2004 Tachikara/AVCA Division III Region Coaches of the Year
2004 Tachikara/AVCA Division III Region
Coaches of the Year for Women's Volleyball Announced
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The following coaches have been selected by their region as Tachikara/AVCA Region Coach of the Year. Each of the honorees will represent their region on the Tachikara/AVCA National Coach of the Year ballot. The awards will be officially presented at the Tachikara/AVCA Coach of the Year and Victory Club Awards banquet in Long Beach, Calif., on Thursday, Dec. 16, at the 2004 American Volleyball Coaches Association Annual Convention. Four of the eight selections have advanced their teams to the NCAA Division III Championship quarterfinal round to be played on Nov. 19 and 20.
Tachikara/AVCA Division III Central Region Coach of the Year
Heidi Luehmann Jaynes, Carleton College
2004 Record: 22-3, 10-1 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
Heidi Luehmann Jaynes led the Knights to their first-ever MIAC regular-season title and the first national ranking in school history. The Knights reached 16th in the CSTV/AVCA Division III Coaches Top 25 Poll and had been ranked for eight straight weeks. Carleton won a school-record 13 consecutive matches and 27 consecutive games during the season while using a first-year setter. The Knights are 3-1 against top 25 teams this season, defeating 16th-ranked Concordia (Minn.), 22nd-ranked St. Benedict and 23rd-ranked Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Carleton lost to Concordia (Minn.) 3-0 in the league tournament and just missed a berth to the NCAA Division III Tournament. The MIAC regular-season title caps a turnaround by Luehmann Jaynes, as the Knights were 22-119 overall and 3-52 in the MIAC from the 1996-2000 season. Since then, the Knights are 72-30 overall and 25-19 in the MIAC. This is Leuhmann Jaynes's first Tachikara/AVCA Central Region Coach of the Year honor.
Tachikara/AVCA Division III Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year
Paco Labrador, Wittenberg University
2004 Record: 35-2, 10-0 North Coast Athletic Conference
Paco Labrador has taken Wittenberg to new heights in two years at the helm of the Tiger program. Labrador has seen his team complete the regular-conference season 10-0. The Tigers earned the top spot on the CSTV/AVCA Division III Coaches Top 25 Poll on Oct. 20 for the first time in school history. Wittenberg has been ranked in every poll this season and hasn't dipped below third since the first regular season poll. The Tigers have finished with the best regular season record in program history at 33-2 and won their eighth straight NCAC regular season title. The last time they lost a conference match was on Oct. 18, 1997. Wittenberg's only losses this season are to fourth-ranked Washington University (Mo.) and fifth-ranked Emory. This is Labrador's first Tachikara/AVCA Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year honor.
Tachikara/AVCA Division III Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year
Larry Bock, Juniata College
2004 Record: 34-3, 7-0 Commonwealth Conference
Larry Bock has helped guide his team to a 30-3 regular season record and the number-one ranking for the last four weeks in the CSTV/AVCA Division III Coaches Top 25 Poll, despite losing five seniors from last year's squad. He earned his 1,000th-career victory as a women's coach earlier in the season. Bock has led the Eagles to over 270 straight conference victories. The last time Juniata dropped a conference match was on Nov. 8, 1981 against Gettysburg. Of Juniata's three losses this season, two have been against second-ranked Wittenberg and one to NCAA Division I Princeton. Bock has been named the Tachikara/AVCA Central Region Coach of the Year 10 times and the Tachikara/AVCA Division III National Coach of the Year three times. He was also inducted into the AVCA Hall of Fame inaugural class last year.
Tachikara/AVCA Division III Midwest Region Coach of the Year
Deb Schulman, University of Wisconsin-Platteville
2004 Record: 27-8, 5-3 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
Deb Schulman has guided a team that was below .500 last season (17-18) to a 28-7 record in 2004 using almost the same line-up. The Pioneers finished the regular season ranked 13th in the CSTV/AVCA Division III Coaches Top 25 Poll, but missed the NCAA Division III Tournament. Wisconsin-Platteville is ranked 17th in the most recent poll. The Pioneers played a strong schedule with 16 matches against nationally-ranked teams. The Pioneers were 9-7 against top 25 teams, including a victory over then-top-ranked Washington University (Mo.), ending the Bears' 30-match home winning streak. Wisconsin-Platteville started the season with an 11-match win streak. This is Schulman's first Tachikara/AVCA Midwest Region Coach of the Year.
Tachikara/AVCA Division III New England Region Coach of the Year
Fran Vandermeer, Williams College
2004 Record: 33-3, 13-0 NESCAC
Fran Vandermeer has led Williams to the NCAA Division III Tournament Quarterfinals for the last three straight years. Williams won its fourth straight NESCAC title, along with 50 consecutive NESCAC victories. Williams is 33-3 on the year and has a 19-match win streak that includes 15 sweeps. The Ephs hosted their first-ever NCAA Regional Tournament Nov. 11-13 and is set to host an NCAA Quarterfinal match for the first time. Williams moved up to 21st in the most recent CSTV/AVCA Division III Coaches Top 25 Poll. Eph seniors are making their fourth straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. In five seasons at Williams, Vandermeer is 155-30 (.837) with four New England titles and three straight Elite Eight appearances. Vandermeer also received the Tachikara/AVCA New England Region Coach of the Year award in 2002.
Tachikara/AVCA Division III New York Region Coach of the Year
Joan Sitterly, SUNY Cortland
2004 Record: 38-3, 10-0 SUNYAC
Joan Sitterly led the Red Dragons to a 38-3 record this season and fell to New York University in the NCAA Division III Tournament New York Region final. Cortland's only three losses this season are to New York University, currently ranked ninth in the most recent CSTV/AVCA Division III Coaches Top 25 Poll. Sitterly became the second NCAA Division III women's coach to reach the 800-win milestone this fall and was named the New York State Women's Collegiate Athletic Association Coach of the Year. Cortland finished first at the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) tournament and won its second straight SUNYAC title, its eighth in the last nine years. Sitterly is in her 22nd year and final season at the helm of the Cortland volleyball program. This is the seventh time Sitterly has been named the Tachikara/AVCA New York Region Coach of the Year.
Tachikara/AVCA Division III South Region Coach of the Year
Jenny McDowell, Emory University
2004 Record: 31-9, 6-1 University Athletic Association
Jenny McDowell picked up where she left off last season after guiding Emory to a surprise semifinal appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament. The squad finished the regular-season with 29 victories and a second-place finish in the UAA. She has once again led Emory to the NCAA quarterfinals for the second straight year. The Eagles' losses have included five to NCAA Division II or NAIA schools and four to top 10 nationally-ranked teams in Division III. Among its wins against top 20 teams was a pair of 3-2 victories against second-ranked Wittenberg and 21st-ranked Elmhurst as Emory rallied from 2-0 deficits to win the match. Emory has made 10 consecutive NCAA appearances under McDowell. Emory captured its seventh 30-win season under McDowell. Entering the 2004 season, McDowell ranked fourth among active NCAA Division III coaches for best career winning percentage. This is the first time McDowell has been honored as the Tachikara/AVCA South Region Coach of the Year.
Tachikara/AVCA Division III West Region Coach of the Year
Kevin Aoki, Pacific Lutheran
2004 Record: 17-7, 15-1 Northwest Conference
Kevin Aoki has coached a team that lost five key players from last season and captured the Northwest Conference title. The Lutes started the season 2-6 and went on a 12 match-winning streak. Aoki led Pacific Lutheran to an appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament with an automatic berth from winning the NWC outright. The Lutes defeated Mount Ida 3-0 in the first round and fell to third-ranked La Verne in the second round 3-1. Pacific Lutheran started the season with a 20th ranking on the CSTV/AVCA Division III Coaches Top 25 Poll and have been receiving votes for the last four weeks. The Lutes were ranked third in the final NCAA Region rankings. This is the first time Aoki has been honored as the Tachikara/AVCA West Region Coach of the Year.