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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.-Virginia athletics director Craig Littlepage announced Thursday (Jan. 26) that Dennis Hohenshelt (pronounced HO-en-shelt), the first assistant coach with Penn State’s women’s team the past six seasons, has been named the Cavaliers’ head volleyball coach. Before his six campaigns with the women’s program, Hohenshelt spent 10 seasons as the Nittany Lion men’s volleyball assistant coach.

“Coach Hohenshelt has a great background at one of the nation’s top programs, Penn State University,” Littlepage said. “He knows the college and club volleyball communities from a national and regional perspective and will hit the ground running in an effort to get our program moving. We are lucky to get someone of his caliber to take over leadership of our program.”

With the women’s program, which won four consecutive NCAA titles from 2007-10, Hohenshelt was involved in match preparation, player development and recruiting. He helped guide Arielle Wilson to set the NCAA Division I record for career hitting percentage at .468 and earn 2007 Big Ten Freshman of the Year and University Park NCAA Regional Championship Most Outstanding Player honors.

“Dennis is a great coach and I’m sure the players and the alumni will embrace his energy as he enters a new era with the program,” Penn State women’s head coach Russ Rose said.

Hohenshelt, 42, helped guide the Penn State men’s team to the 2006 national championship match for the first time in 11 years and helped recruit the core of the 2008 team that won the NCAA crown.

During Hohenshelt’s tenure, the women’s program compiled a record of 199-18 (.917), while the men’s team went 237-82 (.743) with Hohenshelt on staff.

Hohenshelt brings a wealth of experience with USA Volleyball, where he was an assistant with the 2004 USA Boy’s Youth National Team that won the NORCECA Zone gold medal and helped lead the U.S. Junior National Team to a third-place finish at the NORCECA Championships in 2002. He assisted with the U.S. Boy’s Youth National Team in the summer of 1997 and scouted for the U.S. Men’s National Team at the 1997 World Cup.

“First and foremost, I would like to thank Craig Littlepage, Jon Oliver and Valerie Richardson for providing me with this unbelievable opportunity to lead the University of Virginia volleyball program,” Hohenshelt said. “I believe that as one of the finest academic and athletic institutions in the United States, the University of Virginia has everything in place to contend for ACC Championships and national prominence.

“From the time I stepped foot on Grounds, everything about the University has been highly impressive. I am excited to meet our current players and look forward to working with them. I am extremely lucky that UVa has recruited some of the top talent in the country and I will work hard to continue bringing outstanding student athletes to Charlottesville. I am forever grateful to my mentors Russ Rose and Mark Pavlik, who over the past 16 years have prepared me to lead the volleyball program at the University of Virginia. My wife Tara, my children, Jake and Reese, and I are extremely happy to call Charlottesville our new home.”

A native of Harrisburg, Pa., Hohenshelt received his bachelor’s degree in secondary education and social studies from Juniata College in 1993, where he led the Eagles to consecutive Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association titles in 1992 and 1993 and earned Most Valuable Player honors his senior year.

Hohenshelt began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Huntingdon (Pa.) High School from 1993-95 and was an assistant at his alma mater from 1994-95. After being promoted to head coach in 1996, he led the Eagles to an 18-8 record and a second-place finish in the EIVA Division III Tournament.

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