Heather Pavlik enters her sixth season at the head of Juniata College women’s volleyball in the 2016-17 season. The three-time Landmark Conference Coach of the Year has continued to make Juniata one of the top programs in the country since taking over the program from her mentor and former coach, Larry Bock.
In 2015-16, Pavlik guided her team to their ninth consecutive Landmark Conference Championship title, their 35th straight NCAA tournament appearance, an NCAA Regional finals appearance and six weeks at the top of the AVCA Division III Coaches Top 25 Poll.
The Eagles were undefeated last season until they faced Division II's Clarion University and fell 3-2 in late September.
Over her first five seasons she has amassed an impressive 144-36 overall record (.800 winning percentage). Pavlik has extended the Eagles’ all-time winning streak against Landmark Conference opponents to 73-0.
Under Pavlik’s leadership, Juniata has continued its streak of being the only program to qualify for every Division III women’s volleyball championship. In her 15 seasons as assistant and later associate head coach, the Eagles amassed a 493-63 record, and won two NCAA Division III national championship titles (2004 and 2006).
The 2004 championship is a moment that will always stay with Pavlik.
“We had Erin Dodson with us, who was struggling with brain cancer at the time,” Pavlik said. “She was able to be there. The thing that sticks out to me, every bit as much as hoisting up that trophy, is going to her room to see her. That one will forever be burned into my memory.”
One of the most important things Pavlik hopes her players take away from their experience at Juniata is how to deal with change.
“The better you get at being comfortable in uncomfortable situations, the more you grow,” Pavlik said. “I want them to take away perseverance, toughness and all the things that are going to set them up to be successful later in life.”
During her tenure with Juniata women’s volleyball, the Eagles have produced 29 All-Americans, with 49 All-America certificates.
Pavlik also served as an assistant coach with the Juniata men’s volleyball program from 1998 through 2001. The Eagles captured their first Molten Division III Invitational title in 1998 with Pavlik as an assistant coach, as well as the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) Division III crown. Juniata captured its second EIVA Division III title in 1999, while placing fourth at the Molten Invitational.
A 1995 graduate of Juniata College with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, Pavlik earned AVCA First-team All-America honors in 1992, 1993, and 1994. She is a 2005 inductee into the Juniata College Sports Hall of Fame, and was one of six former collegiate players named to the NCAA Division III Women’s Volleyball Silver Anniversary Team. Pavlik was also named to the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) All-Century team for her outstanding play as a student-athlete.