1999 Tachikara/AVCA Division III Region Coaches of the Year


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1999 AVCA Division III Tachikara/AVCA Region Coach of the Year


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 National Coach of the Year ballot.  The awards will be officially presented at the Tachikara/AVCA Coach of the Year banquet in Honolulu, Hawai'i on Thursday, Dec. 16, 1999 at the AVCA National Convention.

Central Region Coach of the Year
Megan Clayberg, Central College
Clayberg has led Central College (38-0), the defending national champion, to its fifth consecutive NCAA Division III national championship appearance, qualifying for the quarterfinals this weekend.  Central was ranked No.1 in both the NCAA Region Rankings and AVCA Division III Coaches Top 20 Poll all year.  As defending NCAA champion, Central has been the biggest match of the year for all of its opponents. Central has won 54 consecutive matches and owns the second-longest streak in NCAA history.  Central was 10-0 in the Iowa Conference for the third straight year, scoring significant wins over top foes Juniata, Washington (twice), Ohio Northern, UW-Whitewater, UW-River Falls, Mt. St. Joseph, Muskingum, Calvin and Dubuque (twice).  Twenty-nine of the team's 36 regular season victories have come in three games.  In Central's last 32 games of the regular season (11 matches), only once did an opponent score 10 points.

Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year
Elizabeth Zicha, Muskingum College
Muskingum College (38-3) returns to the national tournament for the fourth straight season in 1999 and for the eighth time in Zicha's 15-year career.  The Fighting Muskies will play in the quarterfinals this weekend.  In 1998, Muskingum was the OAC and Great Lakes Region champion and it was the second time a Muskingum team had reached the Elite Eight.  In 1999, Zicha's team has climbed into the national rankings to rest in position No. 5 of the AVCA Coaches Top 20 Poll. The Fighting Muskies also finish at  No.1 in the regional rankings.  Their only losses have been to No. 1 Central (2-3), then-No. 4 Juniata (1-3) and then-No. 7 Mount St Joseph.  Muskingum has posted regular-season wins over nationally ranked Calvin, Mt. St. Joseph, Ohio Northern and over regionally ranked Wittenberg, Carnegie-Mellon, Denison, Ohio Wesleyan, Case Western, and Division II Lock Haven.  Zicha reached her 400th win, Oct. 3, against Gettysburg and has a career record of 416-159 (.723).

Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year
Jen Bowman, Frostburg State
The Bobcats of Frostburg State (36-5) earned their first-ever NCAA bid in program history this season.  They have won 37 consecutive conference matches and have won the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference championship every year of its existence. This year, they earned a perfect 12-0 conference record and finished ranked No. 6 in the region. Bowman is in the second year of her career and has achieved a record of 72-9.  The Bobcats were ranked as high as No. 18 in the AVCA Coaches Top 20 poll during the 1999 season and have been consistently ranked in the top six in the Mid-Atlantic Region.

Midwest Region Coach of the Year
Linda Slagell, Millikin University
Linda Slagell led Millikin to a 34-4 overall record and a second-round finish in the NCAA Division III national championship in 1999. The Big Blue set a school record with 18 straight wins this year and have won at least 20 matches in seven straight seasons under Slagell.  She has compiled a 303-176 (.633) career record at Millikin in 13 seasons and is the winningest coach in school history. The Big Blue finished the regular season ranked No. 5  in the NCAA Region Rankings and improved to 34-4 this year after finishing 22-17 last season.  Millikin ranks in the top 10 in terms of NCAA III winning percentage in 1999.  Millikin has eight seniors on this year's roster and the entire class has helped lead the team to one of its most successful seasons in school history.

New England Region Coach of the Year
Dorothy Webb, Wellesley College
Dorothy Webb has guided her teams to the NCAA Division III national championship semifinals (1998) NCAA quarterfinals (1997, 1999), as well as five consecutive conference championships (1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999).  Wellesley (29-3) will play this weekend in the quarterfinals. Webb was recently named 1999 NEWMAC Coach of the Year, her fifth consecutive conference honor.  In addition, Webb was also named New England Coach of the Year and NCAA Regional Coach of the Year in 1997 and 1998.  For the past five seasons, Wellesley has remained undefeated in NEWMAC play, amassing an impressive 51-0 record against Conference opponents.  This season, Wellesley has consistently been ranked No. 1 in the New England Region and as high No. 10 in the AVCA Coaches Top 20 Poll.

New York Region Coach of the Year
Janet Donovan, Ithaca College
Ithaca College (30-8) has participated in the NCAA tournament for the last six years, moving to the quarterfinal round this season by upsetting the No. 1 seed SUNY Cortland.  In 1999, the Bombers have been ranked in the AVCA Coaches Top 20 poll since Sept. 15th being ranked as high as No. 12.  They have been regionally ranked No. 2 throughout the season.  The Bombers, undefeated in the Empire Eight Conference Championship tournament, posted regular-season wins over RIT (twice), NYU (twice), Franklin and Marshall and Kalamazoo.

South Region Coach of the Year
Julie Jenkins, Trinity University
Having won the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship, Trinity (36-2) moved on to gain access to the quarterfinal round this coming weekend in its eighth consecutive NCAA Division III national championship. The Tigers have achieved their highest national ranking in school history and are currently ranked No. 3 in the country in the AVCA Coaches Top 20 Poll. The year 1999 also marks the first time Trinity has ever been the top-ranked team in the South Region. They have been ranked in the top 6 all season and have defeated ranked opponents which include Washington (Mo.), Emory, College of St. Benedict, Cal State Hayward (twice) and UW-Whitewater. The Tigers have not lost a five-game match since 1997.

West Region Coach of the Year
Kevin Aoki, Pacific Lutheran University
Aoki led the Lutes to the school's first-ever Northwest Conference volleyball title, taking the conference crown with a 13-3 record. The Lutes beat conference runner-up George Fox in five games on the road, and on the final night of the season, to wrap up the title. PLU advanced to the NCAA West Region tournament, beating Bethel (Minn.) and losing to 1998 national runner-up UC San Diego. The Lutes finished the season with a 20-6 record, tying the school record for wins in a season and establishing a new record for single-season winning percentage (.769). Aoki has a 60-52 record in four seasons at his alma mater.

L-R Julie Jenkins, Megan Clayberg, Jen Bowman

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