Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Cristina Pintilie returns for her fourth year on the Duke volleyball staff in 2012 after joining the Blue Devils in 2009. Among other duties, Pintilie assists with team training, recuriting and scouting for the Blue Devil volleyball program.
Since joining the program, Pintilie has helped the Blue Devils to a 75-22 (.773) overall record and a 48-12 (.800) mark in ACC play. The Blue Devils have finished in the top three in the league every season since her arrival, capturing the conference crown in 2010. With her help, Duke has advanced to the NCAA Tournament in each of the past three seasons, including 2010 when the Blue Devils enjoyed a run to the NCAA Regional Final against eventual national champion Penn State.
Pintilie has also aided in the development of six All-Americans, seven All-East Region selections and eight All-ACC picks, including 2010 ACC Player of the Year Kellie Catanach and 2011 ACC Defensive Player of the Year Ali McCurdy. Catanach finished her career ranked second on Duke's all-time list and ninth in ACC history with 5,364 assists, while McCurdy broke Duke's single-season digs record with 653 last year.
In addition, senior middle blocker Christiana Gray has developed into one of the top players at her position in the ACC. Gray led the league in hitting percentage for the second straight year and ranked eighth nationally with a .396 clip a season ago, while also pacing the Duke defense with 115 blocks. In addition, the 2011 Blue Devils held opponents to a .196 hitting percentage, the 12th straight season Duke has not allowed its opponents to hit over .200.
Duke's defense was among the best in the country during the 2010 season, Pintilies' second in Durham, which was due in part to the development of middle blockers Gray, Becci Burling and Amanda Robertson. Each of those three were named All-ACC and All-East Region while helping Duke hold opponents to a .173 hitting percentage, which was the second lowest in the ACC. The Blue Devils earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth consecutive season and advanced further in the tournament than any team in program history. After securing the 2010 ACC Championship, the Blue Devils won three NCAA Tournament matches to make the NCAA Regional Final, becoming just the third ACC team to reach that round.
In her first season, Pintilie coached a Blue Devil squad that held opponents to an ACC-low .160 hitting percentage and went 27-6 overall and 17-3 in the ACC. A former middle blocker at Long Island, Pintilie mentored Duke's middle blocking trio of Burling, Gray and Robertson, which emerged as one of the top middle units in the conference. Both Burling, a junior, and Gray, a freshman, topped 100 blocks in 2009 while Robertson nearly tripled the number of blocks she posted as a freshman. Offensively, Pintilie oversaw a Blue Devil squad that led the ACC in kills and assists while ranking among the top three in hitting percentage, blocks and service aces.
Prior to Duke, Pintilie served two seasons as an assistant coach at Colgate, helping the Red Raiders to back-to-back winning seasons in 2007 and 2008 and two consecutive runs to the Patriot League Championship match. Pintilie assisted in all aspects of the program while at Colgate.
With her assistance, the Red Raiders finished 11-3 in the Patriot League in 2007 and 9-5 in conference play in 2008. Colgate was among the best all-around teams in the conference each year, finishing second in digs in back-to-back years and among the top five in hitting percentage, lowest opponent hitting percentage and blocks each season.
Pintilie mentored three two-time All-Patriot League players, a Patriot League Rookie of the Year and a Patriot League Co-Defensive Player of the Year. In her first year with the program, Pintilie assisted Colgate head coach Ryan Baker in collecting the Patriot League Coach of the Year award.
Pintilie's coaching career began at Troy where she coached as a graduate assistant for two seasons. With Troy, Pintilie assisted with the day-to-day operations of the program, coordinating team travel and equipment and working with the summer camps program.
Before beginning her career as a coach, Pintilie played three years as a middle blocker at Long Island University and helped the team capture the 2004 Northeast Conference Championship. During the championship run that propelled Long Island to an NCAA Tournament berth, Pintilie was named NEC Tournament MVP and to the All-NEC first team. A two-time Long Island team MVP in 2002 and 2003, Pintilie finished the 2003 season ranked fourth nationally in kills per set.
In 2012, the LIU Department of Athletics inducted Pintilie into its Hall of Fame as she became the first Hall of Fame inductee from the Blackbirds' volleyball program.
A native of Romania, Pintilie received her Bachelor of Science degree in Adapted Physical Education from Long Island University's Arnold and Marie Schwartz School of Sports Sciences in 2005. She went on to earn her Masters of Science degree in Sport and Fitness Management from Troy in 2007.