1998 Tachikara/AVCA Division III Region Coaches of the Year
1998 Tachikara/AVCA Division III Regional Coaches of the YearFor immediate release - Nov. 18, 1998
The following coaches have been voted by their region as the Tachikara/AVCA Region Coach of the Year. Each of the honorees will represent their region on the national coach of the year ballot. The award will be officially presented at the Tachikara/AVCA Coach of the Year Banquet in Madison, Wis., on Thursday, Dec. 17, at the AVCA National Convention.
Central Region Coach of the Year
Megan Clayberg, Central College
- Clayberg has led Central (34-2) to the NCAA quarterfinals for the second consective year after finishing third in the nation in 1997. Ranked No. 1 in the region all season, Central has been in the top four nationally since the first poll of the year. The Dutch, 10-0 in the Iowa Collegiate Athletic Conference during the regular season, recorded significant regular-season wins over Washington University (Mo.), UW-Whitewater, Wartburg (twice) and Nebraska Wesleyan (twice).
Elizabeth Zicha, Muskingum College
Zicha led Muskingum (30-5) to a 3-0 victory over No. 1 seed in the region Wittenberg University for the Fighting Muskies' second trip in school history to the NCAA quarterfinals. Muskingum has been ranked within the Great Lakes Region since Sept. 27, peaking at No. 3, and is participating in the national tournament for the fourth time in the 1990s. Zicha's squad topped nationally-ranked Gettysburg and regionally-ranked rivals Calvin and Ohio Northern during the regular season.
Larry Bock, Juniata College
Under Bock's leadership, Juniata (38-1) upset top-ranked Washington University (Mo.) to take over the No. 1 spot in the national poll, Oct. 14, after residing at No. 2 since the beginning of the season. The Eagles were 10-0 against nationally-ranked teams during the regular season including victories over Trinity, SUNY Cortland (twice) and Washington -- despite graduating five seniors last year. Bock became just the fourth coach in NCAA volleyball history to record his 800th career win with a 3-0 victory over Division II Lock Haven this year. This is the Eagles' 18th consecutive NCAA tournament appearance, where they have made it to the finals four times including the last two years. Juniata will face Washington (Mo.) in the NCAA quarterfinals this weekend.
Kris Russell, UW-Whitewater
- Russell has led UW-Whitewater (32-5) back to the NCAA tournament for the seventh consecutive time, where her troops will take on Central College in quarterfinal action this weekend. UWW and CC split their two regular-season matchups earlier this season. Appearing in the top six of the national poll all year, UWW has also been ranked No. 1 in the Midwest Region every week this season. Russell chalked up career victory No. 600 this season as the Warhawks topped Elmhurst. Whitewater also defeated nationally-ranked St. Benedict, Wittenberg and Trinity as well as beating Midwest Region No. 2 UW-River Falls twice during the regular season.
Dorothy Webb, Wellesley College
- With Webb at the helm, Wellesley (35-0) is enjoying an undefeated season and has advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament. The Blue have been ranked in the national poll every week since Sept. 30, peaking at No. 9. They defeated nationally-ranked Eastern Connecticut State (twice) and regionally-ranked rivals Williams (four times) and MIT (twice) this season. This is the second consecutive quarterfinal appearance for Wellesley, which advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time in school history in 1997.
Joan Sitterly, SUNY Cortland
- Sitterly chalked up career victory No. 600 as Cortland (39-2) swept SUNY Plattsburgh and finished with a 10-0 regular-season record in the SUNY Athletic Conference-East for the third consecutive year. Cortland has advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals - its seventh such showing - with victories over New York University and Ithaca College. SUNY Cortland has been ranked in the national poll all season, beginning at No. 8 and peaking at No. 4. The Red Dragons have also been ranked No. 1 in the New York Region all year. They defeated nationally-ranked Wittenberg, Emory, St. Olaf and RIT (three times), bowing to top-ranked Juniata in their only two losses this season.
Teri Clemens, Washington University (Mo.)
- Under Clemens' guidance, Washington (37-3) is competing in the NCAA tournament for the twelfth consecutive season after being ranked in the top three of the national poll all year, as well as ranking No. 1 in the South Region every week. Clemens, the winningest coach in NCAA volleyball history, entered the season with a winning percentage of .871 in 13 years and achieved her 500th career victory this season as WU topped UW-Oshkosh to claim the WU Classic, Sept. 12. The Bears were 10-2 against nationally-ranked opponents during the regular season, then topped Emory and Trinity to advance to the NCAA quarterfinals this weekend.
West Region Coach of the Year
James Park, Cal Lutheran University
- Park led Cal Lutheran (20-2) to its fourth consecutive national tournament appearance in 1998, receiving a first-round bye before dropping a 15-8, 20-18, 16-14 decision to Division III newcomer Cal State Hayward, a former Division II competitor. The Regals debuted in the national poll on Oct. 7, peaking at No. 7 and settling in at No. 10. They were also regionally ranked in the top five all season. Cal Lutheran posted a 5-2 record against nationally-ranked teams this season including a 3-1 victory over regional rival UC San Diego.