New Athletic Director Is a Familiar Face

Hollins University Vice President for Academic Affairs Patricia Hammer has announced that Bill Mannino is the school’s new athletic director.

During the 2014-15 academic year, Mannino served as acting athletic director and chair of the physical education department at Hollins. He has been a member of the Hollins athletic department since becoming head golf coach in 2007. In addition to leading the golf program, he has been a physical education instructor, faculty representative to the Student Athlete Advisory Council, and chair of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference women’s golf coaches.

“Bill is the the leader that this very talented team needs and we are very excited about the vision he brings to athletics,” Hammer said. “His work last year was extraordinary as we made progress in many areas. We are grateful that after careful consideration, he has now accepted the AD position on a permanent basis. With his knowledge and expertise, and working in close collaboration with our coaches and staff, I have every confidence that Bill will guide Hollins Athletics to continued success.”

Mannino began overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Hollins athletic department in July 2014. During his term as acting athletic director, the department made three new hires, numerous facility improvements, and an overall upgrade of games management for home events.

“I look forward to leading such an outstanding staff and working in conjunction with senior administration to help our athletic programs move forward,” Mannino said. “I feel that if we can continue the momentum that we established last year, we have a great opportunity to improve the student-athlete experience and produce teams that our fans can really get behind in terms of support and give our alumnae pride in their alma mater.”

Mannino graduated from Temple University in 1997 after a distinguished collegiate golfing career and went on to compete as a professional. He returned to his alma mater to serve as head golf coach from 2001 – 2004. Since becoming golf coach at Hollins, he has led a pair of golfers to the NCAA national tournament and seen three golfers earn All American Scholar status.

Hollins Names New Volleyball Coach

Hollins University Acting Director of Athletics Bill Mannino is pleased to announce the hiring of Katherine Lawson to the position of head volleyball coach.  Lawson is no stranger to the Hollins campus community as the newly appointed coach has worked in the Hollins admission department since July 2009.

“I am extremely honored to be the new head volleyball coach at Hollins University,”  Lawson said. “While I am excited to work with the athletic department and returning team members, I am also looking forward to recruiting new student-athletes to Hollins.”

Lawson, a Bridgewater College graduate, is very familiar with the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC).  In addition to twice been named All-ODAC second team during her four-year playing career, she also earned ODAC Scholar-Athlete accolades.  As a three-year starter, Lawson set four individual volleyball records, two of which are still standing, as well as serving as team captain while wearing an Eagles uniform.

After graduating cum laude from Bridgewater, Lawson embarked on her career in the education field.  For three years Kat taught in the foreign language department at Hidden Valley High School while staying connected to the volleyball community by serving as an assistant coach at the Roanoke County high school.  Lawson continued to serve on the Hidden Valley staff upon coming to Hollins as an admission counselor and assistant director of admission in 2009, helping lead the Titans to back-to-back final four appearances (2010 and 2011) in the state tournament.

Mannino is very excited about the future of the volleyball program. “Today is a big day for the Hollins volleyball program and the entire athletic department. Kat was a terrific volleyball player in the ODAC and will prove to be an excellent role model for our student-athletes.  In addition to having strong ties to the volleyball community within the Roanoke and Shenandoah Valleys, Kat brings an energy and understanding that will be a great benefit to the program.”

Lawson will take over the day-to-day duties of the volleyball program immediately.  For the remainder of the academic year, Lawson will continue to serve in the admission department as an application processor as well as recruiting student-athletes and overseeing spring volleyball practice.

The Roanoke, Virginia, native will continue to reside in the community with her husband, Ty, and son, Benjamin.




Whitewater Racers Capture Second at Collegiate Race Series National Championships

American Canoe Association Collegiate Race SeriesHollins University canoers and kayakers earned second place in the Women’s Championship competition at the annual American Canoe Association Collegiate Race Series National Championships, held November 1 on the Rappahannock River in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Hollins topped teams from Warren Wilson College, the University of Alabama, and Sweet Briar College to finish second. Albion College claimed this year’s women’s national championship.

The event took place on the whitewater portion of the Rappahannock, which features several major rapids.

Photo by David Reep

Hollins Riders Capture Titles at IHSA National Championships

ihsa2012Hollins University junior Sarah Brown and sophomore Catherine Hensly each won national titles today at the 2012 Intercollegiate Horse Show Association National Championships under way at the Hunt Horse Complex in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Brown, from Troy, Virginia, topped riders from the University of Colorado, Penn State, Cornell University, Boston University, and the University of Connecticut to win the Intermediate Equitation Over Fences (Individual) competition.  Her victory represents the first time a Hollins rider has won a national title in this class.

Hensly, who hails from Virginia Beach, won the Walk Trot Canter Equitation (Individual) competition, defeating riders from Penn State, Miami University, Colgate University, the University of Georgia, Virginia Tech, and Xavier University.

Junior Emma Lane Poole of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, also delivered a standout performance, taking third place in Open Equitation Over Fences.

Founded in 1967, the IHSA encompasses 29 Regions in nine Zones with more than 300 member colleges in 45 states and Canada. The organization represents more than 6,500 riders.

Poole Takes Fourth in Open Equitation Over Fences at IHSA Nationals

pooleEmma Lane Poole ’13 captured fourth place today in Open Equitation Over Fences (Individual) at the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) National Championships, under way at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg.

In addition to Hollins, riders from Skidmore College, Penn State University, Mount Holyoke College, Savannah College of Art and Design, Boston University, Miami University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and St. Andrews University competed in this category, which was won by Julia Mazzarella of Skidmore.

Poole qualified for IHSA Nationals on April 6 at the IHSA Zone 4 Finals held at St. Andrews University in Laurinburg, North Carolina.

Photo above (from left to right): Hollins Riding Center Associate Director Liz Courter; seven-time ODAC Coach of the Year Sandy Gerald; Emma Lane Poole ’13; and Riding Center Director Nancy Peterson at the IHSA Zone 4 Finals on April 6.



Swimmers Earn Scholar All American Status

swimThe College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) has presented the Hollins University swim team with its Team Scholar All American Award for the 2013 spring semester.

The award is given to college and university swimming and diving teams who have achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher.

Founded in 1922, the CSCAA is a professional organization of college swimming and diving coaches dedicated to serving and providing leadership for the advancement of the sport of swimming at the collegiate level.

The Hollins swim team kicks off its 2013-14 season at the Converse All Women’s Invitational on October 11-12 in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Golfers Named All-American Scholars

golf_honorsHollins golf team members Elizabeth Cheng ’14 and Shannon Ciccarello ’17 have been named All-American Scholars for 2013-14 by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA).

A total of 664 women’s collegiate golfers from Divisions I, II, and III were recognized with this prestigious honor. The WGCA’s criteria for selection to the All-American Scholar Team are some of the most stringent in all of college athletics: The minimum cumulative GPA is 3.50.

The complete list of this year’s honorees can be found here.

Golfers Win Major ODAC Honors

golf_honorsThe Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) has recognized Hollins golfers Elizabeth Cheng ’14 and Shannon Ciccarello ’17 with two of the league’s highest honors in women’s golf.

Cheng, who hails from Virginia Beach, won her second straight ODAC/Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete Award from the league’s sports information directors. She maintains a 3.91 grade point average as a chemistry major and biochemistry minor. A member of the ODAC All-Academic Team, she is a three-time NGCA All-American Scholar as well as an honor student at Hollins. She won both the Chemical Society Award and the Judith Gregory Smith Award in 2012.

On the golf course, Cheng placed second in the ODAC Tournament and finished the season leading the ODAC with a 78.5 average. She competed in seven events with six top-ten and five top-five showings. She posted three runner-up performances in addition to the ODAC Tournament, including the Preview at the Barn, Generals Invitational, and Bridgewater Invitational. She is currently rated #21 by Golfstat.

Cheng is the second Hollins student-athlete this spring to win the ODAC/Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete Award. In April, Cecelia Parks ’14 received the honor for equestrians.

Ciccerello, from Stafford, Virginia, won the ODAC Rookie of the Year Award, capping a strong first year at Hollins. Her season average of 85.6 is seventh in the conference. She competed in seven events this season, posting three top-ten finishes. Sixth place was her high finish in three different events: the Preview at the Barn, Bridgewater Invitational, and ODAC Tournament.

Cheng was also named All-ODAC First Team, while Ciccarello made All-ODAC Second Team.

Swimmers Achieve Scholar All American Status

swimThe Hollins University swim team has earned Team Scholar All American Honors for the 2014 spring semester from the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA).

The CSCAA presents the Team Scholar All American award to college and university swimming and diving teams who have achieved a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.

The swim team’s student-athletes were similarly recognized for their academic achievements during the 2013 spring semester.

The team kicks off its 2014-15 season at the Converse All Women’s Invitational, October 10-11.

Founded in 1922, the CSCAA is a professional organization of college swimming and diving coaches dedicated to serving and providing leadership for the advancement of the sport of swimming at the collegiate level.

Whitewater Races Capture Third at ACA National Championships

ACAA team of student canoeists and kayakers from Hollins University took on competitors from three other colleges and universities and paddled to a third-place finish at the annual American Canoe Association (ACA) Collegiate Race Series National Championships, held March 29-30 on the Tuckaseegee River in Dillsboro, North Carolina.

In the Women’s Championship division, Hollins faced eventual winner Warren Wilson College, runner-up Albion College, and the University of Virginia. Team members included Tegan Harcourt ’17, Jessica Michael ‘17, Valerie Harrison ‘17, Jentry Campbell ’15, and Ashleigh Mae Leas.

The event’s whitewater races were held on a section of the Tuckaseegee River called the Tuck Gorge. This section includes several major rapids: Railroad (class II), Prudential Rock (II+), and Double Drop (II+).

Founded in 1880, the ACA is a national organization serving the broader paddling public by providing education related to all aspects of paddling; stewardship support to help protect paddling environments; and sanctioning of programs and events to promote paddlesport competition and recreation. The ACA sponsors over 4,300 events each year, including 200 races.