Anne Volp, field hockey star

"One of the reasons Philadelphia has been considered the field hockey center of the United States for several years is because of individuals like Mrs. Anne Volp," the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin reported in 1952.

Anne McConaghie Volp, a Temple University spokesman said last week, was one of the university's "finest all-around athletes and a 14-year member of the United States field hockey team."

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Anne Volp

As a player, Mrs. Volp was so renowned in the 1940s and 1950s that in 1988 she was among the first 23 women inducted into the USA Field Hockey Hall of Fame at Ursinus College.

As a coach of Temple field hockey from 1949 to 1963, she amassed a record of 75-18-11 and produced 20 all-American players.

On Saturday, May 22, Mrs. Volp, 88, formerly of Harleysville, Montgomery County, died of complications from dementia at the Ellen Memorial Health Care Center in Honesdale, Pa.

Six of her 14 Temple teams went undefeated: 5-0-1 in 1949, 5-0-1 in 1950, 6-0-1 in 1954, 6-0-2 in 1958, 6-0-1 in 1960, and 3-0-4 in 1961. Four others lost only once: 5-1-0 in 1951, 5-1-1 in 1953, 8-1-0 in 1957, and 6-1-0 in 1959.

For a while, field hockey wasn't enough for Mrs. Volp.

In her only seasons as coach of the Temple women's basketball team, her record was 6-1 in 1952-53 and 7-1 in 1953-54.

For several years, Mrs. Volp coached younger players while continuing to star on older teams.

Reporting on a 1956 national tournament at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, The Inquirer noted that she had scored seven goals in three games.

The report stated that she "began playing at Temple as a freshman in 1939. The following year she was chosen as left inner on the all-American squad.

"Except for four war years when a team wasn't picked and for time off to have a baby, she has been all-American every time she's tried out for it."

She also earned international acclaim. In 1956, she was on the U.S. team that toured England to mark the 60th anniversary of the All-England Women's Hockey Association. The final game was at the stadium of the Arsenal professional soccer team in London.

"It was the first time many of us had played under the lights," Mrs. Volp said a few months later, "and it was probably the largest crowd to see an American hockey team. There were more than 7,000 people watching us, and it felt terrific to have so many people cheering you."

Born in Audubon, Camden County, Mrs. Volp was a 1939 graduate of Audubon High School, where she was on the basketball, softball, tennis, and swimming teams. She played field hockey well enough to be on the all-South Jersey team for two years.

As a multisport undergraduate at Temple, from which she would graduate with a bachelor's in physical education in 1943, she was named to the All-College basketball team in 1940 and 1943.

Besides being named to the U.S. field hockey team while a Temple undergrad, she was undefeated in yet another sport: intercollegiate diving.

Before beginning her Temple coaching career in 1949, she taught health and physical education at Ambler High School for four years and coached field hockey and women's basketball there.

At Temple, she was an instructor of health and physical education from 1953 and earned a master's in physical education.

In 1964, Prentice Hall published Lead-Up Games to Team Sports, which she wrote with O. William Blake.

For years after her Temple graduation, she starred for the Red Owlettes, a team of former Temple players in the Philadelphia Women's Interclub Hockey League.

In 1975, she was one of the first four women inducted into the Temple University Athletic Hall of Fame. At the time, she was teaching and coaching at Enfield Junior High School in Springfield, Montgomery County.

For 25 years, she owned a summer field hockey camp in Harleysville.

Mrs. Volp is survived by sons Frederick D. and Gary and four grandchildren. Her husband, Frederick G., died in 2002.

Services will be private.


Contact staff writer Walter F. Naedele at 215-854-5607 or wnaedele@phillynews.com.