Former All-Region setter Mary Kate Boland '01 returned to Franklin & Marshall College in the fall of 2003 as the 10th head coach in Diplomats' volleyball history and has had a dramatic impact on the program. In 14 seasons, she has amassed 267 victories, passing Steve Coulson, who had 251 wins over a span of 12 seasons, on the programs all-time list with a 3-0 shutout of Scranton on Sept. 7, 2016. Boland captured win number 200 with a 3-1 triumph over Ursinus on Sept. 21, 2013.
Boland has guided the Diplomats to 12 winning seasons in her tenure, including the 2012 and 2013 Centennial Conference (CC) regular season title as well as the 2010 and 2014 CC Championship - the fifth and sixth in school history.
Under Boland, the Diplomats have recorded 20 or more victories seven times and have had four All-Americans come through the program, in Margot Phelan (2006), Nicole Morano (2009), two-time CC Player of the Year Julie Harvey (2011, 2013) and Ellie Ezekiel (2014).
In 2016, F&M wrapped up the season with a record of 19-9, 7-3 CC, appearing in the Centennial Conference (CC) Tournament for the ninth straight year, while earning its seventh winning season in the past eight years.
F&M a 14-15, 6-4 CC record in 2015. On offense, the Diplomats ranked first in the conference in kills per set (12.48) and second in assists per set (11.55), while defensively, F&M was fourth in digs per set (17.13).
The Diplomats became the first No. 5 seed to ever win the CC Tournament in 2014, taking down Muhlenberg with a 3-2 win. The Diplomats earned the automatic qualifier for the NCAA Tournament, falling to eventual champion Hope in the first round. F&M was impressive throughout the year, leading the conference in total kills (1,497) and assists (1,362). The defense was also solid and totaled 1,933 total digs, good for third in the CC.
With a 24-6 overall record in 2013, F&M captured the most wins under the direction of Boland and the highest total since 2002. The Diplomats went undefeated in the Centennial Conference at 10-0 on the way to their second straight regular season crown, before dropping a 3-1 match to Johns Hopkins in the CC Semifinals.
Boland was inducted into the F&M Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013 for her standout playing career at F&M. A 2000 and 1999 first and 1998 second team All-Centennial Conference setter, she completed her career as the all-time leader in assists (4,062) and is the only player ranked in the top 10 in career kills, digs, service aces, blocks, and assists.
A 1998-2000 American Volleyball Coaches Association All-Mid-Atlantic Region Player, she averaged 10.19 assists per game to lead the Diplomats to a school record 34-6 mark, a perfect 10-0 conference record, the Centennial Conference Tournament title and a "Sweet 16" finish in the NCAA Division III Volleyball Tournament as a senior.
During her playing career, she led F&M to the 1999 and 2000 Centennial Conference Championships and four consecutive NCAA Division III Tournament appearances while recording a 120-32 record from 1997-2000, the best four-year mark in program history.
Co-captain of the Diplomats in 2000, Boland holds school assists records for a game (23, vs. Roberts Wesleyan, 10/27/00), a season (1309 in 1999), a career (4012) a four-game match (63, vs. Pomona-Pitzer, 9/15/00) and a five-game match (75, vs. Grove City, 10/3/98). Her 4012 career assists rank sixth in Centennial Conference history.
The daughter of Villa Maria Academy head volleyball coach Joe Boland, she led Villa Maria to the 1996 PIAA District I and State Championships at setter to earn Daily Local News Player of the Year honors.
Also, Villa Maria earned three consecutive District I championships (1994-1996) as Boland was named to the PIAA All-State Volleyball Team in 1995 and 1996.
From 2001 until her appointment at the College, she served as an assistant coach at Villa Maria working with the setters and drafting scouting reports on opponents. In 2002, Villa Maria won the PIAA District I and State Championships.
A native of Wayne, Pa., Boland graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in the spring of 2001 with a degree in Business Administration.
Franklin & Marshall College
Franklin & Marshall College