(PRESQUE ISLE, ME) -- The University of Maine-Presque Isle announced Monday the hiring of Mark Kornachuk as the new head coach of the Owls' women's volleyball program. Kornachuk takes over for 2nd year coach Jay Beaulieu who stepped down after the this past season.
"I am pleased to announce Mark Kornachuk as the new Head Women's Volleyball Coach for the fall 2012 season," said UMPI Athletic Director Chris Corsello. "Mark comes to us with significant volleyball knowledge and has an expertise in teaching skill development to players. Additionally, his knowledge of game strategy and management will be an important benefit to our team. I am confident in Mark's ability to strengthen our recruiting efforts which will assist in building and strengthening the women's volleyball program here at UMPI."
This is the first college head coaching position for Kornachuk. He takes over an UMPI program that finished 2-23 last season, playing its first year as an independent.
With 7 student-athletes eligible to return to next year's team without a senior, Owls' volleyball has a unique opportunity to be both young AND experienced next year. Shaina Hood (So./Princeton, ME) will be the "elder statesman" as a junior. Hood was 2nd most digs for the Owls in 2011 with 147. Freshmen starters Randi Kaplan (Fr./Embden, ME) (137 digs, 95 assists),Samantha Roy (Fr./Van Buren, ME) (113 assists, 155 digs, 70 kills, 45 aces), and Elizabeth Kofstad (Fr./Presque Isle, ME) (46 kills) would all return with a year under their belts.
"I am very excited to start this season and see how far we as a team can take this. I expect good things from all i have heard and look forward to the challenges the team will face and overcome," said Kornachuk. "My first order of business is to see where we stand in both athleticism and mental cohesiveness. I want a team that not only plays with skill but also a team that can be smart out on the court."
"I have worked with different coaches and teams who have had different ideas on what it takes to win and i will take the best of these ideas and apply them to this team. My expertise in coaching is in techniques. I am very strong in getting an inexperienced player up to speed quickly so they are a very viable part of the team."
Kornachuk, who lives in Presque Isle, sees a great opportunity to be effective beyond the volleyball courts in Wieden Hall.
"I am looking forward to the challenges and rewards the UMPI volleyball team will give me as their new coach. I am excited to be involved with volleyball in Northern Maine and hope to be able to pass on my love of the game to not only my players but the local community as well."