Coaches

Wendy is originally from Gibsonia, Pennsylvania where she was multi-sport stand out, team captain and all conference player.  Wendy played JOs with Willow Pond Volleyball Club and her team was the first team from Pittsburgh to ever earn a bid to Junior Olympics.  In college, Wendy played at East Carolina University.  She was a setter and finished her career as an outside hitter.  She holds multiple season records in kills, hitting, aces and digs. Wendy continued her career at ECU as the Assistant Volleyball Coach for two years.  Most recently, Wendy was one of the original coaches with the Town of Morrisville Rec Dept., she coached both daughters for 6 years through their Minor (7-9yr) and Major (10-12) leagues. She reluctantly took the past few years off of coaching to enjoy watching her girls play. During that time, she integrated herself with NC Elite as parent volunteer & fundraising chair. Her father played a vital role in her passion for sports.  He spent 25+ years coaching ice hockey & softball, and was a very influential role in her passion to both participate in and coach youth sports.  Her hope is to carry on his legacy and continue to serve as a positive and enthusiastic force for student-athletes she coaches.  She is excited to return to coaching with the 12U team for VolleyU.  Wendy lives in Raleigh with her husband Bryan and their daughters, Emma (15) and Sara (13) who both play for NC Elite.  She has 2 dogs, Maggie Mae & Abby. 

MacKenzie Aries, Head Coach/MC Head Coach/Clinician/Private Lesson Coach

MacKenzie played the setter position for four years at Pomona-Pitzer, a DIII college located in southern California. While in college, Kenzie was named AVCA All-Region Honorable Mention and graduated in four career record books and two single-season record books for assists, blocks, and digs. During her senior year, she was an assistant coach for the 16-Elite team at Club West. She graduated from Pitzer with a degree in Organizational Studies and an emphasis in team-building. 

After graduating from Pomona-Pitzer, Kenzie went on to coach at the University of Redlands, another DIII school in Southern California. While at Redlands, Kenzie completed her Master's in Business Administration with an emphasis in marketing. In August 2014, she published an electronic book on volleyball recruiting titled "101+ Volleyball Tips: How to Get Recruited for College Volleyball." 

Kenzie began coaching at Meredith College in Raleigh in 2014 and will be entering her third season there as the assistant coach.

Hannah Blaylock, Coach Alumnae

Hannah Blaylock is a Senior at Meredith College, where she is majoring in Accounting. She is the starting setter for the Meredith Angels Volleyball Team and was named captain for the 2017 season. Last season, Hannah helped the team to the program's first-ever USA South Tournament Championship and NCAA appearance. She was named tournament Most Valuable Player, garnered NCCSIA All-State first team, USA South All-Conference first team, All-East first team, and All-Academic honors. Hannah was also named the team's Most Valuable Player. She led league with 10.14 assists per set on the season and ranks first all-time at Meredith with 3449 career assists as a senior and sitll counting. Her sophomore year at Meredith, the Angels finished second in the USA South North Division and she finished the regular season ranked fourth among USA South players in assists per set and ninth in service aces to earn All-Conference honorable mention recognition. As a freshman, Hannah  helped Meredith claim the USA South North Division Regular Season Champions and broke school record for most assists in a season with a total of 1045. She also was named USA South All-Conference honorable mention and two-time rookie of the week and earned USA South All-Academic honors. Hannah is a 2014 graduate of Person High School where she played varsity volleyball for three years. She was captain her senior year, earning Athlete of the Week, All-Conference, and was named the Most Outstanding Volleyball Player, along with Media Athlete Player of the Year. Hannah has played volleyball for fourteen years. She was an NC Elite student athlete for three seasons. Hannah is very excited about being back where she started volleyball and being ELITE! This is her fourth season coaching and she loves it!ing and she loves it!

Ben Boncella, Coach

Ben is a recent graduate of the University of Mount Olive, with a B.S. in Accounting. The Erie, PA native played 4 years of high school volleyball at McDowell High School where he was captain his senior season and earned 2nd team All-District. Ben also played for Tool City Volleyball Club for 4 years. Ben came to North Carolina to pursue DI/II men’s collegiate level volleyball at the University of Mount Olive. During his time as a student-athlete, he has been exposed to a variety of different coaching styles, techniques, and strategies. At UMO he received the Conference Carolinas All Academic award during each semester he was on the team, but after two and a half years on the team, he decided to focus on academics and professional goals. Now, he is looking forward to teaching others the sport that he fell in love with.

BIO COMING SOON

Paige Cox, Coach & CPR Certified

Paige is in her fifth season as a club coach at NC Elite  She has coached at the Black and Cardinal levels for several years. After being introduced to volleyball in 3rd grade, Paige invested a great deal of time and effort into developing as a player.  Paige was a three-time letter winner at Person High School and made three appearances in the State Championships, winning two titles.  Paige played high level club volleyball for many years.  She has spent time as a setter and defensive specialist/libero. During her high school and college years she spent time working with the youth of Person County at the recreation department where she continues to play.  She played under Gary’s leadership at NC Challengers.  She went to University of  North Carolina at Wilmington and graduated in 2012 with a degree in Athletic Training. She is in her fourth year teaching Health and PE and Person High School.

 

Molly grew up in Raleigh and played at Broughton High School as well as with the Triangle Volleyball Club. She later played for Davidson College as a libero. She holds the second highest all-time dig record at the school. After graduating in 2013, she went to Washington, DC and coached with the Metro American Volleyball Club for the 2013-2014 club season. She coached the 16 Regional South team for one year and as work and school responsibilities increased, she was a volunteer position coach for the club for the next two years. She is excited to be back in the area that she grew up in to coach the sport she believes is the best team sport there is! 

BIO COMING SOON

Gary is one of the founding members of NC Elite Volleyball Club and has been the acting Executive Director since the club’s inception in 2007. Gary will continue in his role for upcoming season and provide leadership, vision and oversight to ensure NC Elite Volleyball Club has a bright future by building on to the club’s existing foundation. Gary’s intent is for NC Elite to provide a learning atmosphere that is positive, fun, motivating, and will continue to encourage our student-athletes to excel and reach their true potential. Gary has been involved in coaching club volleyball in the Carolina Region since 2001. During which time he coached his teams to 9 Carolina Region Championships victories, competed in 10 USAV National Championships and once in the USAV National Invitational. Gary has also coached at numerous high schools in NC including : Saint Mary’s School in Raleigh (3 seasons), Sanderson High School in Raleigh (3 seasons), Broughton (1 season) and Cresset Christian Academy in Durham (1 season). Honors included: Cap-6 Conference Coach of the Year in 2003 (Sanderson) and Carolina Christian Conference Coach of the Year in 1998(Cresset) . Before moving to the Carolinas, Gary coached boys’ high school and JO volleyball in Buffalo New York. Gary is a graduate of SUNY Buffalo where he finished with a B.S. in Health and Wellness and a minor in Coaching and is a certified strength and conditioning specialist (Certifications: NASM -National Academy of Sports Medicine). Currently, Gary works for Becton Dickinson Diagnostics as the Point of Care Sales Manager.

Katie (Tatum) DeVillier, Head & PST Coach/CAP & CPR Certified/Alum 2010

Katie is an NC Elite Alumnae who played under Coach Gary DeJames for five seasons.  She was a recruited outside hitter at  University of Central Florida before transferring to UNC Wilmington as a Student Assistant due to a career ending injury.  She worked at Captain Bill’s in Wilmington as an official while in college and also coached for Cape Fear Volleyball Club and NC Elite Coastal satelllite program working with 15s, 16s and 17s.  Katie has a tremendous volleyball background and a number of successes throughout her career.  She was named PAC6 Conference Player of the Year in her junior and senior seasons and a two-time NC 4A State Champion as well as a four-time PAC6 Conference Champion which included an undefeated league record during her senior run.  Katie holds multiple NC regional champion honors.  She was a participant of USAV High Performance Program making the National A2 Team in 2010.  Katie has been an avid outdoor player since high school and holds many tournament wins and a regional championship and national bid for sand doubles with her partner and NC Elite Alumnae, Melissa Zidar.  Katie graduated from UNC Wilmington in 2014 with her Elementary Education Degree.  She enters her third year of teaching and is a math interventionist at Roxboro Community School.  Katie resides in Roxboro with her husband Phil and their dogs, Bear and Lulu.

Taylor is a recent graduate of Wake Forest University where she played one season as a setter/ right side hitter. She graduated from St. David’s School in 2012 where she played on varsity for four years. She was All-Conference and All-State her sophomore, junior, and senior years, and Player of the Year her senior year. She played on NC Elite her 17s and 18s years. She is excited to be back in Raleigh and helping out at NC Elite.

Jeff Dobert, Head Coach/Private Lesson/Clinician/PST Coach/CPR Certified

Jeff is from upstate New York where he played as an outside hitter in high school and served as team captain. After high school, he shipped off to Parris Island, SC for Marine Corps boot camp. As a Marine, Jeff was selected to play for the All-Marine Volleyball team for 3 years as an outside hitter and defensive specialist. In 2004 and 2005, Jeff deployed to Iraq and Kuwait in support of “Operation Iraqi Freedom III.”

Jeff has been coaching since 2003, starting as an assistant coach to the Makai Wahine out of Havelock, NC before moving to Raleigh where he coached with Triangle Volleyball club from 2006-2010.  He has served as a Carolina Region High Performance Boys National Team coach for 2 consecutive seasons.  He has coached at the Division II & III collegiate level at Brevard College, Peace College, Central Carolina Community College and Wake Technical Community College. Jeff is currently serving as the Head coach for Middle Creek High School volleyball program in Apex, NC. Jeff is an avid outdoor doubles grass player and has competed in the open/gold division among the region’s top competitors.

Jeff has degrees in Computer Integrated Machining(CNC), Welding Technologies and Computer Aided Drafting and Design. Jeff is currently working part time as a welder/fabricator and machinist in Olivia NC. This will be Jeff’s sixth season with NC Elite.

Nelle graduated from Pinecrest High School in 2008 where she played varsity volleyball for four years, was captain, and earned All-Conference and Player of the Year. During the off-season, Nelle played for local JO clubs before eventually playing for FAVA (Fayetteville Area Volleyball Association) for her final JO season. Nelle continued playing volleyball competitively for NC State’s Club Volleyball team before transferring to Appalachian State where her club team won their division’s National Title. After finishing her Bachelor’s degree at Appalachian State, Nelle took a short break from competitive volleyball while she earned her Master’s degree at UNC-Greensboro. Now that she has settled in to her full-time job as a speech-language pathologist, Nelle continues to play competitively in an indoor women’s league and outdoor double’s tournaments. Nelle has had exposure to multiple styles of coaching and hopes to share her 15 years of experience in playing the game with the young women of NC Elite!

BIO COMING SOON!

From Bluffton, Ohio, Kali, most recently, was the JV volleyball coach at FVHS for the 2014-20215 season. Prior to that, she coached the 7th grade volleyball team at BMS while receiving her BA in Middle Childhood Education at Bluffton University. Also while in college, she coached ages 14-17 with the Golddiggers Volleyball club. Her playing experience involves high school play and intramural teams in college. She takes great interest in volleyball and basketball but particularly enjoys watching The Ohio State Buckeyes. Currently, Kali is in her 4th year teaching ESL at FVHS.

Virginia is looking forward to her sixth season at NC Elite. Coach V played for NC Elite as a Middle Blocker for two years under Coaches Gary DeJames, Scott Crisco, John Dillinger, and Jamie Hall. After graduating from Sanderson High School in 2010, Virginia continued her career at American University in Washington, DC. After playing for American during her Freshman and Sophomore seasons, Virginia continued to play at East Carolina University; and is a proud 2014 Pirate graduate. Coach V's first two coaching seasons at Elite were with VolleyU. During the 2014-2015 season, Coach V was the head coach for 14 Silver, and assistant to the 14 AAU team. Coach V especially enjoys helping student-athletes achieve their volleyball goals.

Sarah Frey, Coach

Sarah is a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with degrees in Psychology and Biology. She played 4 years of high school volleyball at Broughton High School in Raleigh, where she was the starting setter and made All- Conference 4 years in a row. Sarah also played 5 years of club volleyball for a number of clubs in the triangle area. During her time at Carolina, she focused on her studies and volunteer opportunities with young people in the area. Sarah has spent the past couple years working with the YMCA of the Triangle as a Youth Development Director, leading teens and youth, through leadership development clubs, summer day camps, and after school programs. Sarah is looking forward to getting back into the game she loves as a coach this season with NC Elite!  

Mark Glende, Coach

Mark started coaching with NC Elite in 2011. In five seasons working with 14’, 15’s, and16’s those teams have gone on to collect a total of ten medals, while also helping to produce multiple Division I student-athletes.  Prior to joining NC Elite, Mark played at the High School and Collegiate levels where he was an Outside Hitter and Libero.  During his college career he was fortunate to play in two Molten Division III National Championships in 2004 & 2005 earning a 2nd and 4th place finish.  While continuing his play post-college at the USAV Club level, he also started his coaching career in his hometown of Webster, NY where he spent three years working with the coaches who gave him the foundation of the skills and knowledge that he hopes to pass on to those he coaches.  As the 2016-2017 season approaches, he looks forward to another year of sharing the sport he loves with the next generation. 

 

BIO COMING SOON

BIO COMING SOON!

Hannah Hawkins is currently a senior at Roxboro Community School where she has been a four year varsity stand out and exemplary student. She has played for NC Elite coaches, Meagan Kimbrough, Katie Devillier, and Molly Tatum as libero/DS all throughout her high school career. She has lead her team as team captain to the NCHSAA Regional Finals for two consecutive years. Hannah has made all-conference and honorable mention two years in a row. Hannah has played travel volleyball with NC Elite in past years and worked with Coaches Romel & Paige and 16 Black during the 2017 club season. She has also participated in many outdoor events at adult level and earned several tournament wins. Hannah is super excited to be apart of the coaching staff at NC Elite and will be passionate about sharing her love and knowledge of the sport.  

 

BIO COMING SOON!

Anna Huff, Resource Coach

Anna graduated from Harrells Christian Academy.  She played for NC Elite Coach, Katie Tatum during her junior and senior varsity seasons earning All Conference honors and being awarded Most Outstanding Offensive Player senior year. Played for Cape Fear Volleyball Club and joined NC Elite Coastal senior year helping our team win the 17s Division at Monument City Classic and placing 11th at the AAU National Championships.  Anna is currently a Middle Blocker/Right Side Hitter at Meredith College pursuing a degree in exercise sports science with hopes of attending physical therapy school. Last season, she helped the Angels claim the USA South North Division Regular Season Championship title. She earned USA-South All Academic Honors. Anna is excited to be joining the coaching staff in her second season with NC Elite.

Grace is currently a sophomore DS/Libero on the varsity team at NC State University. She played at NC Elite for six years and returns as a resource coach for her third season of coaching. She was the student assistant coach for 14 Silver and 14 White, and spent last season working with Volley U. Grace received the NCHSAA Wells Fargo Sportsmanship Award during her sophomore year at the High School State Championship. She received AAU Volleyball Academic All American honors in her junior year. She previously attended Raleigh Charter High School where she was a starter for four years, two of which served as Captain. She was a state runner-up for two consecutive years and has made all-conference team three years in a row.  Grace is a starter at NCSU and was named ACC Freshman of the Week last season for her dynamic performance on the court!  Grace looks forward to spreading her passion for volleyball with as many student athletes as she can.

Maddie Irvin, Coach Alumnae 2012

Maddie graduated from Raleigh Charter High School in 2012 where she played varsity volleyball for four years, was a captain in her senior year, and earned the coach's award prior to graduating. She has played volleyball for eight years, two of which included NC Elite for 17's and 18's. Maddie recently graduated from William Peace University where she played as a DS/Libero for four years, breaking two university career records in her time. She obtained a major in psychology and a minor in biology. She has previously coached and worked with 12's, 13's, 16's and the Locals Only program at NC Elite. This will be her fifth year coaching..

Katherine Jacob, Coach

Kat is from Chicago Illinois where she played as a right side hitter at Downers Grove High School. She also played right side for her club team at 1st Alliance VBC for 4 years.  After high school she attended Robert Morris University as an outside hitter where she earned the All Conference and MVP award as a freshman. Kat then transferred to Eastern Illinois University where she played as a libero her last 3 years and graduated with a Sports Management degree in 2013.  Kat has been coaching for 4 years. She has experience with two different teams in the Chicago area as well as coaching at her high school alum as a varsity assistant for 1 year.  She will also be starting her first season as the varsity head coach at Wake Forest High School. She is excited to be here at NC Elite for her second season and is looking forward to a successful year ahead.

 

Sarah is currently a junior at Meredith College. She is obtaining her degree in Psychology and a k-6 licensure to teach! She played club volleyball for NC Elite and NC Academy for 5 years as a setter and a right side hitter. Sarah also played at the varsity level for 3 years at Athens Drive High School as a setter. Sarah is beyond excited to start her coaching career at NC Elite and is ready to have a great year with her team!

Traci (Stewart) Johnson, Coach

Traci graduated from Elon University '12 where she was captain of the Elon volleyball team for both her junior and senior seasons. She played as a right side hitter during her for years at Elon. Traci graduated with degrees in Marketing and Spanish. At Elon, she graduated among the top five on the team in for major statistical categories. Her sophomore season she was named team MVP and All-Southern Conference. She was also a member of the SoCon Academic Honor Roll for all four years of her career. She received her Masters in International Higher Education and now works as an advisor at Meredith College. She attended Northwest Guilford high school and was a four year letter winner, two time All Area player of the year, three-time Metro 4-A player of the year, and three-time All-Conference team member. Traci returns to coaching after time off to get married. She has coached at the 16 Cardinal level int he past. She also coached Elon Volleyball Camps from 2008-2016. Traci lives in Raleigh with her husband, Jeffrey.

BIO COMING SOON!

Rob began coaching 7 years ago in youth leagues around the Triangle. Over the last 7 years, he has coached 25 teams in three different sports (volleyball, basketball, and soccer). Rob has coached 12 youth volleyball teams in the last 5 years, for student-athletes ranging in age from 7 to 12 years old. His volleyball teams have won 4 regular season championships and 1 tournament championship.

In high school, Rob was a two-sport athlete lettering in basketball and football. He graduated SUNY Cortland with a Bachelor's Degree in Economics and Management Science. In 2008, he successfully completed a Master of Business Administration from Pfeiffer University. Rob currently works for InfoPros in Durham, NC as a Project Director leading technical documentation teams across the United States.

Whether on the court or at work, Rob focuses on building and empowering teams to compete. He loves inspiring players to reach their potential on a mental and physical level, and instills a “What’s Next?” philosophy in their approach to the game. Rob is very excited to lead our 14 Graphite regional team in the upcoming 2017-18 season.

Shasta Kidder, Head Coach

Shasta graduated from UNCW with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in French. She moved to Raleigh nearly three years ago where she started a career working in cancer research. She lives in Raleigh with her husband, Coach Steve Kidder and her rescue dog, Onyx. Shasta played volleyball at United Faith Christian Academy and played four years of college club volleyball at UNC Wilmington. She enjoys sand volleyball and is a competitive player. She coached for CCVC/TCA for one year followed by coaching the JV volleyball team for two years at NRCA. She also coached for United Volleyball for two years. She has had the opportunity to coach one of the USA high school volleyball teams in two tournaments in the Bahamas where her team came in second place and first place.

 

Meagan Kimbrough, Coach, Clinician, CPR Cerftified & Alumnae 2008

Meagan Tatum graduated from Cornell University ’12 where she was Captain of the Cornell Volleyball Team for both her junior and senior seasons.  She has played as both an outside and right side hitter during her career at Cornell.  Meagan graduated an Art History Major and is currently teaching Art at Bethel Hill Charter School for grades K-6.  She is also the Head Volleyball Coach at Roxboro Community High School where she was named Coach of the Year for each year she has coached 2012-2016 for the Carolina 12 1A Conference.  Meagan has coached at all levels and ages.   During high school, Meagan was a four-time letter winner at Person High School and made three appearances in the State Championships winning two titles and being named MVP in her senior year.  Meagan hails multiple All-Tournament selections and was named as an Academic All-American in her senior year of high school. She played for both Coach Gary DeJames and Coach Sandy Merkel-DeJames and earned a bid to nationals and committed to Cornell under their coaching. Meagan also participated in many outdoor events at both the junior and adult level and earned several tournament wins.  Meagan continues to play grass and sand volleyball.  She lives in Hillsborough with her husband, Phillip.

Saraya fell in love with volleyball in the fourth grade in a friend's backyard. Since then, she has been playing volleyball and growing in her love and knowledge of the game. Saraya played all four years in high school and was named second team all conference in both her junior and senior year. Since graduation, Saraya played for the Wake Tech's women's volleyball team for her freshman and sophomore year.  During her freshman year she was named Region X Player of the Year and Second Team All-American. She was named to the All Region Team her sophomore year.  Saraya has transferred to Shaw University where she is a member of the Lady Bears women's volleyball team.  While she is there studying to become an elementary school teacher.  Saraya is a four year student athlete and 2014 alumnae of NC Elite.

Casey Laing - Volley U™ Program Director  - volleyu@ncelitevb.org
Casey Laing is a 2009 graduate of Wakefield High School where she was Academic All-Conference. She was a middle hitter for Triangle Volleyball Club. She graduated from Western Carolina University in May 2013 with a degree in Communication, Broadcasting. She continued to play volleyball for the Women’s Club Volleyball team at Western Carolina University where she was the President, Coach, and Captain her sophomore year through senior year. She led the team to a competitive regional level. She also taught volleyball at Camp Kanata. She has continued to play volleyball since college with some of the other VolleyU coaches in an adult league. This will be Casey's fourth season coaching VolleyU and she can't wait for the season to begin.

Romel Lightbourn, Associate Director/Head Coach/Private Lesson/Clinician/PST Director

Romel brings 17+ years of volleyball experience to NC Elite as both player and coach.  Romel graduated from Barber-Scotia College in Concord, NC where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.  He participated in track and field and accomplished All American honors each season.  Post-graduation, Romel pursued a beach volleyball career in California at the international level (FIVB and AVP).  While transitioning from indoor to outdoor he began his volleyball coaching career on the legendary State Beach in California.   He has played on the Bahamas Beach Volleyball National Team, International Jammer Volleyball, Bahamas Senior National Volleyball Team as well as their Junior National Volleyball Team.  Romel has enjoyed coaching in the region since 2006 and looks forward to serving as Associate Director and sharing his expertise and experiences with all of the student athletes and coaches at NC Elite.  He has earned many recognitions some of which include All Region and All Tournament accolades as well as 3rd place in both  1st round World Championship Qualifier in 2010 and 2nd round of World Championship Qualifier 2010 in Jamaica and Cuba, respectively.  Romel has built great relationships with many college coaches while helping assist in the recruiting process for our student athletes and he has coached all ages from 13-18 and it is only fitting that he serve all of the student athletes and coaches in the club. 

Carla is a recent graduate of Meredith College where she received a Bachelors of Science in Interior Design. She is now the design/marketing coordinator at Savvy Homes. She played volleyball her first two years Meredith College as outside hitter and DS/libero. At Eastern Alamance High School, she earned Mid-State 3A All-Conference Honors during her junior and senior years, was named into the Mid-State 3A All-Tournament Team her senior year and also served as team captain. She played for Alamance Force Volleyball Club and CHAVC, where she earned Carolina Region All-Tournament honors. This is Carla’s fifth year with VolleyU and is excited for another season!

Keegan is a recent graduate of Meredith College, where she is majored in Exercise and Sports Science with a minor in Nutrition with a K-12 Licensure. She was a Libero/DS at Meredith, where they won the USA south conference last season making it to the NCAA tournament. Last season Keegan broke a NCAA serving record of 24 consecutive serves, was named all sportsmanship award for her team in the conference, and named best defensive player. Keegan is a graduate of Pinecrest High School in 2013 where she graduated with 11 varsity letters and played varsity volleyball for 3 years. She was named captain her senior volleyball season where she earned honorable mention honors in her junior and senior years. She began playing volleyball in 7th grade and played club for AC Sandhills. Keegan started her high school career as a setter but transitioned  to the Libero/DS position during high school. Keegan is currently a middle school PE teacher in Pinehurst, NC, her home town. This is her 3rd season with NC Elite and can’t wait to see what this year brings. 

BIO COMING SOON

Marlee is currently a sophomore at North Carolina State University, where she is majoring in Nutrition Science and plays as a DS/Libero for the NC State Women’s Club Volleyball team. Marlee is a 2016 graduate of Topsail High School, where she played varsity volleyball for 3 years. She was named captain of her high school team her junior and senior year, where she earned recognition on the All-Conference team 3 years in a row and the All-Area team her senior year. Marlee began playing volleyball in when she was nine years old and began playing club at Cape Fear Volleyball. She also played for NC Elite’s satellite team out of Wilmington, as well as for the Topsail Volleyball Club.  This is Marlee’s first year coaching with NC Elite and she is excited for the upcoming season. 

 

BIO COMING SOON!

Allen is originally from St. Lucia, a small island in the eastern Caribbean. His love for volleyball began in his final year at Castries Comprehensive Secondary School where he played as a middle hitter. During that time, he was selected to participate in junior national training. He also spent his spare time playing as a middle for Le Club volleyball. In 2003, he enrolled at St. Augustine’s University located in Raleigh. During his first year he started as a team manager for the school’s division 2 female volleyball team and the following year he served as the assistant coach. That same year he began his club coaching career as the assistant coach for NC Challengers 16s. He served as the head coach for NC Challengers 15s during the 2005 season. In addition to that, in 2005 he attended USAV CAP Level 1 training in Wisconsin. He served assistant coach for CCVC in 2006 season. Allen also played as a middle for International Jammers Mens Volleyball Team from 2003 -2006. In 2008, he moved to Germany for a few years and during his time overseas, he participated in a few tournaments to include a grass tournament in De Haan, Belgium. Beyond the court Allen is a father of 3 beautiful little ladies. Twin 12 year olds, Aleera and Tameera, and a Akeera age 10.

Marissa is an NC Elite Alumnae. She was a national level team member from 16U-18U.  She was named to the All-Star Team as part of NC Elite's only National Championship AAU Team in 2011.  Marissa was a member of the 2012 Riverside High Team that end the season ranked #2 in the State and undefeated in the PAC-6.  During her senior season, she was team captain and MVP and led the conference in several statistical categories.  Marissa graduated with honors and was recruited to play for Conference Carolina’s powerhouse Erskine College. At Erskine Marissa was a four-year starter playing right side, outside and middle.  Her class graduated as the winningest class in program history with 3 regular season titles and 2 tournament championships.  Her senior season Marissa was team captain, Erskine’s female scholar athlete of the year and a member of the Tournament Championship All-tournament team.  Over her career the team appeared in two NCAA Division II Regionals and was the first team in the conference to win a game during the tournament when they swept top ranked USC Aiken.  Marissa was a two-time recipient of the Division 2 Athletic Director’s Academic Achievement Award, a two-time member of the Conference Academic All-Conference Team, a seven-time member of the Conference Presidential Honor Roll and appeared on the Erskine College Dean’s List several times.  She graduated  cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and is currently applying to Medical School.  

Melanie is a graduate of Riverside High School where she was a member of the varsity volleyball and softball teams.  She was captain of the softball team her senior season.  Melanie also played club volleyball (libero) during high school and was a three-time Carolina Regional Tournament finalist.  Melanie attended the University of New Haven for her Bachelor’s degree and was a member of the perennial powerhouse softball team.  The team appeared in the Conference Championship each year and the NCAA Regional Championship her freshman year.  Melanie was also a member of a number of championship intramural teams and worked as an official for the Rec Sports program.  She completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice in three years and graduated with honors. She was also a member of the Chi Alpha Sigma Athletic Honor Society, a two-time recipient of the Division 2 Athletic Director’s Academic Achievement Award and appeared on the Dean’s List and Conference Honor Roll every semester. Melanie recently completed a Master’s Program and is currently working as a research assistant and applying to doctorate programs.  She has continued to play softball and volleyball (indoor and beach) since returning to Durham and has been a member of several local championship teams.

Julie is currently a junior at Franklinton High School where she is a Red Ram Mentor and a member of the National Honor Society. She fell in love with the sport at the age of 8, while watching her older sister  play. She has played club and school volleyball since she was 10 years old, with the majority of her club years on national teams at NC Elite and NC Academy. She has also played sand volleyball, which includes a league championship victory in the 16/18 division. Julie is excited to begin her coaching career with NC Elite, and is ready to give back to the sport that has given so much to her!

Jessica McKeon, Resource Coach

Jessica is in her third season as a club coach at NC Elite. After being introduced to volleyball in ninth grade, Jessica was a three-time letter winner at Person High School and made an appearance in the State Championships as a senior.  She went on to play at Gardner-Webb University as a middle blocker.  Jessica graduated from Gardner-Webb University in 2010 with a degree in Elementary Education and currently teaches 5th grade at Apex Elementary. 

Tacara has been involved in the sport of volleyball for 25 years as a player, coach, and an official. She is a 2003 scholarship alumnae of St. Augustine’s University.  Her team was CIAA Champions from 2000- 2003. Her 2002 team made history becoming the first HBCU to have an automatic bid to NCAA where we made it to the semi finals. She also played at Northeastern Oklahoma as a Left and Right side hitter as a scholarship athlete. Tacara was a member of the Bahamas Junior National team where she served as team captain and a member on the senior national team.  Volleyball is her passion and she feels great joy to help mold and develop these young ladies to be outstanding athletes! This is her second year at NC Elite. She has coached at Club Red, NC Challengers, and is also currently assist with the volleyball program at St.Augustine’s University.  Tacara is excited to be at NC Elite and can’t wait for another successful season!!

~~Elizabeth Pattison is currenthly a junior right side hitter for Meredith College. In high school, Elizabeth was a volleyball standout at Cuthbertson High School - a four year varsity athlete, team captain, MVP and All-Conference in 2012, she played for three years with Carolina Union Volleyball Club.  Elizabeth began gaining valuable coaching experience in high school, working at an annual volleyball summer camp for middle schoolers. Last year, she was able to work as a resource coach at Triangle Volleyball club. She has also coached at the Meredith College camp, working with athletes of all ages. This past year she helped Meredith claim the USA South North Division Regular Season Championship and has also earned USA South Conference second team honors.

Lauren Phillips is a freshman at Meredith College and is majoring in communications. She is a starting defensive specialist for the Avenging Angels volleyball team, but was recruited as a setter. Lauren is a 2017 graduate from JH Rose High School in Greenville North Carolina. She played all four years at Rose and was named All-Conference her senior year. Lauren also played travel volleyball for ECJVC for eight years and took on the role as a coach last season. This is Lauren’s second year coaching, but her first season at NC Elite. She is excited to work at Elite and continue her coaching career along side teammate Hannah Blaylock.

Amanda Pierce - Locals Only Coach
amandapierce.3@gmail.com

Amanda is a 2013 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, with a degree in Middle Grades Education. She began playing volleyball in middle school and played four years of high school varsity at Garner High School. Amanda was an outside hitter. She also played two years of club volleyball in the triangle area during high school and two yars of club volleyball in college. She has been a coach for 3 middle school teams in Clatyon and Fayetteville and two club teams in Johnston County. Amanda is currently a 6th grade math teacher in Rolesville, and is super excited about her first season with Elite.

Danielle (Dani) Plante, Coach & Alumnae 2011

Danielle, a recent graduate from the University of Mount Olive, joins NC Elite to coach her first season. With a degree in Recreational Therapy, her dream is to help those that have disabilities feel “normal” through the use of recreation and leisure. Danielle played volleyball at Fuquay-Varina High School and was a part of the varsity team for 3 years. Through playing club volleyball at NC Elite, she was recruited by the University of Mount Olive as an outside hitter in 2012.  During her athletic career, she was nominated by her coach to attend UMO Leadership Program, received the All-Tournament Team Award, Conference Carolina All Academic Award, became an opposite hitter, and was named captain for her senior season. Along with her athletics, Danielle was an Ambassador for the University and was nominated for homecoming court in 2015. During summer breaks, Danielle assists with summer volleyball workouts at her high school with girls ranging from ages 13-17.

BIO COMING SOON

Micholene Schumacher, Director of Operations

Micholene began her volleyball coaching career 13 years ago. She has coached many undefeated school seasons as the head coach at both Northern Middle School and Roxboro Community School in Roxboro, NC. Micholene has coached conference, regional, state and national championship teams. In 2011, Micholene coached her team to a 16U AAU National Title in 2011 in Orlando, FL (one of three national titles brought home to the Carolina Region in its thirty year history). She has coached 13s-18s as well as 7-10U. She has also worked as a program instructor for a local club’s Youth Volleyball Program. Micholene has a passion for the sport and that is evident in the volleyball successes of her family. Micholene has four daughters, three of whom played Division I volleyball and who now coach Roxboro Community School’s high school team together and are members of the NC Elite coaching staff. The fourth and youngest is in her sixth year at NC Elite.

As one of the founding members of NC Elite, Micholene has watched and been instrumental in the club's explosive growth from two teams to over 20 during the course of the last decade. During those ten years Micholene has built many professional relationships with college coaches, tournament directors, hotel executives and other club directors in an effort to ensure the best experience for our families. Micholene took on the daily operations of the club from its inception and her role is multi-faceted. Micholene serves our families in many capacities.  She handles all club communications, secures hotels and flights and manages the booking process with our families. She is responsible for billing, chaperones, website maintenance, human resources, print materials, tournament registrations and rosters. Micholene is here to help our families and coaches. She enjoys serving our families and is happy to guide and assist throughout the entire NC Elite experience.

Jill Shanahan, Coach

Jill has been playing volleyball for over 30years. She graduated from Clarkson University in upstate NY with a degree on Mathematics and played all 4 years on the collegiate team.  After college, Jill continued to participate in USAV tournaments and outdoor doubles. After moving to North Carolina in the early 2000’s she started coaching with CCVC, helping out with the developmental league and as a head 16s coach until the birth of her third child. In the past few years, Jill started coaching again and is currently the Co-Coordinator of the Kraft YMCA Volleyball Program in Apex. She is also the Head Coach of the Carnage Magnet Middle School Team in Raleigh, where she led them to conference champs in 2015/16. 

 

Jill Simpson, Positive Development Advocate/Head Coach/Private Lesson/Clinician/PST Coach

Jill is originally from Aurora, Colorado where she was the first 4-year letter winner in volleyball at Overland High School and a 2-time letter winner in track and field. During her high school volleyball career her team won the State 4A title 2 times and she was named to All-State and All-Conference teams each year.  She was also named KACT-TV Colorado Player of the Year as a sophomore. Jill played for Front Range and Boulder Volleyball Club where she was a 4 year Junior Olympian. Jill was highly recruited to some of the top programs in the country and chose to continue her career at The University of North Carolina where she was a 4-year letterman as a middle hitter. She was named to the ACC All-Freshman team and was named Rookie of the Year. While playing at UNC she also coached Carolina Volleyball Camps on and off-site. When her college career was over she coached for a Durham based 13U club team.  She is currently a varsity coach at Durham School of the Arts. Jill has previously coached 16 Black at NC Elite and is excited to be coaching 17 Black this year.  

Jill also serves as the NC Elite Positive Development Advocate. She is passionate about growth mindset, positive coaching techniques and player empowerment and will work with our coaches and players to give them the tools they need to become the best they can be, on and off the court! 

Jill is a small business owner in Durham where she resides with her husband, Stewart, 2 children, Lande (15) and Ryal (12) and their dog, Ringo.

Lindsay Smith, Coach

Lindsay has been around volleyball as a player and coach for over 20 years. She’s been playing volleyball since 7th grade and, as a high school senior, helped lead her team to the NC AAA state championship. While studying education at UNC-Chapel Hill, Lindsay played on the women’s club volleyball team, and now continues to play volleyball competitively in an indoor women’s league and outdoor double’s tournaments.  Lindsay began coaching club volleyball while in college and joined NC Elite in 2011, working with 15’s, 14’s, then 13’s.  As a coach, Lindsay strives to grow the full player while developing fundamental skills.  Most importantly, she believes in creating a love of and excitement for the game of volleyball!  

Casey Laing - Volley U™ Program Director  - volleyu@ncelitevb.org
Casey Laing is a 2009 graduate of Wakefield High School where she was Academic All-Conference. She was a middle hitter for Triangle Volleyball Club. She graduated from Western Carolina University in May 2013 with a degree in Communication, Broadcasting. She continued to play volleyball for the Women’s Club Volleyball team at Western Carolina University where she was the President, Coach, and Captain her sophomore year through senior year. She led the team to a competitive regional level. She also taught volleyball at Camp Kanata. She has continued to play volleyball since college with some of the other VolleyU coaches in an adult league. This will be Casey's fourth season coaching VolleyU and she can't wait for the season to begin.

Julie Stallman, Social Media Promotions

Freelance graphic designer, copywriter, retail store owner, training director, and many things in between, Julie is a communications and graphic design professional who honed her skills on both coasts working in Virginia, California, Minnesota and finally back east in Cary, NC where she lives with her husband Chris and her two active teenagers, including NC Elite athlete Kelsey.

When Julie’s not on a tennis court, playing sherpa to her triathlete husband or shuttling her kids to their myriad practices, lessons, tournaments and social outings, she tries to get a little work done. She currently work for a small software company as their Marketing Coordinator. She’s happiest when she’s juggling multiple creative projects and learning something new. If she manages to find a free hour or two, Julie can be found binge-watching her favorite shows (The Walking Dead, duh), reading or catching up with friends over a glass of wine.

Molly Tatum, Head & PST Coach/CAP & CPR Certified/Alum 2013/NCE Nat'l Champion

Molly is an NC Elite Alumnae. She was on our first satellite team and on national level teams from 14U-18U.  She was named MVP to NC Elite's only National Championship AAU Team in 2011. At the end of her NC Elite career as a player she earned the Commitment Award. Molly was a six rotation outside hitter at Cape Fear Community College before transferring to University of North Carolina at Wilmington where she played her Sophomore season. After her collegiate experience, she worked as an official as well as played at Captain Bills in Wilmington while in college. Molly was a head Junior Varsity Coach at Coastal Christian High School, coached a 16U team at NC Elite Coastal satellite, and 15U team at Cape Fear Volleyball Club also in Wilmington. Molly returned to the Triangle last Spring to coach 15 Cardinal after her Cape Fear season concluded. Molly's college coach shared that her volleyball IQ cannot be taught even over the course of four years. She has a tremendous volleyball background and a number of successes throughout her career. She was named MVP of a National Championship team and she was an All Conference Player in college. Molly will be serving as an Assistant Coach for Roxboro Community School for the upcoming high school season where she is a record holder. Molly has also provided administrative support to our Admin team and recently obtained her National CAP I Certification. We are happy to welcome her back. 

 

 

Tracey Vaughan, Coach

Tracey Vaughan is a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she played  sand volleyball. She also enjoys grass volleyball. Tracey played on the Person High School PAC6 Championship team. Tracey played club ball with Jammers through high school and is currenlty serving as the Head JV and Assistant Varsity Volleyball Coach at her home town high school.

Tracey majored in elementary education and is now in her second year of teaching at South Elementary in Roxboro. 

BIO COMING SOON

BIO COMING SOON

Lizzie is a teacher at Millbrook Elementary. She graduated from Elon University in 2011 with a degree in Elementary Education. She played volleyball all four years and currently holds a record at Elon for second most service aces for a season. During her sophomore-senior seasons, she was ranked 40th in the NCAA for service aces per set and led the SoCon conference in aces. She was an academic all conference player every season but her first. Lizzie is a graduate of Apex High School where she was known as a player to watch, the offensive MVP, and defensive MVP. She coached for NC Elite in the past and is back for more fun with Volley U!

Nicole Willis, Resource Coach Alumnae 2010 Player Liason

Nicole graduated from East Carolina University ’14 where she served as Captain her senior year, and played an integral role in one of the programs most successful seasons. Nicole played as a right side and outside hitter for the Pirates. Nicole earned her masters degree in Elementary Education at East Carolina in 2015. As a member of the charter team at NC Elite, Nicole played under Gary DeJames for five seasons. She was a participant of the USAV High Performance Program, joining the National A2 Team in 2009. Coaching experience includes LSU Summer Volleyball Camp, East Carolina Summer Volleyball camps, Magellan Charter School Summer Volleyball Camps, Head 12U coach at ECJVC in Greenville, NC, and most recently, as head coach for NC Elite's 14 Black team. Currently Nicole lives in Fayetteville, North Carolina teaching 3rd grade at Honeycutt Elementary. We look forward to having Nicole head a Raleigh national level team at the younger ages focusing on fundamentals, discipline and increased knowledge of the game..