Fairfield University names Alija Pittenger head coach for volleyball program


The Fairfield University Athletics Department has announced that Alija Pittenger will become the head coach for the volleyball program. Pittenger comes to Fairfield from the University of Pittsburgh after spending five seasons as an assistant coach with the Panthers.

"We are excited to welcome Alija to the Fairfield University community as our volleyball coach," Athletics Director Eugene P. Doris said. "She brings with her a wealth of experience at the highest levels of NCAA competition. I had the opportunity to observe her competitive spirit when Fairfield played Michigan in the 1999 NCAA Volleyball Tournament. Combined with her enthusiasm for the sport, she's the perfect fit to continue the Fairfield volleyball tradition."

During her stint with the Panthers, she helped guide them to a Big East title and to two-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. In 2006, she coached three Panthers to All-Big East honors in addition to a Big East Libero of the Year award and an AVCA All-America honoree.

Prior to Pitt, she spent 2002 at Southern Indiana, where she helped the Screaming Eagles to a conference title, a berth in the NCAA Division II Tournament, and a first round victory. Pittenger also was an undergraduate assistant coach at Michigan, her alma mater, in 2001.

As a collegiate player with the Wolverines, Pittenger was a four-time letterwinner as an outside hitter and setter. She helped Michigan to its first top-25 national ranking in 2000 and to three NCAA Championship Tournaments in 1997, 1999, and 2000. Pittenger finished her senior year as the team leader in digs and was second on the Wolverines in kills.

She graduated from Michigan in December 2001 with a bachelor's degree in movement science.

Fairfield went 21-13 overall in 2007 and posted a 17-1 mark in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) to earn a share of its fourth-straight regular season conference title. The Stags also advanced to the MAAC Championship final for the fourth straight season.

Media Contact: Kelly McCarthy, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2877

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on March 17, 2008