2002 Tachikara/AVCA Division II Region Coaches of the Year

11/26/2002

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2002 AVCA Division II AVCA/Tachikara Region Coaches of the Year

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO - The following coaches have been selected by their region as AVCA/Tachikara 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 AVCA/Tachikara Coach of the Year banquet in New Orleans on Thursday, Dec. 19, at the 2002 American Volleyball Coaches Association National Convention. Six of the eight selections have advanced their teams to the NCAA Division II Championship quarterfinal round to be played on Dec.5.

Atlantic Region Coach of the Year
Carmine Cortazzo, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
2002 Record: 33-4 (9-1 in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference)
Carmine Cortazzo was named the PSAC Coach of the Year as he led the Indians to a school-record winning percentage.  IUP's 33 wins bettered the school record of 32, which was established in 1982. Of the 33 wins, 25 were sweeps. IUP won its first-ever PSAC championship and its first west division title since 1986. He was also AVCA/Tachikara Atlantic Region Coach of the Year in 2001. IUP made its third consecutive appearance in the NCAA Division II Tournament and advanced to the regional final in 2002. IUP remained number one in the NCAA Atlantic Region throughout the season. IUP advanced to the championship round of regionals after defeating St. Augustine's in the second round.

Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year
Deanne Scanlon, Grand Valley State
2002 Record: 31-2 (17-1 in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference)
Deanne Scanlon earned her second straight AVCA/Tachikara Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year. Her team has advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight as the Great Lakes Region champion. The GVSU volleyball team has remained ranked in the top 10 all season and has held the number-five spot or above for the last eight weeks. The squad has won 15 matches in a row, including a record-setting 35 games in a row. Scanlon led her squad to conference regular season and tournament titles, as well as a school record for winning percentage. GVSU has a string of four straight 25-win seasons and an active home win streak of 43 matches that spans three seasons. The 2002 team had all six starters receive post-season all-conference awards.

North Central Region Coach of the Year
Ron Alexander, University of Northern Colorado
2002 Record: 31-2 (15-1 in North Central Conference)
In his first season as a head coach, Ron Alexander has led Northern Colorado to the NCAA Elite Eight for the first time since the 1994 season and the team's first North Central Conference championship since the 1995 season. The Bears' number-two national ranking is tied for the highest ranking in school history, despite being unranked in the AVCA Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll in the pre-season. The Bears posted a 12-1 record against current top 25 teams and claimed the title of the Colorado Premier Challenge. Northern Colorado defeated both Minnesota State-Mankato and South Dakota State in four games to become the NCAA Division II North Central Region champion and will take on Tampa in the NCAA Division II Quarterfinals.

Northeast Region Coach of the Year
Robin Salters, University of New Haven
2002 Record: 34-5 (12-0 in New York Collegiate Athletic Conference)
Robin Salters becomes a two-time AVCA/Tachikara Northeast Region Coach of the Year as she also earned the honor in 1995. She has led New Haven to the NCAA Division II Northeast Region championship for the first time since 1999. The Chargers captured the New York Collegiate Athletic Conference regular season and tournament championships in its first year in competing in the league with a 12-0 conference mark and 3-2 win over New York Institute of Technology in the final. In the team's NYCAC semifinal win over Dowling College, Salters earned her 300th career victory. UNH has won a school-record 29 straight matches in 2002. The Chargers have won 13 more matches than last year's total of 21. New Haven swept NYIT and Bryant in three-games to claim the NCAA Division II Northeast Region Championship. New Haven faces BYU-Hawai'i in the NCAA Division II Quarterfinals.

Pacific Region Coach of the Year
Diane Flick, Western Washington University
2002 Record: 23-3 (17-0 in Great Northwest Athletic Conference)
Diane Flick's squad is ranked 11th nationally and had an 18-match win streak before losing in the NCAA Division II Pacific Region Tournament to Cal State L.A. in a hard fought five-games. WWU held the NCAA Pacific Region's top ranking during a major portion of the season. The three losses are the fewest ever in a season for the Vikings, who also had the best winning percentage in school history. Western will take a 41-match league unbeaten streak, the seventh longest string in NCAA II history, into the Great Northwest Athletic Conference next season. Western Washington is 48-14 under Flick for a 77.4 winning percentage. It also represents the best two-season mark in school history, and the only time the Vikings have been over .700 in consecutive years.

South Region Coach of the Year
Chris Catanach, University of Tampa
2002 Record: 27-6 (14-0 in Sunshine State Conference)
Chris Catanach earned his sixth AVCA/Tachikara South Region Coach of the Year, including being named AVCA/Tachikara National Coach of the Year in 1991. He led Tampa to its seventh consecutive NCAA Division II Tournament appearance and has advanced his squad to the NCAA Elite Eight as the South Region champion. Tampa defeated Florida Southern to win its seventh consecutive Sunshine State Conference title, and is currently riding a 20-match win streak. Tampa ended the regular season ranked 11th in the AVCA Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll and first in the NCAA South Region. Tampa won 13 of its matches in three games and was 5-3 in matches that went to five games. Tampa's schedule included nine nationally ranked teams. Catanach captured his 600th career win during 2002 post-season play. Tampa will play Northern Colorado in the Elite Eight.

South Central Region Coach of the Year
Qi Wang, Truman State University
2002 Record: 26-8 (13-3 in Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association)
Qi Wang has earned the AVCA/Tachikara South Central Region Coach of the Year for the second year in a row, his only two seasons as a head coach. He led Truman to its third consecutive NCAA Division II South Central Region appearance where it advanced to the Elite Eight for the second straight year. Wang's squad, currently ranked 10th in the AVCA Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll, overcame three season-ending injuries by significant players and produced wins over North Alabama, Central Missouri State (three times), Rockhurst and NAIA nationally ranked Columbia College. The Bulldogs finished Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association play as runner-up, including a win over league champion Washburn. Truman came up with two huge wins against North Alabama and Central Missouri State in the regional tournament to advance to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight to face top-ranked West Texas A&M.

Southwest Region Coach of the Year
Tony Graystone, West Texas A&M University
2002 Record: 35-2 (10-0 Lone Star Conference)
Tony Graystone has landed his second AVCA/Tachikara Southwest Region Coach of the Year after leading his squad to the NCAA Elite Eight for the third time in his four years as head coach. The Lady Buffs boast a 29-match win streak after two early season losses to nationally ranked opponents. WTAMU has been ranked number one in the AVCA Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll five times in 2002, including the past four weeks. Graystone's squad went 5-2 versus top 25 teams, including wins over nationally ranked teams Tampa, Barry, Rockhurst, Nebraska-Kearney and Central Missouri State. WTAMU captured the school's fourth consecutive Lone Star Conference title. WTAMU claimed the NCAA Division II Southwest Region Tournament title and will host the NCAA Division II Elite Eight.

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