Leonid Yelin Named Coach of the Decade

IRVING, Texas - Conference USA is celebrating its 10th anniversary during the 2004-05 season. In conjunction, the league is naming a Team of the Decade for each of the conference's 19 sports. Volleyball is the latest sport to have its All-Decade team released and the squad is led by former USF star Michelle Collier, who was named the Player of the Decade. The Volleyball Coach of the Decade award was won by Louisville's Leonid Yelin, who has led the Cardinals to at least a share of six regular season championships and three tournament titles. Voting on the All-Decade awards was done by each of the league's current Volleyball coaches.

Cincinnati, Houston, Louisville and USF, the four schools that have combined to win all but one of the league's regular season and tournament titles, each placed two players on the squad. DePaul, the only other school to win a tourney title, and Saint Louis each provided one player to the All-Decade team.


Leonid Yelin, Louisville (1996-current) Yelin entered the 2003 season with a career record of 309-97 and a winning percentage of .761, which ranks him No. 10 winningest Division I Active Coaches. In the last nine years, Louisville has either claimed or shared a league-record six C-USA regular season titles, including an undefeated (13-0) league ledger this year. The Cards were tournament champions in 1998, 2000 and 2003 under his leadership. They have advanced to two Sweet Sixteen Appearances in 1996 and 1998 and made seven NCAA Appearances ('96, '98, '99, 2000, '01, '02, '03) during his tenure, advancing to the second round five times. The Cardinals have beaten three top 10-ranked teams: No. 6 Arizona in 2002, No. 6 Minnesota in 2003 and No. 9 Pepperdine in 2004. The Cardinals have been ranked as high as No. 15 in the nation with their best final poll ranking of No. 16 in 1996. He has coached three C-USA Tournament MVPs, four Freshmen of the Years, three National team members from U of L, and a professional player (Kelly McClain).


Michelle Collier, USF (1998-2002) - PLAYER OF THE DECADE AVCA All-American (Third Team, 2002) ... Only four-time First Team All-C-USA honoree in C-USA history (1998, 2000, 2001, 2002) ... Two-time C-USA Player of the Year (2000, 2002) .... C-USA Freshman of the Year (1998) ... Led her team to C-USA regular-season titles in 2000 and 2002 and C-USA tournament title in 2002 ... Led team to NCAA Tournament in 1998, 2000 and 2002 ... Holds USF and C-USA career kill record (2,729) ... Holds USF and C-USA match (41) and single-season (760) kill records.

Sarah Drury, Louisville (1999-2002) One of Louisville's tiniest players has made the biggest mark on Louisville volleyball. In 2003, the 5-4 Sarah Drury made the USA National team and she was an alternate on the 2004 US Olympic Volleyball team that competed in Greece. While a Cardinal, she began as a defensive specialist. When the position of libero was added, she blossomed into one of the best passers and diggers in the league. Drury, a team captain, set the school single season dig record with 534. She set the school record for digs in a match with 39 versus Cincinnati. She broke Beth Kuhnell's mark of 34 vs. South Florida (11/19/95). She was a member of the 2002 All-Midwest Region team and the 2002 All-C-USA First Team. She is 2003 Member USA National Team and currently a 2004 Member USA National Team.

Sonja Percan, Louisville (1999-2003) Is Louisville's most highly decorated volleyball athlete since entering Conference USA. She was the 1999 C-USA Co-Freshman of the Year, 2001 All-Midwest Region, 2001 All-C-USA first team, 2001 All-C-USA Tournament, 2003 All-Midwest Region, 2003 All-C-USA first team, 2003 All-C-USA Tournament and a 2003 Member of the Croatian National Team. She holds the all-time career mark in total attacks with 4,283 and kills at 1,850. She is second in hitting percentage at .358 hitting from the outside. She set a single season record in attacks 1,385 in 2001 and is second in kills at 611 in 2001. She holds the all-time record for kills in a game, a mark she set twice with 32 against Kentucky in 1999 and 32 vs. South Florida in 2001. U of L was 96-33 during her time and won two regular season championships (1999, 2003), won two Conference Tournaments and was selected to the NCAA in each of her four years. U of L reached the second round in 2001 and 2003.

Julie DuPont, Cincinnati (2001-current) One of only two All-Americans in conference history...2003 Conference Player of the Year...two-time all-conference, including one first team...currently ranks fourth in conference history and first in school history in career kills...led conference in kills, kills per game and points in 2003...helped team to two conference championships and three NCAA Tournament berths in first three seasons...currently tied for second place in school history with 1,303 career digs and has more than 2,000 kills.

Laura Lauder, Cincinnati (2000-03) Three-time all-conference choice, including first team in 2003...2003 Conference Setter of the Year and honorable mention All-American...C-USA Co-Freshman of the Year in 2000...second in conference history and first in school annals in career assists (5,946)...helped team to two conference championships and four NCAA Tournament appearances...led C-USA in assists per game in 2003.

Stephanie Bishop, DePaul (1998-2001) Named Division I National Player of the Week in October of 1999... AVCA All-Mideast Region in 1999... 1999 DePaul team MVP... Led C-USA with 543 digs in 1999... named C-USA Player of the Week twice in 2001... member of the 1999 and 2001 C-USA All-Tournament team... Named to the first-team C-USA team in 1999, 2000 and 2001... Currently ranks #2 on DePaul all-time career attempt (5,566), kill (2,052) and dig (1,842) lists... ranks third in DePaul's record book in single season kills (606), and attempts (1,604)... member of three 20-win seasons... 2001 team won the C-USA tournament, made an appearance in the NCAA tournament.

Michelle Frazier, Houston (1997-2000) Was the 1999 C-USA Player of the Year ... the 1997 Freshman of the Year (helping Houston to its first C-USA title) ... All-Conference First Team in 1999 ... Second Team in 2000 and 1998 ... Third Team in 1997 when she was also a member of the Freshman Team ... was a member of the 1999 AVCA All-District VI selection ... Holds the No. 2 position for most block assists in a single match with 14 against Charlotte in 1999 ... No. 2 in total blocks for a single match with 17 against Charlotte in 1999 ... No. 2 for career blocks with 577, No. 6 in career blocks per game with 1.27, No. 7 in kills at Houston with 1,168, No. 4 in hitting percentage with .274, No. 8 in attack attempts with 2,888. Is ranked No. 1 in total blocks with 577, blocks per game with 1.27 and block assists with 488.

Jennifer Wittenberg, Houston (1999-2001) Named the C-USA Player of the Year in 2002 ... A First Team All-Conference USA selection in 2000 and 2001 ... named to the All-Tournament Team in 2001 ... was Player of the Week five times between 2000 and 2001 ... was a two-time AVCA All-Midwest Region honoree in 2000 and 2001 ... Led C-USA in kills with 646 and kills per game with 6.27 in 2001 (both school records) ...was No. 1 in the conference with 1,505 attempts during the 2001 season (No. 2 in school history) ... is No. 2 and No. 3 for most kills per game all-time in a season with 6.27 in 2001 and 6.16 in 2000 ... in 2001 posted the No. 9 highest kill total with 646 for a single season ... holds four total school single season records ... Against C-USA opponents, she led league in kills per game in back-to-back seasons with 6.86 in 2000 and 6.57 in 2001 ... No. 1 in kills with 381 in 2001 ... No. 1 in attempts with 835 in 2001.

Colleen Hunter, Saint Louis (1999-2002) Ranks second all-time in C-USA history with 2,230 kills ... only player in league history with at least 2,000 kills, 1,000 digs and 500 blocks ... is fourth all-time in the league with 530 blocks and ranks 10th in career hitting percentage at .295 ... was a first-team All-Conference selection three times ... as a freshman, was a third-team All-Conference choice and on the All-Freshman team ... a three-time All-District selection ... was twice a CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree.

Erica Berggren, USF (1995-96) Played in C-USA during her final two seasons ... C-USA Player of the Year both years ... Two-time C-USA First Team honoree ... Holds USF career records in blocks assists (488) and total blocks (626) ... Holds USF single-season record for block assists (135) and hitting percentage (.443) ... Holds USF match record for block assists (15) ... Both second and third on C-USA single-season hitting percentage list (.409 and .395) ... Holds USF (.415) and C-USA (.402) career hitting percentage record.

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