MONTROSE, N.Y. Dina Bertoline enjoyed her Hendrick Hudson varsity volleyball career so much that after she graduated, she would return to her alma mater to help out.
That led Bertoline to pursue a teaching career and eventually a coaching career. Bertoline, a 2003 Hen Hud graduate, is now in her second year as the Hen Hud junior varsity volleyball coach and one of three former players on varsity coach Diane Swertfagers staff.
Alexis Agosta is in her fourth year as the modified coach, and Niki Tamburri, who starred at Iona College, is a first-year varsity assistant.
I had always wanted to be a teacher, and being around coach just made me work that much more at attaining my goals, said Bertoline, a physical education teacher at Hawthorne Country Day School. Growing up, coach was a great role model to have on and off the court. She has a unique way of balancing family, work, coaching and all of her other commitments. I have learned so many things that have helped me in many aspects of my life.
Returning to the program started out when I was coming home from college and helping out any way I could. Hen Hud volleyball is really a family. When I played, there were always volleyball alumni coming into practice and helping us out. I wanted to do the same.
Swertfager is enjoying coaching with Bertoline, Agosta and Tamburri.
All three add great knowledge, passion and enthusiasm to the program, Swertfager said. All three live in the community and are well-respected among the children at Hen Hud. They also bring an integrity and desire to help the girls succeed.
Coaching with them is wonderful because it reminds me of my special moments with them. I feel so blessed to have such great young women come back and give their time to our teams. I smile a lot and my heart is filled with pure joy as I admire how much they have matured. I am honored and very grateful they are working with me.
Bertoline feels the same way about Swertfager.
It has been an amazing experience working with coach every day, Bertoline said. One of my favorite things is that I get to see the program grow. The program has evolved into one of the most dominant programs in all of Section 1, and I am proud to be a part of that.