The Elizabethtown College volleyball team quickly reached a high level
of success following its beginnings in 1978.
Elizabethtown posted its first winning season in 1982 with a 16-7 record,
advancing to the semi-finals of the Middle Atlantic Conference Championships.
Since then, the Blue Jays have posted four seasons of 30 wins or more,
including a College record 45 victories in 1986. The Blue Jays have made
12 appearances in the MAC post-season tournament since 1982, advancing
to the semi-finals eight times. The Blue Jays made their first appearance
in the NCAA Division III tournament in 1986, losing a five-set match to
Eastern Connecticut State.
Bill Helm returned to the Blue Jay sidelines in 1994 after a six-year
absence and coached the team through the conclusion of the 2000 season. In his first tenure, he guided Elizabethtown to a 146-48 record
Kristin Morrison took the reins of the program in 2001 and guided it to its best finish since 1996 at the time. Her assistant, Randall Kreider, took over as the head coach in 2002 and quickly led the volleyball program to new high points in its history.
Under Kreider, the 2004 team rattled off a 24-9 record, the team's highest win total since 1996 and best winning percentage since 1987, and made the Commonwealth Conference playoffs. It was the first time since 1995 that the Blue Jays appeared in the post-season. As an encore in 2005, Etown made the playoffs again, marking the first time Etown had been in the post-season in consecutive years since 1991-92.
The 2006 team went 26-7 overall for the program's best winning percentage since 1987, and the Blue Jays finished the year as the Commonwealth Conference runners-up.
In 2007, the Blue Jays returned to the NCAA Division III tournament for the second time, winning the conference championship for the first time in program history. Kelly Downs '08 was named conference Player of the Year and was an All-Region selection along with Stacey Wasserman '08.
Since 1985, Elizabethtown teams have won 19 tournament titles, including nine in the last four years and
back-to-back wins in the University of Scranton Tournament in 2004 and 2005. The Blue Jays also travel long-distance over October Break every several years, most recently to Mobile, Ala. and Pensacola, Fla. in 2005.
Blue Jays have received all-conference honors 33 times, led by four-time honoree Kelly Downs '08 and three-time selection
Cathy Lees '88, who played from 1984-87. In 2007, four Blue Jays were named All-Conference, with Downs taking Player of the Year honors and Kreider repeating as Coach of the Year.
Downs was also named the first CoSIDA Academic All-American in the history of the volleyball program in 2006. In 2007, she was a first-team Academic All-American and was named the winner of the prestigious Academic All-American of the Year. She also received an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and was the MASCAC Scholar-Athlete award winner.