Lenika Vazquez
Canisius College
Lenika Vazquez
Head Coach
vazquez5@canisius.edu
Canisius
Division 1

Lenika Vazquez just completed her third season at the helm of the Canisius volleyball program after she was named the 11th head coach in school history. In her short tenure with the Golden Griffins, Vazquez has led the program to new highs, producing 10 All-MAAC selections. She was also instrumental in Sofia Lopez Acostasdevelopment into the 2018 MAAC Libero of the Year.   Vazquezs team had a historic season in 2018, ending with its first-ever appearance in the MAAC Championship match and first winning season since 2012. The squad started the 2018 campaign by going on a program-record home winning streak, putting together 10 consecutive wins at the Koessler Athletic Center that began with wins in the last two home matches of 2017. The Griffs also matched a program-best with 14 conference wins in 2018 and posted 17-or-more total wins for just the third time in Canisius history. These wins included a sweep of rival Niagara and ending Fairfields NCAA-best 58-match winning streak in conference play.   Individually, Vazquez had six players earn postseason MAAC honors in 2018. Sara Wesley and Leah Simmons were selected to the All-MAAC First Team, Lopez Acosta and Cassidy Ceriani earned All-MAAC Second Team honors, while Camila Vazquez and Melina Woods made the MAAC All-Rookie Team.   In her first two seasons with the Golden Griffins, Vazquez helped Katlyn Tyler (2016 Second Team), Ceriani (2016 All-Rookie), Wesley (2017 Second Team) and Claire Leonard (2017 All-Rookie) earn All-MAAC selections. The 2017 team also beat rival Niagara in the regular season for the first time since 2013. Vazquez came to Canisius after serving four seasons as an assistant coach at Butler. As a member of the Bulldogs staff, Vazquez helped her squad to 73 wins, highlighted by back-to-back 20-win campaigns in 2013 and 2014. Butler also earned a berth into the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament in 2013, followed by a trip to the Big East semifinal round in 2014 after the team went 20-10 overall and 12-6 in league play. In her time on the staff, two Bulldogs were named to the AVCA All-America Team, with Erica Stahl being a 2013 Honorable Mention and Belle Obert earning a Honorable Mention in 2014. Additionally, six players were selected for all-league honors and setter Makayla Ferguson was named the Big East Freshman of the Year in 2014.  Before taking over as an assistant at Butler in the winter of 2012, Vazquez coached at South Suburban College in Illinois. Vazquez was named head coach at SSC in South Holland, Ill., in the fall of 2010. At South Suburban, Vazquez was charged with recruiting and developing players. Vazquez also co-founded Illiana Explosive Volleyball Club in Crete, Ill., a south suburb of Chicago. In addition to coaching in the Chicago area, Vazquez worked as a Personal Training Director at an LA Fitness in Oak Brook, Ill.   Prior to her time at South Suburban, Vazquez was the head coach at Chicago State University for three seasons. While at CSU, Vazquez proved to be a talented and relentless recruiter and coach. She had three players break school records for kills, blocks, assists and digs, and had several players earn various academic honors.   After coaching two seasons as a head coach at the high school level in Illinois, Vazquez began her collegiate coaching career in 2002 as an assistant coach at her alma mater, Southern Illinois. While at SIU, Vazquez was involved with recruiting, travel, training, game management and community service projects. In her first season at SIU, she helped the Salukis to a 23-10 season and a first-ever appearance in the Missouri Valley Conference final.  As a player, Vazquez was a defensive specialist at SIU from 1996-99. She was an integral part of Southern Illinois' 1998 squad that went 19-12 and 12-6 in the MVC. She played in college for Sonya (Locke) Hopkins, who is now a coordinator of academic support for Butler.   A native of Buffalo, N.Y., Vazquez earned a degree in business management from Southern Illinois in 2001.