Volleyball Adds Cerina Pele and Bill Hitchcock to Coaching Staff

July 29, 2004

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - JU volleyball has added former Florida State standout Cerina Pele and former St. Johns River Community College head coach Bill Hitchcock to the Dolphin coaching staff, first-year head coach Kevin Paul announced today. Pele, a four-year letterwinner at Florida State, will serve as the head assistant under Paul, who was promoted on April 6 after serving as the program's top assistant for the last three years. Hitchcock, the head coach at St. John's River CC since 2002, will serve as a volunteer assistant.

Pele appeared in 114 matches with the Seminoles and as a senior, she led the squad with 376 digs (3.06 dpg) as the squad's libero. The Gardena, Calif., native also tallied 20 double-digit dig performances, including a career-high 22 digs against North Carolina. Pele was also a success in the classroom, earning Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Honor Roll honors all four seasons with the Seminoles. The former team captain earned her bachelor's degree in communications at Florida State in 2004.

"Cerina brings a great deal of energy to our program," said Paul. "She also has a very competitive spirit which evolved while competing at a high level at FSU."

Hitchcock, a native of North Kingstown, R.I., brings 11 years of coaching and playing experience to the squad. Prior to his head coaching stint at St. Johns River CC, he served four years as the assistant coach for the squad. At the club level, Hitchcock was the assistant coach for the Jacksonville Juniors club team during the 2003 season. He helped lead the squad to a top-10 ranking in the regional final polls and an Atlanta Peach Tree Tournament title.

"Bill will be a great addition to our staff due to his head coaching experience at the junior college level," Paul said. "He also coaches in our Jacksonville Juniors program which will drastically help in the development of our community relationship."

The Dolphins will open the 2004 season against George Mason on Friday, Sept. 3, as part of the USF Invitational in Tampa. Last season, JU earned its third straight postseason berth after posting a 15-14 record, including a third place finish in the Atlantic Sun with an 8-2 league mark.