On Dec. 16, 2011, University of South Alabama Director of Athletics Joel Erdmann announced Amy Hendrichovsky as the 13th head coach of the Jaguar volleyball program.
During the 2015 season, the Jaguars made their third-straight Sun Belt Conference tournament appearance, the first time for the program in nearly 15 seasons. The season was also highlighted by a 3-2 come-from-behind win at defending SBC champ Little Rock on Oct. 17. The win was just the second in the series on the Trojans’ home floor and the first since 1995.
Mechell Daniel once again received postseason recognition as she earned second-team all-SBC honors for the second consecutive year. Daniel continued to rank as one of the top offensive players in the league and during the season, she became just the seventh player in program history to eclipse the 1,000-kill mark for her career and the first to do so since Juliana Almeida in 2010.
In her third season at South Alabama, Hendrichovsky led the Jaguars to their second-straight postseason tournament. The 2014 Sun Belt tournament marked the first time since the 2001 and 2000 league tournaments that USA had earned back-to-back berths in the SBC tourney. Daniel was also named to the league’s all-conference squad, earning second-team accolades. Sophomore defensive specialist Abby Baker was also selected as the SBC Defensive Player of the Week during the season, receiving those honors on Sept. 15.
After being hampered by injuries through much of the first half of the 2013 campaign, the Jaguars bounced back to post their most wins (14) in nearly 20 years and record nine Sun Belt victories, the most ever by the program in a season. USA also made its first postseason appearance since the 2010 season this past year, earning the fifth seed at the Sun Belt Conference Championships, the highest seed for the program since being seeded fifth at the 1995 league tourney.
South Alabama also featured the youngest roster in the conference that season with 12 of the 14 members either freshmen or sophomores. As the season progressed, the group steadily improved, ending the regular season as the second hottest team in the SBC, trailing only regular-season champ Western Kentucky – as USA closed out the regular season by winning seven of its last nine matches.
USA was led offensively by a pair of freshmen hitters – Daniel and Jessica Lewis – which formed one of the top offensive duos in the Sun Belt Conference. Daniel was named the SBC Freshman of the Year, while she also picked up first-team all-conference honors. Lewis also earned second-team all-Sun Belt accolades. The duo became the first pair of Jaguars to earn all-conference honors since the 2000 season when Kelly Weiler and Holly Miller were each named to the league’s second team. Daniel was the first player to be selected first-team all-SBC since Tonia Hatfield’s award during the 1995 campaign.
Daniel was also just the third South Alabama player to be named as an individual award winner, joining Marei Lirette who was named the conference’s player of the year during the 1988 season. Daniel’s 423 kills were the most ever by a freshman at USA and also ranked as sixth-most in a single season.
Daniel was named the Sun Belt’s Freshman of the Week on a league-best four occasions this season and became the first conference player to ever be named both the top frosh and offensive player of the week when she earned the multiple honors on Nov. 11, 2013. The offensive player of the week honor marked the first time a Jaguar had received the award since Juliana Almeida’s selection back on Sept. 6, 2010.
Lewis also came in and made an immediate contribution for South Alabama in her first collegiate season as she earned the league’s freshman of the week honors three times – second-most in the conference – throughout the course of the season. In all, South Alabama took eight of the league’s freshman of the week awards, including picking up the honor six-consecutive weeks. Along with Daniel and Lewis’ selections, Mallory Moore also earned the honor on Oct. 28, 2013.
In her first season in Mobile, the Jaguars recorded 13 wins, the most wins for the program in a single season since the 1995 season where USA finished with a 14-12 overall record.
Hendrichovsky came to USA after spending the previous six seasons as an assistant coach at Middle Tennessee – one of the perennial powerhouse programs in the Sun Belt Conference. As an assistant at MTSU, Hendrichovsky was involved in all aspects of the program with a primary focus in player development, game preparation and planning, scouting opponents and recruiting.
In her six seasons with the Blue Raider program, she helped guide Middle Tennessee to six-consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, four Sun Belt tournament titles (2010, 2009, 2007, 2006) and three regular-season championships (2010, 2007, 2006).
During that same time, the MTSU had 24 players earn all-Sun Belt honors, eight SBC all-tournament selections and nine AVCA all-region and All-American selections – the most recent being outside hitter Ashley Adams who earned All-American honors this past season. Hendrichovsky has also coached two Sun Belt Conference Players of the Year – Ashley E. Adams (2007) and Izabela Kozon (2010). Three players were also selected as the league’s conference tournament Most Outstanding Player.
While in Murfreesboro, the Blue Raiders recorded at least 21 wins every season and finished with a school-record 35 during the 2007 campaign. In her six seasons, MTSU posted an overall record of 164-47 (.777) and an 88-12 (.880) conference mark. The Blue Raiders were also very successful in the postseason as they amassed a 19-8 record. Hendrichovsky joined the MTSU staff in 2006 after spending four seasons as an assistant at Metro State College in Denver, Colo.
At Metro State, she helped lead the Roadrunners to four-straight NCAA Division II tournaments and a pair of Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference regular season and tournament championships. Metro State was traditionally a Top 15 national program and during her four seasons, the Roadrunners finished with a 93-36 mark.
Prior to Metro State, Hendrichovsky was a student assistant for one season at the University of North Alabama, her alma mater, where the Lions captured a Gulf South Conference championship and earned a NCAA Tournament berth, where they advanced to the Sweet Sixteen.
As a player at North Alabama in Florence, Ala., (Bernstein) Hendrichovsky was a four-year starter for another perennial power, as the Lions were routinely one of the Top 10 programs in NCAA II. During her collegiate career, UNA won four GSC titles, as well as made appearances in the NCAA tournament, advancing to the Elite Eight twice (1998 and 1999) and the Final Four once (2000). In her four collegiate seasons, UNA posted an overall record of 153-21 and a 51-1 league mark. She finished her career with 1,279 digs and led the program each season.
Hendrichovsky graduated from North Alabama in 2001 with a bachelor of science degree in secondary education – mathematics. She is a native of Boca Raton, Fla. Her and her husband, Shea, have a son, Andrew, and a daughter, Eliana.