COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (March 25, 2016) – USA Volleyball will recognize 13 legends of the game at its Dorothy C. Boyce Awards and Recognition Dinner on May 25 in Orlando, Florida.
All 13 honorees have some memorable moments in their volleyball careers. Seven of those legendary volleyball figures – Allison Aldrich, Mike Carter, Eric Duda, Bill Hamiter, Mark Pavlik, Patricia Salvatore and Eric Sato – discuss what they feel was their proudest accomplishments.
Other 2016 Boyce Banquet honorees will include Lloy Ball, Peter Diamond, Carla Hall, Nina Mathies, Glenn Sapp and the secret Harold T. Friermood Award winner.
1988 Olympic Gold Medalist – USA Volleyball All-Time Great Player
“Winning Olympic Gold Medal in 1988. Growing up in a big volleyball family, I had some great influences. Parents were very supportive and taught us the importance of family, hard work, integrity, and perseverance. Siblings did not let me get away with anything. It was tough just to pepper in the back yard. My sister Liane played for the late Patti Bright (1968 Olympian) in high school. She was the first Olympian I met. From eighth grade I wanted to be an Olympian.”
2004 Paralympian and current member of U.S. Men’s Sitting Team Qualified for 2016 Paralympic Games – USA Volleyball Male Paralympic All-Time Great Player
“It is a tossup between walking out of the tunnel in 2004 in Athens (2004 Paralympic Games) to hearing the crowd cheer and winning the match point against Canada to secure our bid for the 2016 Rio Games.”
Head coach of U.S. Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team – George J. Fisher Leader in Volleyball Award
“As a young coach at Southern Nazarene University the women’s team played its way into a Regional Championship. The winner would qualify for the National Tournament. The team was unknown and not ranked. We were a huge underdog to a top 10 team from Kansas. The SNU team had optimized their talent all year long by utilizing a positive learning environment, a belief in each other’s unique skills and hard work. The pieces fit together beautifully that night proving that a team working together could overcome a more skilled team. That win bolstered my coaching philosophy and my belief in a positive open gym culture.”
Long-time referee in USA Volleyball and FIVB – George J. Fisher Leader in Volleyball Award
“I was the first and only woman to work men’s matches at the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008.”
Head men’s volleyball coach at Penn State University – Donald S. Shondell All-Time Great Coach Award
“Watching the Penn State men’s volleyball program continue the growth and development that Coach Tom Tait had worked so hard to set on that course.”
Three-time Paralympic Games medalist with U.S. Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team – USA Volleyball Female Paralympic All-Time Great Player
“Winning the bronze medal in sitting volleyball at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece. When I started, the team was still new to this sport. From March-September we had sure come along way. We pooled sweat and tears in the countless hours in the gym, never giving up on our dreams of getting a medal at the games. I remember the 2004 Games like it was yesterday. Playing our first match against Finland and winning was just the confidence we needed to keep going. We lost to China, beat Slovenia which put us third in crossovers. We played the Netherlands, but lost which meant we would be playing Slovenia again for bronze. That game, we came together as a team and never gave up. I remember Kendra Lancaster serving match point and us winning the match. We earned that bronze medal and ended our games on a win. It was also the first time that women’s sitting volleyball was at the Games, which earned us the first ever women’s sitting volleyball medal for USA. I still get chills thinking about it, being on that medal stand, getting the wreath put on our heads and the medal draped around my neck. It was the support of my teammates, coaches, parents and men’s team that helped us to accomplish this task. I still show my students the video of us winning the bronze medal (even though we are much better now) because it is a memory I will never forget.”
Long-time Referee and Leader in Volleyball – Wilbur H. Peck Referee Emeritus Award
“I would say my proudest accomplishment was being named as a George J. Fisher Leader in Volleyball. I believe I was recognized for my contributions to the game in other areas than just as an official. I have always seen myself as a volleyball person, although later in life I have had more opportunity for visibility as an official.”