Laurie has also been inducted into the FCIAC Hall of Fame and the Connecticut Coaches Hall of Fame.

Nancy Grace

Grace coached field hockey and softball at Canton and had tremendous success with the field hockey program, winning 295 games, 11 league titles and eight Class S championships from 1985 to 2004. Her Warrior teams finished second three times and she was named the Class S coach of the year four times by the Connecticut Field Hockey Coaches Association. She was a finalist for the National High School Coaches Association’s Coach of the Year award in 2000.

In softball, she coached at Canton from 1990-99, leading the Warriors to seven NCCC championships and a Class S state title in 1991.