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SJU baseball asst. named head coach at Hofstra

After two years as an assistant baseball coach at St. John’s University, Chris Dotolo has made the jump to head coach.

The North Massapequa, L.I. resident was named the new Hofstra head coach, the school announced last Thursday. Dotolo replaced Reginald Jackson, who resigned last month after five years at the helm.

“I am very excited about the opportunity to become the next head coach of the Hofstra baseball program,” Dotolo said. “With our move into the Colonial Athletic Association next season, we will be competing against some storied baseball programs and I am looking forward to that challenge.”

In his two years at St. John’s, Dotolo worked with the catchers, outfielders and hitters and served as the recruiting coordinator. He was also responsible for all aspects of the St. John’s Fall Showcase Camp and the Winter Skill and Development Camps.

“This is a good situation for him, it’s what he wants to do,” said St. John’s head coach Ed Blankmeyer. “He communicates well, has a good sense of the game and he works hard. He is ready to assume a head coaching position.”

Before arriving at St. John’s, Dotolo spent three years as an assistant at Dartmouth College where he worked with the infielders and outfielders in addition to coordinating all team travel, organizing practices and overseeing the ordering of equipment as well as the maintenance of the baseball facility.

Dotolo also was an assistant coach for two seasons at Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Va. and for one season at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Prior to coaching, Dotolo played four seasons in the San Francisco Giants’ organization, finishing his career in 1994 with the Phoenix Firebirds of the AAA Pacific Coast League. He was also a two-time all conference selection in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference at Virginia Wesleyan College in Virginia Beach, Va. after playing two years at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va.

Dotolo takes over for Jackson, who compiled a 90-134-1 mark in five years, including a disappointing 17-32 record last season as the Pride fell two wins short of qualifying for the four-team America East Championship Tournament.

St. John’s volleyball picked sixth in Big East preseason poll

Coming off one of the most successful seasons in the program’s seven-year history, the St. John’s volleyball team was picked to finish sixth in the 2001 Big East preseason coaches poll, the league announced last Thursday. Defending conference champion Notre Dame received 11 first-place votes and was tabbed as the favorite again.

Coached by St. Francis Prep grad and Bellerose native Joanne Persico-Smith, the Red Storm posted a 25-8 recorded last year, finishing in a tie for fourth place and just missing a berth in the 2000 Big East Tournament.

St. John’s returns seven letter winners, including 2000 Northeast Region Freshman of the Year Robyn Kurasaki. The native of Milliani, Hawaii recorded 1,370 assists — the second highest single season total in SJU history — as the team’s starting setter.

Also back is senior outside hitter Kristy Mercein, who led the Red Storm with 409 digs and was fourth on the team with 266 kills.

The Red Storm open the 2001 season at the Buffalo Tournament where they face Canisius on Aug. 31 at 5 p.m.

Red Storm women’s soccer tabbed to finish fifth in Big East Northeast Division

The St. John’s women’s soccer team was picked to finish fifth in the seven-team Big East Northeast Division, the Big East announced last Thursday.

The Red Storm return 15 letter winners, including eight starters, from last year’s team that posted a 12-9 record, including a 1-4 conference mark. Leading the returnees for Ian Stone, in his eighth year at the helm, are seniors Marissa Stork and Lisa Rinaldi. Stork, a Flushing native and former St. Francis Prep standout, started 17 games, scoring seven goals with four assists last year while Rinaldi netted five goals and had five assists in 19 starts.

Also back for St. John’s is sophomore defender Courtney Rett, who was the first Red Storm women’s soccer player to be named to the Big East All-Rookie team since 1997.

Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.

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