UTSA hires new volleyball coach, establishes program expectations


Dalton Hartmann

Carol Price-Torok (center) poses at the event introducing her as the newest head coach of UTSA volleyball. Price-Torok coached Bradley to an 85-90 record during her tenure.

Julia Maenius, Assistant Sports Editor

The UTSA volleyball team announced the hiring of new head coach Carol Price-Torok on Dec. 18, 2021 following the retirement of Laura Neugebauer-Groff, who spent 20 years at the helm of the program. Price-Torok will be the seventh coach in UTSA volleyball history.

Price-Torok served as the assistant coach to the Roadrunners before becoming associate head coach at Arkansas and landing the head coaching position at Bradley, where she coached for six seasons. 

“We are building a program that is really focused around family and identity for each individual athlete with what they bring to the table,” Price-Torok said. “That was really, really important to me not having family here, so our staff, our players and our department is very family oriented.”

The Roadrunners were 8-16 during the 2021 season with a 5-7 Conference USA record.

“We are building our identity and getting to know the players and the players get to know us,” Price-Torok said. “It’s a great time to not have a lot of stress in games and you know, winning and losing, but just being able to get in the gym and get after it.”

Price-Torok was named the 2018 Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year. She coached the Bradley Braves to 85 wins, three Missouri Valley Conference tournaments and the 2021 Invitational Volleyball Championship Sweet 26. 

“We are looking at adding some more fire power,” Price-Torok said. “Maybe a little more height. We are really, really fast and really, really athletic, so we are just trying to get some more height.” 

Price-Torok added former UTSA assistant coach Dominique Gonzalez-Tomlin to her coaching staff. Gonzalez-Tomlin returns to UTSA after two seasons at Michigan State. 

“I think that they’ve obviously been through a lot over the last three and a half years, probably more than a lot of student athletes want in their time,” Gonzalez-Tomlin said. “I think we’re going to use the things that they’ve experienced, but we’re obviously looking to move in a new direction. I think their biggest goal as leaders is going to be being able to lead the younger kids and say, ‘hey, we’re accepting change or moving forward.’”

Gonzalez-Tomlin spent her time at UTSA previously working with the defensive specialists and Liberos.

“I think obviously, with our senior Libero coming back, that’s always great to have experience because they helped kind of run the backcourt,” Gonzalez-Tomlin said. “It’s really great to integrate the new kids too. We’re going to bring in some younger kids that are coming in, but we’re looking for anybody who can contribute to the group. I think if the young kids step up, great, but I think having some senior leadership is also really good, especially with the new staff.”

Price-Torok completed her staff with the addition of Ryan Vorderer. Vorderer spent the last two seasons at Nebraska as a graduate assistant. Prior to Nebraska, Vorderer played collegiately for the University of Essex in England and Libero for Lindenwood University. 

“I am really looking forward to being part of UTSA right now, especially since it is an exciting time with everything growing,” Vorderer said. “I am excited to build on the momentum that the university has.”

The 2022 schedule for UTSA has yet to be announced, but the new staff has set their goals for the program with optimism.

“The energy and the positive vibe that everyone has in the department,” Price-Torok said. “For me, success breeds success, just trying to play off of different successes and things that all the other programs are having, to grab on to that and have great pride in what we are doing.”