Class of 2004
Mark’s first involvement with volleyball was as a player in 1969. His love of the game increased and he soon joined Westerly YMCA, which afforded him more playing time and play at a more competitive level. Mark soon decided he wanted to experience that other part of the game, the coaching part. In 1979 he started the varsity volleyball program at Robert E. Fitch High School in Groton. Using his experience as a player, his hard work ethic, and his dedication, he built one of the most successful volleyball programs in the state. During his 12 years as head coach, Mark has established quite a record. His teams have qualified for the CIAC State Tournament every year. He has coached four All-State players including two sisters and numerous All-league players.
He has received honors over the years including the New London Day Coach of the Year in 1990 and Connecticut High School Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 1991.
Mark retired from coaching in 1990 and lives in Mystic with his wife Margaret.
Karen’s involvement with volleyball began in 1974 at Maloney High School in Meriden. Under the watchful eye of Coach Sandy Piantek, she and her teammates won 3 state championships, were runners up once, and were undefeated during the regular season 4 years in a row. Karen attended the University of Connecticut and as a freshman walk-on, she not only got herself a starting varsity position, she also got a scholarship.
Karen began officiating in 1981. With her knowledge of the game and confident demeanor she was always in demand. During the 15 years of her career she has officiated countless high school and college games statewide. Karen has also been selected to referee at the Nutmeg Games, the Connecticut Special Olympics World Games. She is a member of the Connecticut Board of Volleyball Officials and has served as both secretary and vice president. Karen has also shared her expertise by serving on the committee to train and evaluate officials.
Today Karen lives in Wallingford with her 2 children Zachary and Rachel.
Cindy is one of the pioneers of girls’ athletics in this area.
She started her coaching career in 1970 at Cheshire High School where she coached both volleyball and basketball. She also coached the girls’ track team from 1973-1981. Cindy’s intensity and competitive attitude helped build Cheshire into one of the most successful athletic programs in the state. During Cindy’s career her volleyball teams compiled an impressive record including 3 state championships, 7 Housatonic League championships and an amazing 57 game winning streak. Many of the athletes under Cindy’s guidance received All-League and All-State honors and many went on to play in college.
At the helm of the basketball team for twenty years, Cindy’s teams were very successful. Her leadership gained her many honors including being named Coach of the Year by the Tap Off Club in 1982 and being inducted into the Tap Off Club Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Connecticut Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995.
Today Cindy is retired from teaching and coaching, but she is embarking on a new career- as a volleyball official! She also spends time with her son Bruce, daughter-in-law Susan and grandsons Bruce and Blake.
Sheena began her volleyball career at Westhill High School, where she played from 1978-1981 for Coach Winnie Hamilton. During the 1980 season, the Vikings won the CIAC State Championship and finished with a perfect 20-0 record. Sheena attended Eastern Connecticut State University and continued her exemplary volleyball career. An outstanding hitter during high school and her first year of college, an injury to the team’s setter during her sophomore year changed that. Eastern coach Floretta “Pinky” Crabtree saw her ability and decided Sheena would fill the slot. This changing role was a challenge but she found it exciting and was equal to the task. During her four seasons at Eastern, the team qualified for the NCAA playoffs three times.
Sheena has continued her involvement with volleyball since graduating. She coached at Quinnipiac College and at Wilbur Cross High School and has worked at numerous camps. In working with female athletes she has been proud to pass on the attitude that was instilled in her by her high school coach Winnie Hamilton, “that with hard work and confidence, they can achieve anything.”
Sheena is a teacher at Dolan Middle School in Stamford. She now devotes her time parenting her 8-year-old son Andre.
Sally began playing volleyball at North Haven High School in 1978 for Coach Marge Dolan. She had great enthusiasm and exceptional athletic ability and she worked hard to learn this new sport. Her hard work paid off. Sally and her teammates won back to back state championships in 1979 and 1980. As a junior she was selected to the All-Housatonic and All-State teams, and she repeated this accomplishment her senior year. She also received numerous team awards. Sally was also an outstanding basketball and softball player in high school.
After graduation Sally attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and she continued her volleyball career playing for Coach Elaine Sortino. In 1984 her team won the ECAC Championship. Sally was captain her junior and senior years and was team MVP her senior year. Sally decided to share her knowledge and talents by becoming a coach. In 1988 she coached JV volleyball at North Haven. The next year she took over the head coaching position at Lyman Hall which she held until 1999. She has worked at several volleyball camps and she continues to play on the CT Fossil Team. Sally is a physical education teacher at North Haven High School.
Missy’s volleyball career began in 1990 at Glastonbury High School. She loved the game and with dedication and hard work became an outstanding player and team leader. As a junior Missy received her team’s Coach’s award and was selected to the All-Conference team. She was also an All-State second team selection. In her senior year Missy was captain and the team’s Most Valuable Player. She was again selected for All-Conference and All-State honors. That year Glastonbury won the CIAC Class L State Championship and Missy was the tournament’s MVP. She was also a Hartwell Award recipient.
After graduation Missy continued her volleyball career at Stetson University where she was a 4-year varsity starter. She was team captain her senior year and team MVP. She holds numerous records at Stetson, received the Melching Leadership Award, broke over 1000 kills and digs in a career and was named to the Academic All-Conference team for 3 years. Even after graduating college Missy did not leave volleyball behind, she turned to coaching. She began coaching in Florida and then returned to her alma mater Glastonbury High School where she coached the freshmen team for 3 years and has now taken over the varsity squad.