Sports Shorts 4/18/08: Volleyball names new head coach

By Kate Fratar

Since 2001, the Maroons have welcomed or promoted five new head coaches, and all of them have helped set higher standards for Chicago athletics. Vanessa Walby comes in as the latest addition to the University’s strong coaching staff, ready to take over the reigns for volleyball next fall.

A first-time collegiate head coach, Walby joins the Maroons after three seasons assisting at UW–Whitewater. The Warhawks were on the warpath for each of Walby’s three seasons with the squad and were a fixture at NCAAs. They won Nationals in 2005, took third in 2006, and finished second at the tournament this fall, while accumulating an overwhelming 111–15 record over the three years.

Walby adds to her achievements as a coach with her success as a player for Whitewater. She only played two seasons for the Warhawks, in 1999 and 2000, but made a quick impact. Named team captain for the 2000 campaign, Walby helped lead the squad to second at NCAAs and garnered a spot on the All-Tournament Team.

Outside of the Warhawks and collegiate volleyball, Walby has coaching experience with two club teams, the Wisconsin Power in 2004 and Mad City in 2001 and 2003.

Coming into Chicago, Walby isn’t a total stranger to the Maroons. The South Siders and Warhawks didn’t meet on the court his year, but Walby got a look at her current team when the squads played twice in 2007. Whitewater won both affairs with 3–0 shutouts.

Her move to Ratner comes after Dorinda von Tersch stepped down as head coach this February, citing family reasons. Von Tersch has been at the helm of the Maroons for the past seven seasons. During that span, the Maroons posted a 66–169 record and struggled to advance in a highly competitive league dominated by powerhouses like Emory and Wash U.