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Saturday, Oct. 8, 2005

Milestone victory comes in second win at Crabtree Classic

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. – The Warriors' three-game sweep of Babson College in the second game of the 25th Anniversary Crabtree Classic women’s volleyball invitational Friday night represented the 100th NCAA coaching win for third-year head coach Jolie Ward.

In her sixth season as a Division III head coach, Ward has won 103 and lost 80. Now in her third year at Eastern, Ward has won 52 and lost 43. Prior to her current appointment, Ward won 51 and lost 37 at Farmingdale State University between 2000 and 2002.  Two of Ward’s teams have won more than 20 games: She led Farmnigdale to a 21-7 record in its first season as a four-year institution in 2000 and last year directed the Warriors to an overall 21-16 record, a share of the Little East Conference regular-season title and a spot in the conference tournament championship match.

Among volleyball coaches, Ward currently ranks third at Eastern in wins at Eastern and matches coached (95) at Eastern, needing 19 matches to move into second place all-time in that category.

In addition to her NCAA victories, Ward compiled a two-year record of 35-24 in 1998 and 1999 when Farmingdale was a two-year institution. A native of Bellport, NY, Ward was selected as only the fourth permanent head coach in program history in August of 2003.  Former head coach Floretta Crabtree compiled 616 wins over the program’s first 22 seasons before retiring following the 1996 season.

As a player, Ward was a four-year collegiate volleyball letterwinner and a member of four post-season tournament teams between 1993 and 1997. A 5-foot-8 inch right-side hitter, Ward lettered three seasons at Stony Brook University between 1993 and 1995 and completed her eligibility in 1997 as a graduate student at Division II Dowling College.

Through matches of October 8, Eastern has won 17 and lost 7, 4-1 in the Little East Conference. The Warriors began the week ending an 11-match losing streak at the hands of Western Connecticut State University  Tuesday night at Geissler Gymnasium, then swept to five wins in capturing its own Crabtree Classic over the weekend. The team’s current eight-match winning streak is its longest since 1998, when it won a program-record 15 in a row en route to the most recent of its New England Division III-record 13 NCAA tournament bids.

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