Girls volleyball: Kreitler’s team up for Gaels, UB Purple Knights

Danielle and Megan Kreitler are taking their volleyball skills to the University of Bridgeport.

The recent Shelton High graduates are a perfect fit on the court and in the classroom, according to SHS volleyball coach Leanne Bianchine.

“Danielle and Megan are two of the most amazing young ladies that I’ve ever had the honor of coaching,” Bianchine said of her 5-foot-9 hitters. “I called them the twin towers because when they put up a double block you were not getting through it.

“The were fantastic captains. They were supportive, encouraging and motivating. They work extremely hard and had a never-say-die mentality.

“Academically, they shined just as much. Their pursuit in the classroom poured out onto the court. And their teammates saw that and followed in their captain’s footsteps. I know that they will do awesome in college. They come from wonderful stock and it was my privilege to have been their coach for the past four years. They will be missed by everyone.”

Danielle and Megan also played three years of lacrosse at Shelton and served as team captains as seniors. Members of Girl Scouts of America, they each earned service awards 2015-18. The duo were on the Shelton High Sportsmanship Committee and played TCA Volleyball for Kimberly Rhodler the last three seasons.

Danielle, a minute older than Megan, was the MVP on the freshman team at Shelton and added the Offensive Player of the Year Award to her resume as a sophomore. She earned the Dedication Award as a junior and was honorable mention All-SCC as a senior.

“Throughout the four years, Coach B and the other coaches have helped me grow stronger as an athlete and encouraged me to do better,” Danielle said. “I was a new player that had never touched a volleyball, before they helped me to develop my skills. That progress became an opportunity to play Division II volleyball at the University of Bridgeport.

“Coach B has an intensity for the game, but uses her personality to teach and make points throughout the game. When I spiked the ball into the net, she  would provide me one liners like ‘Get out of the net your not a tuna,’ or ‘Elbow up.’

“Their coaching, and playing travel volleyball for TCA, led to being contacted by Coach Mullin to play for the University of Bridgeport. When they provided us with a tour of the campus and facilities we knew that this was the college we wanted to earn our degrees — and have the opportunity to play Division II volleyball.

“Coach Mullin made us feel very comfortable during our interview with him. So much so, that we spoke for over four hours about volleyball and the direction he wants to take the team. I am looking forward to cutting my summer short and moving on campus to start our preseason workouts and practices. I will be majoring in criminal justice.”

Megan, who was an All-Southern Connecticut Conference selection, said, “When I began playing volleyball as a freshman, I didn’t know the rules, but with Coach B’s guidance and her intensity I learned to love the game. It turned into a year round commitment with Shelton High, as well as travel volleyball through TCA.

“Coach B had a huge impact on my volleyball career. She taught me the sport I have become to love. She has pushed me to the limit and showed me what kind of player I can truly be.

“When Coach Mullin reached out to us to give us the opportunity to play Division II volleyball, I was very excited. I know that the competition at this level is exceptional. It will provide me the chance to prove myself and to earn a spot on the court.

“I hope to continue to help develop these skills as well, as earn a degree in criminal justice.”

The UB Purple Knights open their season by hosting Southern Connecticut State University on Thursday, Aug. 23, at 3 p.m.