(Posted September 24, 2001)

Huntingdon, Pa. – Juniata College Larry Bock is one of the most recognized names in collegiate volleyball, and he solidified that fact yet again on Wednesday evening when he and the Juniata College women's volleyball program posted win number 900 in the history of the sport with a 30-12, 30-24, 30-19 victory at Widener University in Commonwealth Conference play.

With the triumph, Bock, who is the only coach that the Juniata women's volleyball program has ever known in its 25 years of existence (1977-present), became just the second NCAA women's volleyball coach at any level to reach the plateau, as UCLA head coach Andy Banachowski posted his 900th women's volleyball victory on September 1st of this year with a 3-1 win over Kansas State. Bock now owns a 900-153 women's volleyball mark. Banachowski, who is in his 35th year in charge of the Bruins, sits at 903-213, so the race to 1,000 is now officially on.

"To win 900 matches means a couple of things to me," said Bock. "One is that I have been around a long time," he said with a smile. "The second is that I have been fortunate enough to have great players and assistant coaches help me along the way. On an evening like this, I remember all of the players and coaches that have come through the program since the beginning and all I can do is thank them for all of their hard work. I am a lucky man and I am fortunate to have a place like Juniata to work for."

In addition, the victory over Widener was the 1,000th overall volleyball win for Bock, who had a 100-91 record while in charge of the Juniata men's program for six seasons (1990-95). Only one other collegiate volleyball mentor has recorded 1,000 victories and that is UCLA men's head coach Al Scates, who currently owns a 1,019-167 record through 39 years at his post.

Along with the victories, numerous honors have come Bock's way. He was tabbed as the Division III National Coach of the Year in 1984, 1991 and 1993 and he earned American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Regional Coach of the Year laurels in 1986, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994 and 1995.

Bock's teams have advanced to the NCAA Division III semifinals and finals the past five years (16 overall), while the blue and gold squad is the only program that has appeared in all 20 NCAA Division III championship tournaments. Bock, who is a 1971 graduate of Penn State and the director of athletics on College Hill, has coached Juniata to four NCAA second-place finishes, 20 consecutive conference championships and now 226 straight conference victories. In addition, the Juniata women's volleyball program boasts 23 all-Americans, including 18 first-team selections.

“I had an interest in volleyball back when Juniata was looking to take its program to the varsity level and Bill Berrier (former AD at Juniata) was made aware of that,” said Bock. “I met Bill by just being around the community back in the late 70s and he asked me if I wanted to take over the coaching on a part-time basis and I agreed. Coaching volleyball was just something that I wanted to try at that time and I had no real desire to stay with it a long time. But when we got back to campus after the last match of the year in 1977 and the team got off of the van, I felt very empty and I knew right then that I had a real passion for coaching and that I was hooked.”

Juniata (6-3, 1-0 Commonwealth), which is ranked seventh in this week's AVCA Division III Poll, wasted little time in disposing of host Widener on Wednesday evening. Sophomore opposite Danielle Hart (Central/Roaring Spring) led the Eagles with 10 kills, while senior outside hitter and Division III Player of the Year candidate Brandy Workinger (Dallastown/Dallastown) posted seven kills. Freshman setter Carli Dale (Cochranton/Cochranton) posted 13 digs and six aces. Sophomore setter/defensive specialist Melissa Berdine (Pine-Richland/Gibsonia) had 10 digs. Sophomore middle hitter Jill Davis (Worthington/Worthington, OH) added in a team-best three blocks.

The Juniata College and local community will celebrate Coach Bock's 900th victory and help send him on "The Road To 1,000" on Saturday evening following the squad's first home match of the year. The Eagles play host to Division II Edinboro at 5:00 p.m. in Memorial Gymnasium on Saturday. The celebration for Coach Bock, which will involve a short program and a pizza party for all in attendance, is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.