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Wednesday, May 11, 2016---Women of Troy Beach Volleyball Banquet

My husband Jim and I stood at the north side of the Galen Center waiting to get into the Women of Troy Beach Volleyball Banquet. We were still excited about our team winning the very first NCAA Title in Beach Volleyball! When we entered the Galen Center lobby, Trojan Candy could feel the excitement in the air. Every guest we saw in the lobby had big smiles on their faces.

The first friends Jim and I saw in the lobby were Tara and Greg Strange, Alexa Strange's parents. Her aunt and uncle also came to the dinner.

Candy and Jim Yee, Tara and Greg Strange, Mr. Roy, and Vimala Roy
Good friend Mel Hughes took this picture of the six of us. Trojan Candy, Jim Yee, Tara Strange, Greg Strange, Mr. Roy, and Vimala Roy.
Bob Padgett and Anna Collier
As soon as the Founder's Room doors opened, Trojan Candy walked inside. I saw the NCAA trophy on the right and Head Coach Anna Collier with a big smile on her face on the left. I congratulated her and took this picture of her with friend Bob Padgett.
Trophies
Talking about trophies, here are the player trophies that will be awarded later.
Patti Poon, Tim Seno, Karen Trust, Anita Ybarra, and Jessika Carrington
I put my stuff at my table and immediately walked around the room to take more pictures. I saw my sister Patti and some very good friends. Patti Poon, Tim Seno, Karen Trust, Anita Ybarra, and Jessika Carrington.
Doris and Mel Hughes
Now it was my turn to take the picture. Doris and Mel Hughes smiled for this picture.
Rachel, Becca and Brian Dunn
It was time to find the team members. Trojan Candy saw Freshman Becca Dunn (3/3/2016) standing with her parents Rachel and Brian.
Natasa Siljkovic, Kelly Claes, and Kelly Dormandy
Next, I saw two Kellys visiting with friend Natasa Siljkovic (9/2/2010). Natasa, a Women of Troy Volleyball alumna, is a Graduate Assistant on the team. Kelly Claes is a Junior and partners with Sara Hughes. Kelly Dormandy (2/15/2015) is the Strength Coach for the team.
Stefanie Miller
Trojan Candy walked back to where the NCAA Trophy was being displayed. I took this picture of Stefanie Miller standing next to the trophy.
Emily Young, Jo Kremer, Allie Wheeler, Becca Dunn, and Terese Cannon
Just after I took Stefanie's picture, I saw the Beach Volleyball Senior whom I wanted to interview standing with four teammates. Trojan Candy took their picture. Emily Young, Jo Kremer (3/3/2016), Allie Wheeler, Becca Dunn, and Terese Cannon (3/3/2016).

Pat Haden and Emily YoungEmily YoungThen, I asked Emily Young if I could interview her. She smiled, said, "Yes," and posed for two pictures. The first one was when Pat Haden stopped by to congratulate her, and the second was for my blog interview. Emily majored in Business Administration and is getting her M.S. in Communication. She started playing volleyball in the seventh grade. Emily played four indoor volleyball seasons and two beach volleyball seasons as a Trojan. On a more personal note, Emily's hobbies are quite diverse...hiking and reading. Her favorite author is Jodi Picoult, and her favorite movie is "Princess Bride." Emily's favorite music artists are the Beatles (another Trojan after my own heart!) and Michael Buble. Her favorite food is ham. Mine too! Unfortunately, there isn't much chance that ham will be served tonight. FIGHT ON, Emily!

Paige Hines, Terese Cannon, and Becca Dunn
Trojan Candy continued to walk around Founder's Hall looking for other team members. I found another good friend Paige Hines (1/31/2014). She was standing with Terese Cannon and Becca Dunn.
Shaina Olsen and Rory, Connor, and Sara Hughes
Near the entrance I got a glimpse of that "sunny" smile. The smile belonged to good friend Sara Hughes (1/31/2014) who was talking with her family and a friend.
With Sarah were her dad Rory, her brother Connor and Connor's girlfriend Shaina Olsen. Rory told me that Connor and Shaina both played indoor volleyball at UCI. He also said that Connor won two National Championships at UCI. That's makes three National Championships for the Hughes Family and counting! An honorary FIGHT ON, Connor!.
Lorna Brandt, Allie Wheeler, and Katie Johnson
Now I found team members everywhere. Lorna Brandt, Allie Wheeler, and Athletic Trainer Katie Johnson posed for this picture.
Jo Kremer and Zoe Nightingale
Sitting at their table were partners Jo Kremer and Zoe Nightingale (3/3/2016).
Quincy, Paul, and Kelly Claes
The team was starting to sit down for dinner now. I literally ran over to Table 1 to take this picture of Kelly Claes with her mom Quincy and dad Paul.
Tara and Alexa Strange
As I walked back to my table I took this picture of Tara Strange and her daughter Alexa (3/3/2016)
Todd, Criss, and Nicolette Martin and Allie Wheeler
Trojan Candy took pictures at the two adjacent tables. Allie Wheeler sat next to Nicolette Martin, her mom Criss, and dad Todd.
Karen and Mark Tanimura, Tara Quarrie, and Tim Seno
At the other table were friends Karen and Mark Tanimura, Tara Quarrie, and Tim Seno.
Stefanie Miller, Adam Tuero, Dennis Davis, Gene Pocock, Dudley and Patti Poon, Trojan Candy, and Jim Yee
I finally made it back to my table. Tim took this picture of the guests at my table. Front row: Stefanie Miller, Adam Tuero, Dennis Davis, and Gene Pocock. Back row: Dudley and Patti Poon, Trojan Candy and Jim. Adam is a Graduate Assistant on the team.
Team
After dinner, Coach Anna called the team to the podium. The team introduced themselves by pairs. Each partner told the audience why they enjoy being partners. Then, the entire 1st NCAA National Championship Beach Volleyball Team posed for this team picture.
Becca Dunn, Pearl Keane, and Abril Bustamante
Next, Coach Collier asked the Freshmen to come to the stage. They were given beautiful blankets to commemorate their first season. The Freshmen are Becca Dunn, Pearl Keane (3/3/2016) and Abril Bustamante.

Anna Collier, Emily Young, Zoe Nightingale, and Alexa StrangeSeniorsNow it was time to honor the 2016 Seniors. Coach Anna had Emily Young, Zoe Nightingale, and Alexa Strange come to the stage. Watch this memorable video of our three Seniors saying "thank you" and "good-bye." FIGHT ON, Alexa! FIGHT ON, Zoe! FIGHT ON, Emily!

Trophies were awarded by Coaches Anna Collier, Au Wood Lamberson and Dain Blanton in these categories:

Irwin Award: Has shown the most growth as a person and teammate to Terese Cannon.

Trojan Spirit Award: Displays the most heart, a passion for the game, demonstrates positive leadership and has exemplary attitude and work ethic to Nicolette Martin.

Most Inspirational Award (Comeback Player of the Year): Has overcome odds and challenges en route to have a positive impact on the team to Alexa Strange.

Most Valuable Player: Has best demonstrated the Trojan qualities of being faithful, scholarly, courageous and ambitious to Sara Hughes.

Coaches Award: Has overcome odds and challenges en route to have a positive impact on the team to Kelly Claes.

Trojan Candy was able to take a picture of each awardee with her trophy.

Alexa Strange
Alexa Strange with Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Nicolette Martin
Nicolette Martin with Trojan Spirit Award.
Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes
Kelly Claes with Coaches Award and Sara Hughes with MVP Award.
Terese Cannon
Terese Cannon with Irwin Award.
Season video
During the program, Trojan Candy recorded two videos. The first video highlighted our Championship season.
Dedicated to Pat Haden
The second dedicated our Victory to Athletic Director Pat Haden.
Fight On
The Spirit of Troy played "Fight On!"
Conquest
And, of course, "Conquest!"

With Conquest, the program ended.

Then I walked rapidly around the Founder's Room taking as many pictures that I could before everyone left.

Katie Fuller and Wandy Jung
Katie Fuller and Wandy Jung.
Kelly Claes, Kelly Dormandy, and Sarah Hughes
Kelly Claes, Kelly Dormandy, and Sarah Hughes with the NCAA Trophy.
Zoe Nightingale, Jenna Belton, Terese Cannon, and Marielle Baynard
Zoe Nightingale, Jenna Belton, Terese Cannon, and Marielle Baynard.
Paige Hines and Sara Hughes
Paige Hines and Sara Hughes.
Leland Waters
Leland Waters posed with the ceramic Trophy he had specially made for the Beach Volleyball NCAA Champions.
Emily Young, Tim Seno, and Leland Waters
Emily Young, Tim Seno, and Leland Waters.
Kelly Claes, Emily Young, Wandy Jung, Alexa Strange, and Sara Hughes
Kelly Claes, Emily Young, Wandy Jung, Alexa Strange, and Sara Hughes.
Dain Blanton and Zoe Nightingale
Dain Blanton and Zoe Nightingale.
Jenna Belton, Paige Hines, Terese Cannon, and Marielle Baynard
Jenna Belton, Paige Hines, Terese Cannon, and Marielle Baynard.
Emily Young
Emily Young with her keepsake blanket.
Alexa Strange and Anna Collier
Alexa Strange with her keepsake blanket and Coach Anna Collier.
Roys, and Greg, Tara, and Alexa Strange
Alexa Strange and her family.

Trojan Candy and husband Jim were almost the last ones to leave.

What a celebration!

Congratulations, Women of Troy Beach Volleyball, on winning the 1st NCAA Championship!

FIGHT ON, Women of Troy Beach Volleyball!