Coaches

Wendy Alexander, VolleyU & Resource Coach

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, Resource 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 coached at Meredith College in Raleigh from 2014-2017.

Hannah Blaylock, Coach & Alumnae

Hannah graduated from Meredith College with a B.S. in Accounting and a Minor in Human Resources. She currently attends NC State, where she is getting her Masters in Accounting. While at Meredith she was the starting setter for the Meredith Angels Volleyball Team for all four years of her career and was named captain for the 2017 season. She received All-East First team during her senior year and was named the team’s Most Valuable Player.  In 2016, 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 broke many records while at Meredith and currently ranks first all-time at Meredith with 3449 career assists. 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. 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 fifth season coaching and loves it! 

Brittini Bryant is excited to exhibit her passion for the sport of volleyball as this will be her first year with NC Elite as an assistant coach for 15’s Black National team. Brittini brings in over 10 years of coaching experience and has coached two varsity and junior varsity teams, one at Southern Durham High School and currently at Wake Forest High School. Brittini brings in experience as a former Club Director and tournament host for Carolina Region.

In her full time profession, Brittini is pursuing her own business in Sport Management in hopes to create an avenue for youth of all ages through sports while she is heavily involved with amateur sports daily. She is ecstatic to expand her knowledge on the officiating side as she has traveled as an independent official contractor for AAU’s in Florida, Carolina Region in North Carolina and National Qualifiers in DC and Philadelphia.  Brittini has extensive experience working with youth teams and camps at the local and national level. Most recently, Brittini coached the 2017 and 2018 USA HP Girls Youth Camp in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Brittini also traveled to Italy in 2010, to play and study abroad for a chance to expand her college education and knowledge of the game with other national players.

She is a Virginia State University Alumnus where she received her bachelor’s degree in Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance with a minor in Sport Management in 2012. Brittini played collegiate volleyball and softball at Virginia State University, where she also served as team captain three of the four years she attended. Brittini was named “MVP” and “best defensive player” her senior year on the volleyball team and managed to receive the honor of being a Grassroots Marketing Intern with the former NBA Charlotte Bobcats while completing her senior year in 2012.

Brittini has been married for three wonderful years and welcomed a baby girl in November 2016.   

BIO COMING SOON

Kelly Chang, Coach

Kelly was born and raised in Honolulu, HI, where she was a two time volleyball state Champion.  She played for the Hawaii Jammers Volleyball Club for her entire club career.  Kelly was a four year starter at the University of Nevada as a Libero/Defensive Specialist.  Kelly is new to the area and brings 5 years of coaching experience, ranging from 12U to Varsity level, to NC Elite. We look forward to Kelly working with our student athletes!  

 

Fred Chao, Specialty Coach - Setting

Fred Chao joins NC Elite for his first experience in 2018.  Fred will be heading a 12 Week Winter/Spring Setting Series for all ages. 

In his full time profession, Fred serves as the Duke volleyball assistant coach. He is involved in student-athlete development, practice planning, scouting, game analysis and recruiting.  Fred will be a tremendous resources for all of the student-athletes he works with as well as our coaching staff.  

Chao has over 20 years of volleyball coaching experience in Men's and Women's college Volleyball.  He has coached at George Mason, Virginia Tech and University of Maryland, Baltmore County.  He has earned some highly prestigious awards.  He is a three-time Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) Coach of the Year and has a long list of championship titles to include the George Mason men’s team 's 15 consecutive EIVA Championship Tournament appearances. The Patriots advanced to the finals five times and compiled a 246-204 overall record in Chao’s tenure.

Fred has extensive experience working with youth teams and camps at the local, national and international levels. Most recently, Fred coached the 2017 USA HP Girls Future Select Camp in Colorado.  He also coached some of the top boys’ players in the nation at the 2002 USA Volleyball Development Camp and was as an assistant coach with the 2005 USA Junior Men’s National Team, traveling to India for the World Championships. Chao also directed the USA Boys Development Camp and was the head coach of the USA Boys and USA Girls Youth A2 Programs.

He is a George Mason Alumni..  He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in physiological psychology from George Mason in 1994. He completed his master’s degree in educational psychology with a concentration in learning, cognition and motivation at Mason in 2014. Chao played collegiate volleyball at Pepperdine University before completing his career at George Mason.

Fred is married and has a daughter and a son.   

Dan has strong coaching experience.  He enjoys working with student athletes of all ages.  He has coached middle and high school ans well as college at Emory & Henry College (2001-2005 & 2012-2014) and at VA Intermont College (2006).  He has coached club in Maryland and Virginia as well as running his own club for a combined 6 seasons.  

Dan's degree is in Health & PE/Career & Technical Education/Health Promotion & Sports Performance and Leadership.  He is a Graduate Assistant in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences - NC 4-H Staff at NC State University.  Dan is a graduate of Emory & Henry College, Virginia Tech and is expected to graduate from NC State University with his Doctoral program in Leadership and Social Justice in 2019.    

Paige Cox, Coach & CPR Certified

Paige is in her seventh 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 sixth 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! 

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, Resource 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.

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 his second season 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 seventh 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 eighth 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. During her Freshman and Sophomore seasons at American, Virginia aided in the team's back-to-back Patriot League Championships (2010 & 2011) and back-to-back first-round appearances in the NCAA Division 1 Volleyball Tournament. In 2010, American was the only team out of conference to take UCLA to five-sets. After her two years at American, Virginia continued to play at East Carolina University where she was ranked Top-10 in Conference USA for blocking during the 2012 season; and aided in the most wins in Pirate history during the 2013 campaign. Coach V is a proud 2014 Pirate graduate with a degree in Communications concentrating in Public Relations. Coach V's first two coaching seasons at Elite were with VolleyU and Elite in Training. In 2014, Coach V was the head coach for 14 Silver and the assistant to the 14 AAU team; 14 Silver won Silver at Monument City Classic in Richmond, VA and the AAU team won the 14-Navy Division in Orlando, FL. During the 2015-2016 season, Coach V was the head coach for 14White, and assistant to the 13 AAU team. In the Summer of 2017, Coach V was the Assistant coach for 13 AAU's, and won the 13-Amethyst Division. During the 2017-18 season Coach V was the assistant coach for 15 Cardinal; and took two teams down to AAU’s, 13-Virginia and assisted with 16-Romel. Currently, Coach V is a Varsity Assistant coach for volleyball, swimming and track & field at Saint Mary's School in Downtown Raleigh. In the fall of 2018, Coach V was named the Head Volleyball Coach for Duke University’s Club Volleyball Team. Coach V is excited for the 2018-19 season at Elite, and is looking forward to helping student-athletes achieve their volleyball goals.

Sarah Frey, Coach

Sarah is a Raleigh native, starting her 3rd season with NC Elite. Sarah attended Broughton High School, where she played 4 years as the starting varsity setter. Upon graduating, she took a break from the game and focused on school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, earning her Bachelors degrees in Biology and Psychology. 

Sarah found her way back to the game in the fall of 2016 as a Coach with NC Elite and fell in love with the game all over again. She has spent the last two years as the 15 White Head Coach and most recently was able to travel with AAU Nationals with the 16Cardinal team in 2018. Currently Sarah works for EmergeOrtho in Raleigh, in the physical therapy department and is applying to graduate school to become a Physician Assistant. She is passionate about the growth and development of young women through the lens of volleyball and will tell just about anyone who will listen about how awesome it is to be a coach.  

Jenn Fry, Specialty Coach

Jen Fry brings over 18 years of collegiate and club experience to NC Elite as she begins her first season with us. She has had coaching stints at Elon, Illinois, Washington State, Norfolk State, Angelo State, Seward County, and Tiffin along with the many USA and university camps and clinics. While at Illinois, Jen helped her team make it to the D1 National Championship Match. Jen’s playing career started at Yuma High School in Yuma, AZ where she was a member of the volleyball, soccer, and track teams. She continued her playing career at Arizona Western College, a community college, and finished at the University of Montevallo. In 2015, Jen was inducted in to the Yuma High School Hall of Fame.

Jen is currently the program coordinator for the undergraduate research office and undergraduate research journal at Duke University. When she is not traveling the world she resides in Burlington. 

Paula Giles, Coach

Paula Giles is new to the area but is no stranger to club volleyball.  Her experience comes from the volleyball rich state of Texas where she coached with Texas Advantage Volleyball (TAV) as an Assistant with 17s and Head Coach for 15s.  She spent the last three years coaching for Houston Skyline where she worked with all ages and most currently coached her 16s team to win two open level qualifiers (PNQ & Disney) and placing 3rd at Lonestar at the open level. 

A four-year letter winner for the University of Central Missouri.  A two-time All-American and four-time All-MIAA middle blocker at the University of Central Missouri (2008-11), Giles, nee Paula Harris, graduated as the Jennies' all-time leading point scorer, leading UCM to four consecutive NCAA Division II Tournament appearances, including the 2010 National Semifinals and the 2011 Elite Eight.  Giles graduated from UCM in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in physical education.

Professionally, Paula serves as the Director of Volleyball Operations at UNC Chapel Hill with additional experience as Director of Operations at the University of Houston.  She has been an Assistant Coach at Pittsburg State (2014) and a Volunteer Assistant at Rice (2015).  Paula also has experience running camps.  She was the Prentice Lewis Camp Director from 2011-13, Giles spent a year and a half as a graduate assistant manager for TCU (2012-13) while pursuing a master's degree in liberal arts. 

She and her husband Jeff Giles reside in Burlington, N.C.

Bergin is originally from Dumfries, VA where she attended St. John Paul the Great Catholic High School. She played four years of varsity volleyball there and was a captain her senior year. She earned MVP her junior year, but her senior season was cut short due to an ACL tear, surgery and recovery. She played two years of club (2011-2013) at Clash Volleyball Club out of Manassas, VA. Then, she played three years (2013-2016) at Fredericksburg Juniors Volleyball Club in Fredericksburg, VA, in high school.  While recovering from her knee injury, she was a volunteer assistant on an 18s team. Bergin currently plays at William Peace University in Raleigh, NC, as a DS/libero. She is pursuing a degree in Communications with a minor in psychology. She has previously coached at Fredericksburg Juniors Volleyball Club, running weekend and summer clinics/camps. Bergin coached at Jammers Volleyball Club last club season (2017-2018) as an assistant coach on the 16s National Team. This will be her first 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. 

 

Jessica Goodwin, Coach

Jessica is a recent graduate from Meredith College, where she majored in Child Development and obtained teaching licensure in Birth-Kindergarten and Kindergarten-Sixth Grade. She was a DS at Meredith, where she was the recipient of the Dean Burris Coaches Award and earned USA South All-Academic Honors all four years. While at Meredith, she helped the Avenging Angels to a Conference Championship in 2014, a Conference Tournament Championship in 2016, as well as a trip to the DIII NCAA tournament in 2016. Jessica graduated from Person High School in 2013, where she was an outside hitter on the varsity volleyball team for 3 years. She received all-conference honors in 2011 & 2012 and the Chantel Hobbs Memorial Volleyball Award. She played club for Jammers Volleyball Club and earned awards in serving and hitting. Jessica has coached club for 4 years and is currently the head coach of the JV volleyball team at Person High School. She is in her first year of teaching at South Elementary school in Roxboro, NC.

Hannah Hawkins, Resource Coach

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!

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, 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..

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.

Kassie Kasper, Coach & Wolfpack Student Athlete

BIO COMING SOON!

Rob began coaching 8 years ago in youth leagues around the Triangle. During this time, he has coached 28 teams in three different sports (volleyball, basketball, and soccer). Rob has coached 14 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 5 regular season championships and 3 tournament championships.

Rob is originally from Alexandria Bay, NY. In high school, he was a two-sport varsity student-athlete lettering in basketball and football. Rob graduated SUNY Cortland with a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Management Science in 1995 and moved south to Raleigh, NC the following year. In 2008, he successfully completed a Master of Business Administration from Pfeiffer University. Rob currently works for InfoPros in Durham, NC as a Senior Project Director leading technical documentation teams across the United States. He lives in Morrisville with his wife Carla and their daughters, Audrey (15) and Claire (12) that attend Panther Creek HS and West Cary MS. Claire plays volleyball for NC Elite and West Cary MS.

Whether on the court or at work, Rob has a passion for 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?” culture in their approach to the game. Rob is very excited to be a part of NC Elite’s coaching staff in 2018! #WeAreElite

Shasta Kidder, Resource 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 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 Eno River Academy grades 9-12.  She is also the head coach of Eno River Academy's first ever volleyball team.  Previously, Meagan was at Roxboro Community 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, Philip, and fur-baby, Lucy.  

Saraya Klink, Coach Alumnae 2014

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.

Brienna is originally from Albemarle, North Carolina where she attended South Stanly High School. She was a 4 year starter on the varsity team and named captain her junior and senior year. She was also named All Conference and SSHS Maxpreps Player of the Year her junior and senior year. She played for several clubs throughout her travel ball journey, the first being Stanly Extreme located in Albemarle, North Carolina. After playing her 13u and 14u season with Stanly Extreme, Brienna then moved to Carolina Storm for a short period of time. After Carolina Storm she then put in one year with Beach South Volleyball Club and Carolina Juniors Volleyball Club before finishing up her travel ball career with Stanly Extreme once again. Brienna now attends William Peace University where she has spent time as a setter, DS, outside, and right side. Brienna plans on earning her degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Global Business. Brienna coached the 14 Black team at Joco Volleyball Club last season. This will be her first season at NC Elite where she will coach 14u Silver.

Kristen is a sophomore at Meredith College where she is an Outside Hitter / Defensive Specialist for the Avenging Angels. She is majoring in Psychology and is a member of the Teaching Fellows Program with plans to teach elementary school after graduation. Kristen attended Grace Christian School in Cary, N.C. where she played Outside Hitter for the Eagles. She earned All-Conference honors for multiple seasons and received the Coaches Award her senior year. Kristen played club volleyball at NC Elite for five seasons and excited to be back as a part of the NC Elite family.

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!

Sydney Madden, Student Apprentice Coach

Sydney is currently a senior at Apex Friendship High School. She fell in love with volleyball at the age of 11, and has played club and school volleyball since. The majority of her time playing volleyball was spent at NC Elite. Sydney has fallen in love with coaching young athletes to love the game of volleyball. She is very excited to start her second season coaching.

Marlee Marotta, Coach

Marlee is currently a junior at North Carolina State University, where she is majoring in Nutrition Science and played 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 the captain of her high school team her junior and senior year. 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 second year coaching with NC Elite and she is excited for the upcoming season.

Allen Marshall, Coach

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. During the 2017-2018 Junior USAV season he served as the Head Coach for NC Elite 14 Silver. Additionally he served as Head Coach for an NC Elite 16s team that participated in the 2018 AAU Nationals (Orlando, FL). 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 and an 11 year old.

Marissa Mayfield, Coach, NC Elite National Champion 2013 Alumnae

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 obtaining her Masters in Public Health through an online accelerated program at Southern New Hampshire University while applying to Medical School.  

Julie McGahy, Student Apprentice Coach

Julie is currently a senior at Franklinton High School where she is a Red Ram Mentor and a member of the National Honor Society. She fell in love with volleyball 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 local national teams finishing my high school career at NC Elite. She plays sand volleyball, where she and her teammate secured a league championship victory in the 16/18 division. Julie is excited to continue her coaching career with NC Elite, giving back to the sport that has given so much to her!

Tacara Moxey, Coach

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 assisting 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, Coach

Lauren Phillips is a Sophomore at Meredith College and is majoring in Exercise Sports Science. She is a 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 third year coaching, but her second season at NC Elite. She is excited to work with your student athlete at Elite. 

Daniel is an avid beach/indoor player and coach who moved to North Carolina from Texas.  Daniel has coached at the collegiate level at McNeese State and Stephen F Austin State University.  He played indoor on the men's club team at McNeese and Stephen F Austin during college as a setter.  He is an avid sand volleyball player at the Open level and has traveled across the country competing in tournaments at the highest level. He has over 15 years experience coaching club in Louisiana and Texas taking many teams to Junior Nationals and AAU tournaments with a top 15 finish in 2012.  Daniel has extensive experience working youth camps and collegiate camps throughout his career.  He graduated from The University of Houston with a B.S. in Kinesiology.

Micholene Schumacher, Director of Operations - CPR Certified

Micholene began her volleyball coaching career 14 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 NC Elite 16 Cardinal 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, coach for NC Elite and who have extensive coaching experience at the high school level.  In 2017 they led Roxboro Community School’ to it's first State Final appearance.  Micholene is coaching the 2018 Roxboro Coummunity School team with daughter, Katie DeVillier.  

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, PDA/National, PST & Lessons Coach/CPR Certified

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 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.  

Jill is currently the head coach at Millbrook High School and previously coached at Durham School of the Arts.  She has coached 16 Black at 17 Black teams at NC Elite and her last 2 teams both qualified for Girl’s Junior National Championships.  Jill is excited to be coaching 17 Black again 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 works 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 lives in Durham with her husband, Stewart, 2 children, Lande (17) and Ryal (14) and their dogs, Ringo and Wellie.  When she isn’t on a volleyball court, she can be found reading, cooking and cheering for the Tar Heels and Denver Broncos.  

Casie Slaughter, Coach

Casie is a Raleigh native and an NC Elite Alumnae who went to Cardinal Gibbons High School. She played club volleyball with local clubs for 4 seasons and with NC Elite Volleyball Club her final 2 seasons under coach Gary DeJames. She was also a participant of USAV High Performance Program making the National A1 Team in 2007. She got an offer to be a recruited walk-on for the University of South Carolina as a defensive specialist. However, due to an existing back injury, her career ended after freshman year. She went on to have two internships at Walt Disney World during her college years. She began coaching club volleyball during the 2014-2015 club season with Magnum Volleyball Club where she coached the 16 National team. After graduating in 2015 majoring in Advertising and minoring in Photography, continued to coach with the same club for the 2015-2016 club season as the assistant for the 15 National team. Casie lives in Raleigh with her dog Charlie. She is excited to be back in the area that she grew up in to coach with her old volleyball club!

 

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.

Sarah Stone, Assistant Coach

BIO COMING SOON

Molly Tatum, Resource 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. 

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, Coach Alumnae 2010 - CPR Certified - Player Liason

Nicole graduated from East Carolina University ’14 where she served as Captain her senior year, and played an integral role, for Head Coach Julie Torbett, in one of the programs most successful seasons. Nicole played as a right side and outside hitter for the Pirates. 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. Nicole enters her 9th year coaching and her 6th season coaching with NC Elite. Her coaching experience includes two years with East Carolina Juniors Volleyball Club, college camps including Elon, East Carolina, LSU, and NC State, as well as various middle schools around Raleigh. She is the assistant varsity coach at Ravenscroft School.  She earned her bachelor's degree in Child Development in 2014 and masters degree in Elementary Education both from East Carolina. She is currently working on her Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership. 

Nicole lives in Clayton, North Carolina and is in her fourth year teaching.  This year she will be teaching 3rd grade at Ravenscroft School in Raleigh. 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."