CLAREMONT, CA. -- Pomona-Pitzer Volleyball coach Valerie Cowan Townsend has been inducted into the Monache Hall of Fame this week.
"I am both excited and humbled to receive this honor," said Townsend. "I have enjoyed competing all of my life, and am so proud to be able to share my passion with the student-athletes I coach at Pomona-Pitzer Colleges. It is truly an honor."
Townsend joined Pomona-Pitzer as the Head Volleyball Coach in 2000 and is entering her 20th season at the helm in 2019. after recently guiding the Sagehens to the 2013 NCAA Tournament, Townsend quickly built the Pomona-Pitzer program into a consistent winner after taking over the reins. The Sagehens finished second in the SCIAC in 2003 at 9-5, beginning a streak of eight straight seasons without a losing record (seven winning seasons, and one .500 season in 2005). In 2008, Pomona-Pitzer reached the 20-win plateau, finishing with a 20-9 overall record.
In 2013, the Sagehens earned their first NCAA Tournament bid since 1997, matching the 20-9 final record of the 2008 squad. Under Townsend's tutelage, junior Allie Frappier was named a first-team AVCA Division III All-American after leading the nation in kills per set (all divisions), two feats that she repeated as a senior in 2015.
In her time at Monache High School, Valerie Cowan Townsend was one of the top multi-sport athletes for the Marauders.
Townsend is being honored and inducted in to the third class of the Monache High School Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday, April 13, at the Veterans Memorial Building in Porterville. Ticket sales for the dinner end Wednesday, April 10.
As a youth growing up in Porterville, Townsend participated in after school sports, competing in volleyball, basketball, track, softball and swimming through eighth grade.
Townsend's siblings, Karen and Steve, attended Monache, and her parents, Haskell and Liz, were constant supporters of MHS athletics. In 1982-83, Townsend competed on the freshmen-sophomore volleyball team and varsity track, finishing sixth in the area in the 200-meter race, and took stats for varsity wrestling.
For the remainder of her Marauder career, Townsend competed at the varsity level for volleyball, basketball and track (100, 200, long jump and relays). As a sprinter, she set and reset school records in the 100 & 200. She was also a co-captain and Valley qualifier her sophomore and junior years, placing sixth in the Valley in the 200 as a junior.
As a senior, she garnered co-captain, team MVP and first team All-East Yosemite League for volleyball, Best Defense and first team All-EYL for basketball. For track she was a co-captain, placed fourth in Valley (200) and improved her 100 & 200 school records for Track. She earned a full scholarship for volleyball to California State University, Bakersfield.
While at CSUB, Townsend earned All-CCAA Honors (First Team (Jr., Sr.), Second Team, Honorable Mention) and First Team West Region (three years). She still appears in the CSUB record books as 9th in hitting percentage at .270 and fifth in Solo Blocks with 61. The culmination of her collegiate career was winning a Division II National Championship, named CSUB's first All-American and was selected to the All-Tournament teams at the NCAA Elite 8 and Air Force Premier.
After college, Townsend competed at the USA Volleyball Open Championships and coached internationally at the Global Challenge for several years.
Valerie Cowan Townsend began her volleyball coaching career in 1990 and since 2000 serves as the head coach and professor of physical education at Pomona-Pitzer Colleges in Claremont, CA. In 2015, she married Don Townsend in Hawaii, and has a stepson, Drew.
The Monache Hall of Fame awards dinner will be held at the Veterans Memorial Building on April 13. Tickets are currently available for purchase at the Student Activities window at Monache High School. Individual tickets may be purchased at a cost of $50 per person, or tables of 8 may be purchased for $350.