NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Yi Wang and former Scarlet Knight Stephanie Travioli have been hired as assistant coaches for the Rutgers women's volleyball program, interim head coach Orlando Gonzalez announced today.
Wang brings with her a wealth of both collegiate and international playing and coaching experience as she enters her first season with the Scarlet Knights.
Wang most recently served as an assistant coach with two-time Big Ten champion Penn State (2003-04) after being elevated from her initial post as a volunteer assistant. In addition to helping to lead the Nittany Lions to two conference championships, she also played an integral role in the team’s 2003 Elite Eight and 2004 Sweet Sixteen appearances in the NCAA Tournament. Wang’s responsibilities included providing instruction on the court and skill development, as well as match preparation through video and statistical analysis.
A two-time Olympian, Wang’s playing career included stints with the Chinese Olympic/National Team from 1991-1996. She competed at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, and won a silver medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Wang also earned a silver medal at the 1991 World Cup and a bronze medal in 1995.
In addition to coaching at Penn State, Wang also served as an instructor in the department of kinesiology (2003-04).
Wang graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a minor in communication from Notre Dame de Namur University in 2002.
“Yi’s resume speaks for itself,” said Gonzalez. “Her experience internationally as a middle blocker with China will provide us with outstanding training for our middle players. At Penn State, she played a major role in scouting opponents and will continue to do that with Rutgers. We feel very good about having her onboard.”
A former Rutgers standout, Travioli enjoyed an outstanding career as a member of the Scarlet Knight volleyball team from 2001 to 2004, after an excellent career at James Bowie HS in Arlington, TX, where she was a two-time District Blocker of the Year.
During her time “On the banks”, Travioli was a consistent contributor, beginning with her first season, as she earned BIG EAST Rookie of the Week honors following two stellar performances against Seton Hall (11/2) and St. John’s (11/4). Travioli averaged 3.43 kills and 1.9 digs to help lead the Scarlet Knights to back-to-back victories.
Travioli enjoyed a successful senior season, during which she led RU to a sweep of the Patriot Invitational and was named Tournament MVP. She ranked third on the team in kills per game with 2.76 and was fifth with 1.70 digs per game. Travioli closed out her career as a Scarlet Knight with 657 kills, 605 digs and 197 total blocks.
In addition to excelling on the court, Travioli also showed great leadership qualities, earning the 2003 Ace Club Award, which recognizes the player who has been a service to her teammates and friends, as well as the community. Travioli further illustrated her value as a leader at the conclusion of the 2004 season, when she was presented with the Coaches Award, given to the athlete who “best exemplifies the three D’s: dedication, discipline and desire.”
Travioli graduated this past spring with a bachelor’s degree in business marketing and a minor in sociology from Rutgers College.
“Stephanie’s presence will be critical for the coaching staff,” said Gonzalez. “Her knowledge of the BIG EAST as a former player will be a major asset in understanding the strategies of our opponents. Stephanie is also a link to the past that will be a key in carrying on a tradition of success.
“I believe, for our situation this year and the speed with which we needed to move with our staff, we are in phenomenal shape,” continued Gonzalez. “We have two talented coaches who bring a lot to the table, which will give us every opportunity to produce positive results on the court. I am excited to be a part of this program.”
The Scarlet Knights posted a 16-10 overall record and a 4-6 mark in BIG EAST Conference play last season. Rutgers will open its 2005 campaign Aug. 26-27 in Philadelphia, PA, at the Temple Tournament.