Hempstead, NY – Hofstra University Vice President and Director of Athletics Jeffrey A. Hathaway announced today that Head Volleyball Coach Kristina Hernandez has been signed to a long-term contract.
“Coach Hernandez did a wonderful job this season in winning the CAA Championship and leading Hofstra back to the NCAA Tournament,” commented Hathaway. “With a roster that includes some very talented underclassmen we are very excited about the future academic and athletic successes of the Hofstra Volleyball program. We certainly look forward to seeing this year’s success being leveraged into many more wins and plenty of excitement in the volleyball program.”
“I would like to thank President Rabinowitz and Vice President and Director of Athletics Jeff Hathaway as I am honored that I will continue to have the opportunity to coach at such a wonderful place,” stated Hernandez. “It is my goal to continue to run a program that achieves success on the court but also emphasizes success in the classroom. We had an incredible year and I am excited to move forward with a great coaching staff, administration, support staff, terrific student-athletes and the entire Hofstra Volleyball family. I look forward to the challenge of continuing to try and reach the vision we have established and feel fortunate to have an administration committed to that vision as well. We have hard working student-athletes that are committed to continuing to build on the success we had this year. We look forward to the bright future of the program.”
Hernandez led Hofstra on a thrilling run this past season as the Pride won three matches in three days at the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Championship to earn its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2006. Hofstra, which won seven straight matches heading into the NCAA Tournament, won 21 matches in 2012. It marked the most wins by Hofstra since the 2006 squad won 24 matches en route to an appearance in the second round of the NCAA Championship.
The team was led by a pair of players as star sophomore outside hitter Kelsie Wills was a first team All-Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) selection, while senior setter Catalina Charry garnered All-CAA Second Team honors.
Hernandez just completed her fifth season as the head coach of the Hofstra Volleyball program. She was named to the post on March 27, 2008, following a four-year stint at Loyola (MD).
Hofstra continued its improvement in 2011 under the leadership of Hernandez as the Pride won 14 matches. Hofstra got off to a great start in 2011 as the Pride started off 7-0, which ranks as the third-best start in the illustrious history of the Hofstra Volleyball program. Following the season, the Pride had a pair of players honored by the CAA as Kylee Maneja was named to the All-CAA Third Team, while Kelsie Wills earned CAA All-Rookie honors.
In 2010 Hernandez guided an injury-riddled Pride squad to 10 victories as Hofstra played without the services of Anissa Whitney for the entire season and saw Taylor Moore miss the majority of the season as well.
Hernandez saw her 2009 team win 13 matches and battle for a spot in the CAA Championship until the final weekend before falling just short. Senior Monica Knight led the league in kills and was a second team All-CAA selection, while Whitney was a third team all-league pick.
Following a successful first campaign with the Pride, in which the team posted and 18-14 mark and earned a spot in the Colonial Athletic Association Championship semifinals, Hernandez was recognized on a pair of occasions for her work in the volleyball community. In February 2009 Hernandez was named an inaugural American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) “Thirty Under 30” award recipient. The AVCA created this award to honor thirty of the up-and-coming volleyball coaches under 30 years of age in the sport at all levels of the game. Hernandez would follow that up in May 2009 when she was named an assistant coach with the USA Volleyball Women’s Junior A2 squad that competed in an international-style competition in July in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Hernandez completed a remarkable turnaround of the Loyola Greyhound volleyball program as she took over a squad in 2004 that had won just five matches the previous season and immediately doubled their win total in her first campaign and by her fourth season the team won 22 matches. That win total was the most for the Loyola program since the 1992 squad set a school record with 25 victories and was the second-most in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) last season.
A 2003 summa cum laude graduate of North Carolina A&T, Hernandez played setter for the Aggies, was the team’s rookie of the year as a freshman and earned Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) All-Academic honors from 2001 to 2003.
Hernandez has also expanded her coaching horizons away from the Hofstra campus. A veteran of the USA Volleyball Summer Program, Hernandez has served as a court coach with the USA Volleyball High Performance tryout camp in each of the past seven years and has been a lead tryout coach for the last three years. In 2007 she took part in the USA High Performance Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where she served as a coach for the USA Youth National A2 team. In 2008 Hernandez served as an assistant coach with the USA Volleyball High Performance Youth A2 squad in Tucson, Arizona, while in 2009 she was an assistant with the USA Volleyball Women’s Junior A2 squad. In 2010 Hernandez served as the head coach for the Women's Junior Continental Team with USA Volleyball High Performance Camps. In 2012 Hernandez was the assistant coach for the Youth National A2 program and served as a head coach with the USA camp in Oklahoma.