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More in Sports
AREA — Volleyball season is upon us! September means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, but for a growing number of players, coaches, officials, spectators and boosters, September now means volleyball season is here.
The 2013 high school and collegiate volleyball season begins this week with matches being played from Biddeford to Down East.
High school teams and coaches began working in mid-August with veteran players and coaches shaking off any off-season rust, and hitting the court, while welcoming new student-athletes to the game.
Eight schools participated in the annual Greely "Play Day" in Cumberland on August 24, after just one week of team practices. The following weekend a large number of teams took part in a similar format at Falmouth High School. Both events were considered pre-season, as players, coaches, and officials gear up for another exciting year.
Teams in the northern part of the state gathered at the University of Maine-Machias on August 24 for a "local" play-day Down East.
College teams in Maine also began practice in August, and many schools have begun their pre-season matches, getting ready for the upcoming season. Two new coaches at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine are trying to bring their team up to speed quickly. Former Jonesport-Beals standout, and member of the University of Maine Women's team, Tricia Carver-Watson, is the new Mariners head coach, while former Husson University head coach, Patrick DeBeck, is Carver-Watson's assistant. MMA dropped two matches on August 31, at St. Joe's against the host Monks, and the University of Southern Maine.
John Leighton brings his 10 years of coaching experience to join the Colby Mules in Waterville, as Candace Parent's assistant for the 2013 season. Leighton, a Maine native, spent the past eight years as the first assistant coach at the College of St. Rose (D-II). Parent is in her 19th season at the helm of the Colby program.
The new assistant coach at Bowdoin College in Brunswick is Lauren Nilsen. A former Division I volleyball player at Duquesne University, Nilsen earned her degree in Nursing and enlisted as a Navy Nurse Corps Officer upon graduating in 1994. She played in the military for 12 seasons with the US Navy Women's Volleyball Team and the US Armed Forces Volleyball Team. Nilsen joins Polar Bears head coach, Karen Corey (eighth season), as the team attempts to better a stellar 2012 season which saw them finish just a few points from an Elite-8 appearance at the D-III National Championships.
Jodie Fairbank takes over as the new head volleyball coach at Husson University in Bangor, following a distinguished military career. Fairbank played collegiate volleyball at the University of Southern Maine before transferring to Elizabeth City State University on a partial athletic scholarship. She received a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice from Elizabeth City State University in 2002 and her Master's Degree in Criminal Justice from the American Military University in 2009.
The Maine Volleyball Project has created an extensive survey to help provide information about the volleyball community in the Pine Tree State. The results of this survey will be used in a variety of ways including helping to assess the needs of Maine's volleyball athletes in terms of competitive opportunities; whether or not volleyball in Maine is meeting the demands of players at all levels; and to learn more about those who play, coach, officiate, and support the sport of volleyball in our state. Go to http://mainegames.org/mavo_home.html before Sept. 30 to participate in the survey.
The Maine Volleyball Project is a division of the nonprofit Maine Games. As a member of the National Congress of State Games, the Maine Games works hard to provide amateur athletes of all ages and abilities with opportunities to compete on a statewide stage, to develop and practice good sportsmanship, and to create healthy habits that can last a lifetime.
The Maine Volleyball Project has been created to help bring together people, groups, associations, teams, and others with an interest in growing the sport of volleyball throughout the Pine Tree State. The Maine Volleyball Project offers a place where the entire Maine volleyball community to gather and share information, opportunities, and a love for the sport.