JEN GREENY, HEAD COACH
2016 PAC-12 COACH OF THE YEAR
Jen Greeny completed her sixth and most successful season at the helm of the Washington State University volleyball program in the fall of 2016. The Cougars tallied a 22-12 overall record and an 11-9 record for fifth place in the highly-competitive Pac-12 Conference after a preseason coaches’ poll predicted a ninth-place finish. Seeing her success throughout the season, Greeny’s fellow conference coaches voted her the 2016 Pac-12 Coach of the Year.
WSU made history in 2016 with a trio of consecutive wins over AVCA Top 10 nationally-ranked teams in 10 days: at No. 4 Washington Sept. 21, at No. 9 UCLA Sept. 23 and versus No. 9 Stanford Sept. 30.
The Cougars earned at at-large bid to the NCAA Championship tournament for the first time in seven years and won a First Round match for the first time in 14 seasons. Greeny has coached or played in seven of WSU’s 11 NCAA Championship tournament appearances. This season’s 22 wins is tied for fifth-most in WSU volleyball program history and under Greeny’s leadership, WSU has produced the best three season win-totals in the last 14 years with 18 wins in 2013, 16 wins in 2015 and 22 wins in 2016. Greeny’s WSU teams have posted a 62-11 non-conference record during her six years as head coach. The Cougars compete in the country’s strongest volleyball conference, the Pac-12, where for the last 17 consecutive seasons the conference has had six or more teams advance to the NCAA Championship tournament including the record of 10 teams in 2014.
Senior outside hitter Kyra Holt, an All-Pacific North Region and two-time All-Pac-12 selection, was a versatile all-round player leading the team on and off the court. Holt, the fifth player in WSU history to reach 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in a career, claimed school records in points (2,051) and attack attempts (5,074), and is in WSU’s career top 10 lists in kills (1,777 - 2nd), kills per set (3.74 - 5th), aces (123 - 5th), and digs (1,172 - 7th). During the 2016 season Holt was the espnW National Player of the Week for Sept. 19-25, 2016 as well as Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week and earned a trio of nonconference all-tournament honors.
The Cougars led the country in total blocks in 2016 and was third-best nationally for blocks per set (3.23 bps) with sophomore middle blockers Taylor Mims and Claire Martin producing outstanding statistics. Mims was third-best nationally in total blocks (191) and eighth-best in blocks per set (1.49 bps) while Martin was 24th-best in total blocks (156) and 16th-best in blocks per set (1.41bps). Mims and WSU junior outside hitter Casey Schoenlein were named to the 2016 All-Pac-12 honorable mention team.
In addition to their WSU accomplishments, 2016 was full of accolades for members of the Cougars squad. Holt was selected to compete on the 2016 summer Pac-12 All-Star squad that toured China. McKenna Woodford and Schoenlein played and Greeny was an assistant coach on the 2016 USA Volleyball’s U.S. Collegiate National Team - Europe Tour that won the 12th Annual Global Challenge tournament in Croatia. Tani Stephens, a senior defensive specialist, found great success in summer sand volleyball tournaments including playing in the AVP Seattle Open. Stephens graduated in December and will pursue her graduate degree and play collegiate beach volleyball this spring.
Greeny and her staff have tirelessly worked to return the Cougars volleyball program back to the national prominence it received when Greeny was a player and an assistant coach. To that end, the Cougars ranked No. 17 in recruiting class rankings from 2013-15 according to PrepVolleyball.com, which includes two classes ranked among the Top 21: No. 14 in 2013, and No. 21 in 2015, with the 2014 class garnering honorable mention accolades. Among the WSU recruits are six PrepVolleyball.com Top 100 players and two Gatorade State Players of the Year. Greeny credits her husband and lead recruiter, assistant coach Burdette Greeny, with achieving these fine recruiting classes.
Greeny became the 12th coach in the history of the Cougars volleyball program in March 2011. She has compiled a six-year record of 91-104 at WSU and has a 10-year career record of 203-128. As Jennifer Stinson, Greeny played and coached at WSU during the program’s most successful years on the Palouse and when hired, Greeny made a commitment to not only restore the program but to take it to the next level of success.
Under Greeny’s mentoring in 2011, Megan Ganzer became the fourth All-America player in WSU history and the first selected since 1996. Greeny, and her assistant coach Burdette Greeny, have coached eight All-Americans and several players who have had successful professional careers including Ganzer (Puerto Rico, Romania, and Germany), Camryn Irwin (Austria and Sweden), Chelsie Bettinson (Sweden) and Anile Clemente, a three-time All-American at Lewis-Clark State (Denmark). Kate Sommer, the first recruit signed to WSU by Greeny, claimed the school digs record in 2015 after accumulating 1,954 digs in her four-year career.
Greeny has also changed the academic culture of the program with nine semesters of a team grade point average of 3.0 or better.
As the head volleyball coach at Lewis-Clark State College (Lewiston, Idaho) from 2007-10, Greeny accumulating an impressive 112-24 record (.824) while turning the Warriors’ program into one of the premier NAIA teams. She took the reins of a struggling program and led it to success, winning four consecutive Frontier Conference regular season titles and four consecutive berths to the NAIA National Tournament. The Warriors finished in the top 13 in the nation each year and ended the 2010 season at 31-3 (.912), the best mark in the history of the program. Greeny was a four-time Frontier Conference Coach of the Year and the American Volleyball Coaches’ Association’s Northwest Region Coach of the Year.
Jennifer Stinson was a stellar multi-sport athlete at Davenport (Wash.) High. At WSU she became the seventh player in WSU history with 1,000 career kills. A three-time All-Pacific-10 Conference selection, Greeny’s statistics are prominent in WSU’s all-time career lists ranking fourth in block assists (360), fourth in total blocks (419), and sixth in solo blocks (59). She trained with the 1997 U.S. National volleyball team.
Greeny also excelled in the classroom where she was WSU’s Athlete of the Year in 1998-99. She was a CoSIDA District VIII Academic All-America first-team and second-team selection her final two years and was a Pac-10 Volleyball All-Academic selection three times. She received her bachelor’s degree in education from WSU in 1999.
Greeny spent four and one-half years on WSU Head Coach Cindy Fredrick’s volleyball coaching staff. At the time of her departure, Greeny had been involved in six of the 10 seasons Cougar volleyball qualified for postseason action, three as a player and three as an assistant coach. During her playing career, WSU was ranked as high as fifth in the country and made the Elite Eight of the NCAA Championship Tournament. Greeny was instrumental in WSU’s second and only other appearance in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament, in 2002, this time as an assistant coach.
Greeny and her husband, Burdette Greeny, a former standout pitcher at WSU and an Associate Head Coach at WSU, have two daughters, Lauren and Leah. She is a member of the Pullman Regional Hospital Foundation. Jen and Burdette Greeny were honored with a City of Pullman Chamber of Commerce Walk of Fame plaque in 2015; the 25th plaque in the Famous Sports Figures category which honors those who have a positive impact beyond Pullman High School or Washington State University.
SHANNON HUNT, ASSISTANT COACH
Shannon Wyckoff Hunt joined the Cougar volleyball program as a volunteer coach in August 2011 and was promoted to assistant coach in the spring of 2013. She was instrumental in rebuilding the WSU program back into an NCAA Tournament team as it was when she was a student-athlete.
The 2016 season was filled with milestones. WSU ended the season ranked No. 24 in the Final AVCA Coaches Poll with a 22-12 overall record: the most wins in a season since 2002, and tied for fifth-best all-time wins in Cougars history. WSU’s 11-9 Pac-12 record, tied for fifth place in the highly competitive conference, was the most conference wins for the Cougars since 2002. The Cougars received an at-large bid to the 2016 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championship Tournament for the 11th time in school history and defeated Marquette in the First Round before falling to No. 3 Wisconsin on the Badgers home court in Madison, Wis., in the Second Round.
Hunt’s ability to hone the skills and techniques of the Cougar defense directly contributed to team success. Under Hunt’s guidance, libero Kate Sommer, the first WSU recruit by the Greeny staff, claimed the school digs record with 1,954 digs in her four-year career. Sommer’s season totals of 521 digs (2014), 495 digs (2013), 479 digs (2015), and 459 digs (2012) rank fourth, sixth, seventh and ninth-best in WSU’s single season school records. Stepping into the libero spot in the 2016 season was freshman Alexis Dirige, whose 3.83 digs per set was seventh-best in Pac-12 and she had double-digit digs in 26 of WSU’s 34 matches tallying 486 digs for the season, seventh-best in WSU all-time single season records.
In 2016, the Cougars kept opponents hitting an average of .168 which was the lowest percentage in the Pac-12 Conference, 26th-best in the NCAA in 2016, and fourth-best in WSU all-time, and the best in the past 18 seasons: back to when Hunt was hold Cougar opponents to a .156 hitting percentage in 1997.
Hunt was an outstanding student and athlete at WSU from 1994 through 1997, and a teammate of Greeny. During Hunt’s collegiate career the Cougars volleyball team played all four years in the NCAA Championship Tournament and advanced to the Elite Eight once and to the Sweet Sixteen once.
She was the first Washington State player to reach 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in a career. Her 1,254 career digs was the WSU all-time list leader from 1997 until 2008 and is currently second-best all-time. Hunt tallied 1,051 career kills which was fifth-best at the time and now ranks ninth-highest in school history. In addition, her career 83 service aces total is ranked 11th-best at WSU.
Hunt competed at Prairie High near Vancouver, Wash., and was the state volleyball Player of the Year three consecutive years - twice in AA and once in AAA. She was the first four-time all-league selection in the history of the Greater St. Helens League. The Falcons’ volleyball team finished fourth three times in the state championships. Her senior year Prairie also won the state AAA Academic title. Hunt was a starter on the Nike Northwest Juniors Club team all five years she played.
At Washington State, Hunt started on the left side as a freshman and missed only six matches in the starting lineup, due to injury, during her four-year career. As a sophomore Hunt’s 376 digs led team and 3.72 digs per game was third-best in conference. She set a school record with 32 digs in a match at South Florida in 1995. She was named to two all-tournament teams as a junior and was an important cog in the Cougars’ advancing to the NCAA Championships Elite Eight. As a senior, Hunt continued amassing kills and digs as an outside hitter, earned two more all-tournament honors, and helped lead the Cougars to the Sweet Sixteen at the NCAA Championships.
Hunt was recognized for her academic excellence with Pac-10 All-Academic second team and honorable mention selections as well as being named to the GTE/CoSIDA District VIII Academic All-America Teams three times.
Prior to returning to WSU Hunt taught and coached in the Vancouver, Wash., area for a dozen years. She was the head volleyball coach at Prairie High School in Brush Prairie, Wash., for the 2000 through 2003 seasons where she tallied a state championship tournament berth and had three players advance from prep to collegiate volleyball careers. She was inducted into the Prairie High School Hall of Fame in January of 2015.
Hunt lives in Pullman with her husband Joe, and their sons Grayson and Austin.
U.S. COLLEGIATE NATIONAL TEAM
Casey Schoenlein, a 6-5 junior opposite, and McKenna Woodford, a 6-4 sophomore outside hitter, became the first Cougar volleyball players be named to a US National Team since 1997. Both chosen to represent Team U.S.A. for the 12th Annual Global Challenge Tournament in Pula, Croatia in the summer 2016.
The Pac-12 Networks has been broadcasting live contests and additional programming since August 12, 2012. In the fifth year of operations, the Pac-12 Networks televised 94 women's volleyball matches live, with an additional three matches televised live by ESPNU. This season the Pac-12 Networks televised 11 Washington State matches.