2017 Volleyball
Record: 11-2 Home: 1-1 Away: 4-0 Neutral: 6-1 MWC: 0-0
2017 Volleyball Coaches
Jeff Meeker Image
Jeff Meeker
Head Coach- 16th Season

Jeff Meeker, an eight-time Conference Coach of the Year, has compiled 350 collegiate victories, highlighted by an unparalleled run of success in 15 years at Cornell College.

Meeker's Rams have won five consecutive Midwest Conference regular-season championships, the first volleyball program in MWC history to accomplish the feat. They qualified for the NCAA Division III Tournament five years in a row from 2011-15.

Cornell has reeled off nine straight seasons with a .500 record or better. The Rams are 57-2 against MWC foes since rejoining the league in 2012. They have won 139 matches over the past six seasons, while landing the school’s first four volleyball All-Americans in Diamond Boyd (Second Team, 2016), Kylea Weber (Third Team, 2014), Taylor Dicus (Honorable Mention, 2014) and Kathleen O'Connor (First Team, 2013; Honorable Mention, 2011).

Meeker, a Mount Vernon native, sports a 289-197 record at Cornell. He owns a 350-262 career mark in 19 seasons at the collegiate level. Meeker has been named Coach of the Year five times in the Midwest Conference (2012-16), twice in the Iowa Conference (2004, 2010) and once in the Midwest Classic Conference (1997, at Iowa Wesleyan College).   

Meeker has coached 34 all-conference selections and 11 all-region performers during his time on the Hilltop. Cornell has boasted the conference’s Player of the Year six times since 2009.

The 2014 Rams won two matches in the NCAA Tournament – the first two in program history – before their fine 26-7 season ended with a five-set loss to UW-Stevens Point in a regional final (Sweet 16). Cornell finished the year ranked 20th in the AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll.

The 2013 squad compiled a stellar 28-4 record and finished No. 23 in the AVCA Top 25. In 2012, Meeker's senior-less Rams went 20-11 overall and bowed out in a five-set, first-round battle to eventual NCAA champion St. Thomas on the Tommies' home floor.

Meeker steered the 2011 Rams to an outstanding 28-6 campaign with a lineup dominated by freshmen and sophomores. Cornell cracked the regional rankings for the first time, won its first-ever IIAC Tournament title and carried a 14-match winning streak into its first NCAA Tournament. O’Connor became the program’s first volleyball All-American.

Meeker guided the Rams to the IIAC Tournament nine times from 2002-2011. His 2004 Coach of the Year award came in a season which Cornell went 23-13 and took runner-up in the IIAC Tournament.

Meeker, an instructor in Cornell's kinesiology department, received a bachelor's degree in psychology from Knox College in 1993. He earned a master's degree in sport psychology from the University of Iowa in 1995.

In 1993-94, Meeker was a volunteer volleyball assistant at the University of Iowa. He then enjoyed a successful run as head coach at Iowa Wesleyan, compiling a 61-68 record from 1995-98. Meeker revamped a program that won nine matches in his initial season to 20 wins in 1998.

From 1999-2002, Meeker was an assistant men's volleyball coach at St. Ambrose prior to taking over Cornell’s program.

Meeker and his wife, Monica, have four children: Sydney, Jackson, Jayden and Jensen.

 
Brianna Strong Image
Brianna Strong
Assistant Coach- 3rd Season

Local standout Brianna Strong joined Cornell's nationally-regarded volleyball program as an assistant coach in 2015.

Strong was a two-time all-stater at Mount Vernon High School and enjoyed a record-setting career at NCAA Division I University of Northern Colorado from 2010-14.

“We are so excited Bri has joined us,” Meeker said. “Her passion for the game, playing experience and connections to our community make her a tremendous fit for our program.”

Strong earned First Team All-Big Sky Conference honors as a senior, and was a second team choice in 2013. A two-time team captain, Strong helped guide the Bears to three Big Sky Tournament championships and three NCAA appearances during her time in Greeley, Colo.

Strong led the Big Sky in attack percentage two consecutive seasons, including a conference-record .403 clip in 2013. She is Northern Colorado’s Division I career-record holder for solo blocks and attack percentage. Strong also boasts the program’s top season marks for solo and total blocks under the 25-point scoring format.

In 2013, Strong was voted Northern Colorado’s Fall Athlete of the Year and Break-out Athlete of the Year. She finished among the program’s career leaders in blocks per set (0.95 – second), total blocks (353 – third), block assists (302 – third), points (1,073 – sixth) and kills (870 – seventh). She played in 372 career sets while helping the Bears to three 20-win seasons.

Strong earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences with a minor in Human Services.

While starring at Mount Vernon, Strong was part of a historical 2009-2010 season that saw the Mustangs capture state championships in volleyball, basketball and track & field. She directed the Mustangs to state volleyball runner-up finishes in 2007 and 2008 before taking the Class 2A title her senior season.

A three-time all-district performer, Strong was selected by PrepVolleyball.com to the 2009 Senior Aces and was also named to the Iowa Girls Coaches Association Senior Select All-Star Team. In 2007, Strong was tabbed to PrepVolleyball.com’s national list of Most Outstanding Sophomores.

Strong was ranked the state’s 11th-best player – in basketball – her senior year at Mount Vernon.

 
Polly Blythe Image
Polly Blythe
Assistant Coach- 4th Season

Blythe, a 1990 Cornell College graduate, returned to her alma mater in 2014 to join Jeff Meeker’s coaching staff.

Blythe played volleyball four years at Mount Vernon High School. She went on to play one season at Mount Mercy College. Blythe finished her education at Cornell and was a member of the Rams’ 22-9 squad during her senior season.

Blythe was freshman and middle school coach for several years at Mount Vernon.

Blythe and her husband, Bob, own Polly Ann’s Antiques and Blythe Cottage Inn. They have three children: Robbie, Lisa and Chiara.

 
Caitlin Kruckenberg Image
Caitlin Kruckenberg
Manager- 1st Season