FLUSHING, N.Y. – The Queens College Department of Athletics has announced two coaching changes, with the departures of head coaches Jason Octave (volleyball) and Christina Berardi (softball).
Octave, a standout on the Queens men's volleyball team from 2003-2006, recently entered his third season as head women's volleyball coach. After serving as interim head coach during the 2015 season, Octave had the interim tag removed in April of 2016. In addition to volleyball, he assisted in the department's financial office.
In his first season overseeing the Knights' program in 2015, Octave posted an 11-15 overall mark and a 7-9 record in East Coast Conference (ECC) play, with six players registering over 100 kills. In 2016, Octave mentored Cassidy Stewart, who was named ECC Co-Rookie of the Year and earned a spot on the All-ECC Second Team, while the Knights averaged 2.07 service aces per set, the most by a QC team since the 2010 season. This year, Queens was 2-4 under Octave in the early portion of the season.
Queens College alumnus Merlin Thompson takes over the volleyball program for the remainder of the season. Thompson served the athletics department as an administrator for nearly 30 years and has extensive volleyball experience, notably with the Knights' men's volleyball team, Creole Volleyball Club and USA Volleyball.
Berardi took over as head softball coach in July of 2016 and also served as Assistant Facilities Coordinator during her time with Queens. She recently started her second year with the department and has decided to pursue an opportunity at Stony Brook University.
In her first season at the helm this past spring, Berardi led the Knights to a 13-17 overall record and 10-14 mark in the ECC. Queens won four of its final five conference games to make a late playoff push. Two of Berardi's players landed on the All-ECC First Team in ToniMarie Valeriano and Stevianne Ognibene, while Valeriano also garnered NFCA all-region honors.