Aven Lee (pronounced Eh-ven), who has 16 years of volleyball coaching experience and spent five years as a player at Hawai’i, will enter her third year as assistant coach at Sacramento State in 2017.
During Lee’s two seasons with the program, Sacramento State has combined for a 46-19 overall record and 25-7 mark in league play. That includes the Hornets’ first Big Sky South Division championship in 2016. In fact, during that 2016 season, Sacramento State was the No. 2 seed at the eight-team Big Sky Tournament after finishing the year with a 13-3 conference record.
The Hornets weren’t far off from hosting the 2016 postseason tournament but North Dakota narrowly edged the Hornets for the right to host the event. Sacramento State saw its nine-match winning streak snapped and season come to an end with a 3-1 loss to Northern Arizona in the semifinals. The winning streak, which included six three-game sweeps, was the second longest for the program in the last nine years.
The Hornets will carry a 16-match home winning streak against Big Sky opposition into the 2017 season, as for the second year in a row, the team finished with a perfect 8-0 home mark against the league a year ago. Incredibly, the Hornets dropped just two sets at home in league play in 2016, outscoring conference opposition, 24-2, in sets played. The Hornets’ 13-3 conference record in 2016 was also the program’s best mark since the 2007 squad finished with the same record.
Headlined by first team all-league setter Kennedy Kurtz and Big Sky Libero of the Year Lexie Skalbeck, Sacramento State received five all-conference selections in 2016, the most of any of the Big Sky’s 12 teams. In addition, the five selections tied for the most ever awarded to the program since Sacramento State joined the Big Sky in 1996. The team finished with an overall record of 20-12, the program’s second consecutive 20-win season.
In her first season, she helped the Hornets to a 26-7 overall record and a 12-4 mark in league. Despite Sacramento State being picked 10th out of 12 teams in the Big Sky’s preseason coaches poll, the Hornets finished the regular season with the third best conference record. Moreover, Sacramento State made an 18-win improvement over the 2014 season with nearly the same roster. The 18-win improvement was the best mark in the nation among the NCAA’s 329 Div. I volleyball programs.
The 2015 Hornets, who posted their most wins since 2007, had two winning streaks of at least eight matches long and were taken to five sets just twice all season. The Hornets were 11-1 at home, and one of only two teams in the Big Sky to finish conference play with a perfect 8-0 record on the home floor.
Not only does Lee serve as assistant coach during the indoor season, but she will also enter her third year as the team’s director of operations for the 2017 beach volleyball season.
Academically, Sacramento State has combined for 12 Big Sky all-adademic selections during her two seasons, and 11 of the Hornets’ 16 players will enter the 2017 beach volleyball season with overall grade point averages above a 3.0.
Lee spent two years as an assistant at Nevada (2013-14), and the four previous seasons at Pacific (2009-12). With those two teams, she handled numerous responsibilities, including recruiting, in-game offensive tracking and strategizing, serve receive and defensive systems, outside hitter and libero training, on-court instruction, execution of drills, travel, academics, admissions, eligibility, compliance and match scouting.
Collegiately, she also spent one season (2004) as a volunteer assistant coach at Hawai’i Pacific.
Lee was involved with USA Volleyball where she coached for various USA High Profile camps and teams, including the 2009 Women’s National A2 Team and the 2008 Girls Junior National A2 Team.
Lee spent a decade coaching out of Hawaii at the junior national and high school levels. She coached club for Asics Rainbows VBC, Imi Ike VBC, Kilohana VBC, Magnum 5.0 VBC, and Quicksets VBC on the islands.
The Honolulu native also coached high school varsity girls volleyball in Hawaii as both a head coach and assistant. Lee spent two seasons as the head coach for Honolulu’s Kalani High School, where she was the 2003 Oahu Interscholastic Association Coach of the Year after her team finished third in the state.
Prior to coaching, Lee played five years at the University of Hawai’i for Dave Shoji and Charlie Wade from 1996-00 (redshirt in 1998). Lee played both outside hitter and defensive specialist for the Rainbow Wahine, primarily at defensive specialist. That included appearing in all 31 matches during her junior season, and all 32 matches as a senior.
During her four active seasons, Hawai’i combined to post a 120-15 overall record, a perfect 60-0 record in the Western Athletic Conference, a pair of Final Four appearances (1996, 2000), a 1999 Sweet 16 appearance, and four conference championships.
Lee graduated with a Sociology degree from Hawai’i in 2002.