Pittsburgh Panthers women's volleyball
|Pittsburgh Panthers Volleyball|
|University||University of Pittsburgh|
|Head coach||Dan Fisher (2nd year)|
|Home arena||Fitzgerald Field House (Capacity: 4,122)|
|Colors||Navy Blue and Gold
|AIAW and NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen|
|1978, 1981, 1990|
|AIAW and NCAA Tournament Appearances|
|1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 2003, 2004, 2016|
|Regional AIAW Tournament Appearances|
|1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981|
|Conference Tournament Champions|
|1982, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 2003|
|Conference Regular Season Champions|
|1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 2003|
Pittsburgh Panthers women's volleyball is the NCAA Division I intercollegiate volleyball program of the University of Pittsburgh, often referred to as "Pitt", located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Pitt volleyball team competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and plays their home games in Fitzgerald Field House. Since the founding of the volleyball program in 1974, the Panthers have had 35 winning seasons, one of the nation's top all-time winning percentages, appearances in 15 national championship tournaments, and while a member of the Big East Conference, the most conference tournament championships with eleven.
- 1 O
- 2 Team awards & accomplishments
- 3 Individual awards & honors
- 4 Pitt Volleyball Season by Season Results
- 5 Men's volleyball
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Pitt women's volleyball was founded in 1974 and was led during its first season by coach Mary Kromer who guided the team, originally nicknamed the Pantherettes, to a 14-3 record in their first year of existence. Perhaps more impressively, in the first year of the program, and despite the fact that two of the starters never played volleyball before, the team was invited to participate in the Eastern Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (EAIAW) regional championship, where the team advanced to the quarterfinals. Kromer continued as coach for the programs second season, in which the team posted an 18-2 record and again appeared in the EAIAW regional championships.
Mike Hebert years Oski?
Prior to the 1976 season, Mike Hebert, a former player at the UC-Santa Barbara who was teaching at Pitt, was asked by the university to coach the women's team although he'd never seen women play volleyball. He eventually accepted the part-time job to coach the up-start program for $1,500. Without many collegiate women's team sports in existence in the mid-1970s, Hebert and his team were pioneers who "invented things as [they] went along". Despite this, Herbert guided the Panthers to a fourth-place finish in the EAIAW championships during his first two seasons. Under his guidance, Pitt broke through to national prominence in 1978 winning the EAIAW Championship and advancing to the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) National Large College Volleyball Championships where they finished with a 2-3 record and a 13th place national finish en route to the program's first 40-win season. His part-time position turning full-time in his final season in 1979, which saw the Panthers successfully defend their EAIAW Championship and earn a return trip to the AIWA national championships. During this span he also collected EAIAW Eastern Region Coach of the Year awards at Pitt in 1978 and 1979. Herbert, who also served as an assistant coach for Pitt's men's team for the last two years of his stay in Pittsburgh, then left, citing family reasons, to take the head coaching job at the New Mexico, eventually coaching at Illinois and Minnesota; along the way winning multiple national championships, the national coach of the year award, and earning induction into the American Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Shelton Collier years
The program next turned to Ohio State assistant Shelton Collier, who in his initial season as head coach in 1980 guided the Panthers to a school record with 41 wins, and followed up in 1981 with a season that included a win at eighth-ranked Pepperdine, an EAIWA Championship, and a ninth-place finish in the final year of the AIAW national championships. In 1982, the women's volleyball program transitioned both into the NCAA, which took over the sponsorship of intercollegiate athletics from the AIWA, as well as into the Big East Conference. In addition, the program permanently moved their home games from their primary home in Trees Hall to the larger Fitzgerald Field House, which had previously hosted select volleyball tournaments and games. During Collier's tenure, Pitt established itself as the dominant volleyball team in the Big East from the start, winning the regular season Big East Southern Division tournament, without losing a game and losing only one set, in every year in which it competed: 1982, 1983, and 1984. Pitt also won the first ever Big East Tournament in 1982 without losing a game en route to the program's second 41-win season. Collier guided Pitt to capture additional Big East Tournament crowns in 1984, 1986, and 1988 and appeared in the NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship in 1982, 1984, 1986, and 1987.
Sue Woodstra years
Sue Woodstra, a silver medalist for the U.S. National Volleyball Team at the 1984 Summer Olympics, took over the Pitt program in 1989. During her tenure, she led her teams to Big East Conference Tournament Championships in each season as well as three Big East regular season championships, winning the regular season each year from when the Big East instituted round-robin play in 1990. She also led the Panthers to four post-season appearances including one Women's Invitation Volleyball Championship appearance in 1989 in which Pitt finished third, and three NCAA volleyball tournaments, including in 1990 where Pitt reached the regional semifinal. Woodstra's teams NCAA tournament teams were led by standout second team All-American outside hitter Ann Marie Lucanie, who won the Big East Tournament MVP award four straight years as well as a record three straight Big East Player of the Year awards, including in her senior year in 1993 under new head coach Cindy Alvear. In total, Woodstra compiled an overall record of 110-39 (.738) over four seasons as head coach.
Alvear and Beerman years
Cindy Alvear took over in 1993 leading Pitt to Big East regular season championships, Big East Tournament championships, and NCAA Tournament appearances in her first two seasons. This was followed by second-place finishes in both the Big East regular season and tournaments in 1995 and 1996 with a National Invitational Volleyball tournament appearance in 1995. Pitt program slipped in the late 1990s, experiencing its first losing Big East record in 1999. Chris Beerman took over the program in 2000 and helped lead the team back to a winning conference record. A losing record in 2001, Pitt's first ever, snapped one of the longest NCAA records for consecutive winning seasons. However, the Panthers rebounded in a big way in 2003 by winning the Big East regular season and tournament championship and advancing into the second round of the NCAA tournament. A second-place finish Big East finish and at-large bid to the NCAA tournament followed in 2004, before the program experienced only its third losing season in 2007.
Toby Rens years
Toby Rens was hired to take over the program in 2008, immediately restoring the program to a winning season and his first year. In 2009, despite being picked to finish eighth in the Big East, Rens guided the Panthers to a school record twelve Big East wins and a second-place finish behind Big East Player of the Year and third team All-American middle hitter Meagan Dooley. Heading into the 2010 season, the Panthers faced ten 2009 NCAA Tournament participants, but faltered to 13–18 record and a loss in the first round of the Big East Tournament. This was followed by an 18–15 record and a 17–14 record in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Following the 2012 season, Rens accepted the head coaching job at Chicago State University.
Dan Fisher era
Pitt entered the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2013 with a new head coach, Dan Fisher, who led Concordia University-Irvine to the 2012 NAIA National Championship with an overall two-year record of 72-2. Fisher led Pitt to a 5th-place finish in its first year in the ACC, exceeding pre-season expectations that had Pitt picked to finish 13th in the conference, and improved to 25-6 in his second year. He led the Panthers back to the NCAA tournament in 2016.
Team awards & accomplishments
Post-season national tournaments
Since the founding of its volleyball program in 1974, Pitt has participated in post-season volleyball tournaments in 21 different seasons. Post-season play include 12 NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship tournament appearances, 3 AIAW National Championship appearances, 8 EAIAW Regional championship appearances, and two NIVC tournament appearances.
Prior to the NCAA taking on the administration of women's sports and championships in 1981, the AIWA and its regional affiliates conducted regional and national championships in volleyball. In 1981, schools could compete in either the AIWA and NCAA and both organizations held championships, but by 1982, only the NCAA remained.
EAIWA Regional Championship appearances (8)
AIWA National Championship appearances (3)
- 1979 AIWA National Division I Volleyball Championship (1-3)
- Pool 4
- L Pacific 13-15, 6-15
- W Southern Illinois 15-8, 15-12
- L Pepperdine 15-11, 5-15, 13-15
- L Ohio State 6-15, 2-15
Pitt has participated in 12 NCAA Women's Volleyball Championships and has an overall record of 3-11 in the tournament.
The National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC) was founded in 1989 as the Women's Invitational Volleyball Championship (WIVC). The post-season tournament existed for seven seasons from 1989 to 1995. Pitt participated in the post-season tournament in two seasons, finishing in 3rd place in 1989.
Big East Championships
While a member of the Big East Conference between 1982 and 2012, Pitt won more Big East Tournament Championships (11) than any other school, winning seven straight from 1988 to 1994. Additionally, Pitt has been the Big East tournament runner-up five times. The Big East Conference began holding conference tournaments to crown a champion in 1982, but did not conduct round-robin play and crown a regular season champion until 1990. Prior to 1990, the Big East schools were organized into divisions and sometimes held regular-season divisional tournaments.
Big East Championship Tournament
Big East Tournament Champions (11)
Big East Tournament Runner-up (5)
Big East Regular Season
The Big East did not begin sponsoring regular season conference play and regular season standings until 1990. Since that time, Pitt had won six regular season Big East Championships and finished second four times.
Big East Regular Season Champions (6)
Big East Regular Season Runner-Up (4)
Big East Southern Division Tournament
In some years, prior to the establishment of round-robin conference play and standings in 1990, the Big East held regular season division tournaments. In the three years that Pitt participated in the Big East Southern Division Tournament, it did not lose a match and lost only one set to claim three Big East Southern Division Tournament titles.
Big East Souther Division Tournament Champions (3)
Individual awards & honors
- 1983 Judy Young, CoSIDA
- 1985 Judy Young, CoSIDA
- 1987 Noreen Coughlin
- 2009 Meagan Dooley, ESPN the Magazine First Team & CoSIDA
Pitt Volleyball Season by Season Results
|Mary Kromer (1974–1975)|
|1974||Mary Kromer||14-3||—||—||EAIAW Regional Tournament (quarterfinals)|
|1975||Mary Kromer||18-2||—||—||EAIAW Regional Tournament|
|Mike Hebert (1976–1979)|
|1976||Mike Hebert||26-6||—||—||EAIAW Regional Tournament (4th)|
|1977||Mike Hebert||27-13||—||—||EAIAW Regional Tournament (4th)|
|1978||Mike Hebert||40-12||—||—||EAIAW Regional Champions
AIAW National Championships (13th)
|1979||Mike Hebert||34-22-3||—||—||EAIAW Regional Champions
AIAW National Championships
|Shelton Collier (Big East Conference beginning in 1982) (1980–1988)|
|1980||Shelton Collier||41-14||—||—||EAIAW Regional Tournament (3rd)|
|1981||Shelton Collier||37-15||—||—||EAIAW Regional Champions
AIAW National Championships (9th)
|1982||Shelton Collier||41-7||—||—||Big East Tournament Champions
NCAA First Round
|1983||Shelton Collier||31-11||—||—||Big East Tournament Runner-up|
|1984||Shelton Collier||30-8||—||—||Big East Tournament Champions
NCAA First Round
|1985||Shelton Collier||26-11||—||—||Big East Tournament Runner-up|
|1986||Shelton Collier||27-13||—||—||Big East Tournament Champions
NCAA First Round
|1987||Shelton Collier||37-6||—||—||Big East Tournament
NCAA First Round
|1988||Shelton Collier||24-9||—||—||Big East Tournament Champions|
|Sue Woodstra (Big East Conference) (1989–1992)|
|1989||Sue Woodstra||32-10||—||—||Big East Tournament Champions
Women's Invitational Volleyball Championship (3rd)
|1990||Sue Woodstra||32-6||7-0||1st||Big East Tournament Champions
NCAA Second Round
|1991||Sue Woodstra||28-9||7-0||1st||Big East Tournament Champions
NCAA First Round
|1992||Sue Woodstra||18-14||5-2||T-1st||Big East Tournament Champions
NCAA First Round
|Cindy Alvear (Big East Conference) (1993–1999)|
|1993||Cindy Alvear||23-10||7-0||1st||Big East Tournament Champions
NCAA First Round
|1994||Cindy Alvear||21-11||7-1||T-1st||Big East Tournament Champions
NCAA Second Round
|1995||Cindy Alvear||19-15||10-1||2nd||Big East Tournament Runner-up
National Invitational Volleyball Championship
|1996||Cindy Alvear||22-11||9-2||2nd||Big East Tournament Runner-up|
|1997||Cindy Alvear||15-13||6-5||T-4th||Big East Tournament|
|1998||Cindy Alvear||16-14||5-6||T-6th||Big East Tournament|
|Chris Beerman (Big East Conference) (2000–2007)|
|2000||Chris Beerman||22-10||8-3||3rd||Big East Tournament|
|2003||Chris Beerman||26-6||11-1||T-1st||Big East Tournament Champions
NCAA Second Round
|2004||Chris Beerman||21-11||8-2||T-2nd||Big East Tournament Runner-up
NCAA First Round
|2005||Chris Beerman||17-13||9-5||T-4th||Big East Tournament|
|2006||Chris Beerman||22-9||10-4||T-3rd||Big East Tournament|
|Toby Rens (Big East Conference) (2008–2012)|
|2008||Toby Rens||17-14||8-6||T-6th||Big East Tournament|
|2009||Toby Rens||20-11||12-2||T-2nd||Big East Tournament|
|2010||Toby Rens||13-18||7-7||T-6th||Big East Tournament|
|2011||Toby Rens||18-15||7-7||T-8th||Big East Tournament|
|2012||Toby Rens||17-14||7-8||T-6th||Big East Tournament|
|Dan Fisher (Atlantic Coast Conference) (2013–Present)|
|2016||Dan Fisher||25-9||15-5||T-4th||NCAA Second Round|
National champion Postseason invitational champion
Varsity men's volleyball was sponsored at the University of Pittsburgh for five seasons from to 1979 to 1983 before it was dropped as a varsity sport due to athletic department budget cuts. The team was coached by Ray Reilly, and in only its second season of existence, went 8-0 against its division of the Eastern Collegiate Volleyball League (ECVL), winning its division and finishing third in the league championship. In the program's final year, the team, led by All-East players David Baird and Tony Zortea, defeated a top ten team for the first time in program history, finished third in the ECVL, and was ranked 12th in the final NCAA volleyball poll. Competitive intercollegiate men's volleyball at the university now exists as a non-varsity club sport.
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- Duck, Sophia, ed. (2009). Pitt Women's Volleyball 2009 Media Guide. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh. p. 35. Retrieved 2010-05-22.
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- "2003 AVCA All-America Teams". American Volleyball Coaches Association. December 17, 2003. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
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- The Big East Conference Volleyball Media Guide lists Pitt with a conference record of 7-0 in 1990, which is the conference record used in this article. The Pitt Volleyball Media Guide lists Pitt with a record of 6-0. The discrepancy lies in the September 28, 1990 Pitt win over Big East Conference member Syracuse in the Syracuse Invitational. Pitt apparently does not list this as a Big East regular season victory by nature of the game taking place in an in-season tournament rather than an individual scheduled match, but victory is counted as a Big East victory according to the 1990 conference standings listed in the Big East Media Guide. Syracuse's loss to Pitt is counted in their conference record in both the Big East media guide and the Syracuse volleyball media guide.
- "Pitt cuts men's volleyball program". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh, PA. 1983-02-17. Retrieved 2010-06-20.
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