2013 AVCA Two-Year College Region Coaches of the Year
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The following coaches have been selected by their regions as the 2013 AVCA Two-Year Colleges Region Coaches of the Year. Each of the honorees will represent their region on the 2013 AVCA Two-Year Colleges National Coach of the Year ballot. The awards will be officially presented at the 2013 Jostens Coaches Honors Luncheon in Seattle, Wash. on Thursday, Dec. 19, at the 2013 American Volleyball Coaches Association Annual Convention.
AVCA Two-Year College Midwest Region Coaches of the Year
Jenifer Bahner, Cowley College
NJCAA Division II
The fifth season at Cowley College for head coach Jenifer Bahner was a successful one, as she guided her team to an impressive regular season finish, clinching the Jayhawk East Title with an unblemished record in conference play and an overall 35-4 record. In each of the previous four seasons, Bahner would lead the Tigers to a school-record winning percentage and the NJCAA Division II National Championship, defeating No. 2 Parkland (52-3) in five sets. Four of her players were named to the Jayhawk East All-Conference First Team and two on the All-Tournament Team at nationals. This is Bahner's second AVCA Region Coach of the Year honor after winning it in 2011.
Cliff Hastings, Parkland College
NJCAA Division II
In his fifth season at Parkland College, Cliff Hastings reeled off an outstanding record of 52-3, reaching the NJCAA DII National Tournament for the fifth consecutive year. Not only did Hastings and his team go undefeated in conference play, they dropped only three sets against conference opponents for the entire season. The Cobras landed three players on the MWAC All-Conference First Team, with Shelby Greers being named Player of the Year and Megan Cassagrande being named Freshman of the Year. Hastings was recognized as M-WAC Co-Coach of the Year and led his team into the NJCAA DII National Tournament as the #2 overall seed, where they played in the National Championship Match. Hastings is now a first-time AVCA Region Coach of the Year honoree.
AVCA Two-Year College Southwest Region Coaches of the Year
Erin Mellinger, Blinn College
NJCAA Division I
Coming off a debut 25-win season leading the Blinn College volleyball team in 2012, she was determined to make her second season even better...and she did just that. The No. 1 ranked and seeded Buccaneers defeated Tyler Junior College in four sets to win the NJCAA Division I National Championship. They have been great all season long, spending seven weeks as the top-ranked team in the country and defeating 10 nationally-ranked teams along the way. After opening their season winning the first seven matches, they rattled off winning streaks of 16, seven, and nine to end the campaign with an astounding 39-3 record. This is Mellinger's first AVCA Region Coach of the Year honor.
Tom Pestolesi, Irvine Valley College
Not many teams can claim a perfect regular season, but Tom Pestolesi's Irvine Valley College squad certainly can. Accomplishing the feat for the second time in program history, the Lasers finished the regular season a perfect 20-0 overall and 14-0 in conference. They currently sit at No. 2 in the nation and enter the Southern California Regionals as the No. 1 seed, taking on No. 16 Mt. San Antonio College later today. They'll be led by middle blocker Annie Mitchem, who ranks in the top-5 nationally in an astounding nine different categories: points per set (4.8), points (306), blocks per set (1.64), total blocks (105), block assists (70), solo blocks (35), hitting percentage (.454), kills per set (3.39) and kills (217). Pestolesi is now a first-time AVCA Region Coach of the Year.
AVCA Two-Year College Northeast-Southeast Region Coaches of the Year
Gary Larkin, Hillsborough Community College
NJCAA Division I
In his 11th year as the head coach of Hillsborough Community College, Larkin has continued to run one of the top programs in NJCAA's Division I. In 2013, the No. 5 seed Lady Hawks finished third in the National Championships after defeating Salt Lake in five sets. Outside hitter Andrea Tauai garnered All-Tournament honors after smashing 23 kills on .400 hitting with 11 digs in the third place match. The 41 victories recorded at the helm of the Lady Hawks is the highest win total since 2006 when his squad notched 39 victories, and is 12 more than a year ago that saw them finish with a 29-14 record. This is the third AVCA Northeast/Southeast Region Coach of the Year honor for Larkin after winning it in 2008 and 2012.
Nephtali Delgado Reyes, Monroe College
NJCAA Division II
One of the most revered volleyball coaches to come from Puerto Rico, Delgado Reyes has notched another successful campaign at the helm of Monroe College. After reaching their highest all-time national ranking at No. 10, Monroe defeated Rhode Island in straight sets to capture the District L Championship and earn a No. 8 seed in the National Tournament. The Mustangs went on to defeat No. 15 Moraine Valley (IL) in the ninth-place match to give him his 101st career victory as their head coach. This is the program's (36-8) second consecutive season posting at least 35 wins, as they hit that mark a year ago with an overall record of 35-7. This is Delgado Reyes' second consecutive AVCA Region Coach of the Year award.
AVCA Two-Year College West Region Coaches of the Year
Jane Peterson, Central Lakes College
NJCAA Division III
It was another outstanding season for Central Lakes volleyball, finishing the season with a 29-3 record and a third place finish in the NJCAA Division III National Tournament. The 2013 campaign marked her 23rd in her illustrious career now holding a 536-229 record as the coach of the Raiders. She coached Lindsay Monson to be one of the top middle blockers in the country, finishing in the top-10 nationally in kills per set (3.94), hitting percentage (.402) and block assists (69). Peterson has led the Raiders to their 10th appearance in the National Tournament including nine of the last 13. She is now a two-time AVCA Region Coach of the Year recipient after taking home the honor in 2007.
Giovana Melo, Western Nebraska Community College
NJCAA Division I
Since Melo first took over the program in 2008, she has done nothing but win. In six seasons, she now has a combined record of 262-20 after a 40-4 campaign. Coming off a District J (Region IX South) Championship, they entered the National Tournament as the No. 3 seed where they advanced to the quarterfinals. The Cougars were led by libero Rachael McCracken, who placed first in the nation in digs (809) and fifth in digs per set (5.70). Melo has garnered AVCA All-Region Coach of the Year honors after winning it for her fourth consecutive season.