The NCAA Women’s Division I volleyball coaching carousel is slowing down, but hasn’t quite stopped yet. One of the last head coaching positions left in the country (with the Cal situation still up in the air) was filled on Tuesday when Niagara University announced that they had promoted Donna Day to head coach.
Day replaces her former boss Vilis Ozols, who was hired by Siena in mid-February, under whom she served as an assistant for 2 seasons. The team went 30-29 in those 2 seasons. After a 12-19 year in 2016 (10-8 in the MAAC), they shot up to an 18-10 record in 2017 and a 14-4 MAAC standing, good for 2nd in the conference.
Prior to Niagara, she was the head coach for 8 seasons at Division II Ursuline College from 2006-2013. She also worked as a coach and director of the Pinnacle Volleyball Club in Ohio and worked as the High Performance Department intern at USA Volleyball beginning in 2004.
The team graduated its leading scorer, outside hitter Nicole Mattheis, after last season – she averaged 2.70 kills/set. They also graduated their starting libero Rylee Hunt and both setters out of their 5-2 system Alexis Gray and Meghan Higley. They have, however, signed Reva Blitz at libero, an all-league player out of California; and Jessica Streuer, who was the Region VIII-AAA All-Area Player of the Year as a senior at setter.
The team also returns freshman outside hitter Jaycie Roberts, who averaged 2.26 kills/set and was a little more efficient than Matheis last season; and their top middle blocker Draik Banks who hit .301 (1.71 kills/set) and averaged 99 blocks/set last season.