Sandra Merkel DeJames, Founder, Executive Director, Master Coac...
Sandy Merkel DeJames - Founder, Executive Director and Master Coach
Sandy is Co-Founder of NC Elite Volleyball Club, and serves as Executive Director, Master Coach and Board Chair. She has been involved with club volleyball since 2000, and in the Raleigh area since 2003. While coaching, Sandy successfully led her teams to qualify for the USAV Junior Olympic National Championships in every season she coached, and won several Regional and Divisional Championships. In addition to her club volleyball coaching experience, Sandy has coached numerous collegiate camps throughout Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, and coached junior high school volleyball in her hometown, Cincinnati OH. Sandy played high school volleyball for nationally recognized Cincinnati Seton as a setter and outside hitter, leading her team to several GGCL Conference, Regional and Ohio State Championships, while earning all-conference, all-region and all-state honors. Collegiately, Sandy was a 3 sport NCAA Division 1 scholarship athlete; a 4-year letter winner and three-time all-conference setter and MVP with the UNC Charlotte Women’s Varsity Volleyball Team, MVP of the Women’s Varsity Track Team (4 varsity letters), and starting midfielder for the 1995 Conference USA Championship UNC Charlotte Women’s Varsity Soccer Team (1 varsity letter). Sandy holds a B.A. in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Biology, and completed her Post-Doctoral training at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine. Sandy has held various executive and leadership positions in the applied biotechnology and life sciences industries primarily focused on strategy, innovation and technology development, has founded 3 companies, and is currently President and CEO of Harmonize Strategy Group, developing and driving corporate, innovation and investment strategy, and providing executive and leadership coaching and training LinkedIn. Sandy has also served on various boards and advisory committees, currently serving as Board Member and Governance Committee Chair for the Institute For Emerging Issues at NC State University, a preeminent think tank that brings together individuals and groups to pursue solutions to North Carolina's challenges and strengthen the future competitiveness of the State.
Gary DeJames, Founder, Executive Director, Master Coac...
Gary DeJames - Founder, Executive Director and Master Coach
Gary is Co-Founder of NC Elite Volleyball Club, and serves as Executive Director, Master Coach and Board Member. Gary has been involved in coaching club volleyball in the Carolina Region since 2001, during which time he coached his teams to 10 Carolina Region Championships victories and competed in 11 USAV National Championships. He has also coached at numerous high schools in NC including Saint Mary’s School in Raleigh, Sanderson High School in Raleigh, Broughton High School in Raleigh and Cresset Christian Academy in Durham, and was named Cap-6 Conference Coach of the Year in 2003 (Sanderson High School) and Carolina Christian Conference Coach of the Year in 1998 (Cresset Christian Academy) . Before moving to the Carolinas, Gary coached boys’ high school and JO volleyball in Buffalo, New York. Gary has been playing volleyball for over 25 years and has won numerous outdoor and indoor events, including a 1st place finish at the 2005 USAV Men's Adult National Championships, where he was awarded All-Tournament Team honors. Gary is a graduate of SUNY Buffalo where he earned a BS in Health and Wellness, minor in Coaching, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist (NASM -National Academy of Sports Medicine), and currently works for Milliken & Company as the National Field Sales Director for the Healthcare Division (LinkedIn).
Romel Lightbourn, Director of Development, Master Coach
Micholene Schumacher, Director of Operations, Coach
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.
Jeff Dobert, Program Director, Coach
Jeff is from upstate New York where he played volleyball 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 has coached club volleyball since 2006, and with NC Elite Volleyball Club since 2010. Jeff is also currently the Head coach for Middle Creek High School volleyball program in Apex, NC. He has served as a Carolina Region High Performance Boys National Team coach for 2 consecutive seasons and 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 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.
Virginia Fitch, Program Director, Coach & Alumna
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.
Molly Tatum, Program Director, Coach & Alumna
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.
Casey Laing, Program Director, Coach (VolleyU)
Casey Laing is a 2009 graduate of Wakefield High School where she was Academic All-Conference as a middle hitter. 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 also taught volleyball at Camp Kanata in Wake Forest, NC. Casey has continued to play volleyball since college with some of the other VolleyU coaches in local adult leagues. This will be Casey's sixth season coaching VolleyU and her second year as Program Director.
Madi Smith, Assistant Program Director, Coach (Volle...
Madi Smith graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in May 2012 with degrees in Spanish and Global Studies. She currently lives in Durham and works at Duke while also pursuing a Master of Public Health degree at UNC. Madi has been playing volleyball for 20+ years and has played both defensive specialist and setter for Athens Drive High School and various clubs in the region. As a 2008 graduate of Athens Drive, she received Academic All-Conference recognition 3 years, All-Conference her junior and senior years, and was selected to play on the Tri-8 All-Star team her senior year. She continued to play in the intramural league and in sand tournaments at UNC and currently plays on a recreational team in Durham. This is Madi's eighth year coaching with the Volley U™ program.
Wendy Alexander, Coach
Wendy is originally from Gibsonia, Pennsylvania, where she was multi-sport stand-out, team captain and all-conference athlete while in high school. Wendy played club volleyball for Willow Pond Volleyball Club, and her team was the first team from Pittsburgh to ever earn a bid to AAU Junior Olympics National Tournament. Collegiately, Wendy played volleyballl at East Carolina University. She was a setter and outside hitter, setting 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 Recreation Deparment, where she coached both of her 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.
Wendy's father played a vital role in her passion for sports. He spent 25+ years coaching ice hockey & softball, and was an influential role model 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.
Wendy lives in Raleigh with her husband Bryan and their daughters, Emma and Sara, and her 2 dogs, Maggie Mae & Abby.
Avery Bowman, Coach & Alumna
BIO COMING SOON!
Brittini Bryant, Coach
Brittini brings over 10 years of volleyball coaching experience to NC Elite Volleyball Club. She has coached two varsity and junior varsity teams, one at Southern Durham High School and currently at Wake Forest High School. Brittini also brings experience as a former Club Director and tournament host for Carolina Region. She is excited to continue to expand her knowledge on the officiating side as well. She has traveled as an independent official contractor for AAU’s in Florida, USAV Carolina Region tournaments in North Carolina and USAV National Qualifier tournaments 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.
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.
Brittani 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, and served as team captain three of the four years she participated. Brittini was named “MVP” and “best defensive player” her senior year in volleyball, 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 is married and welcomed a baby girl to her family in November, 2016.
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!
Dan Collins, Coach
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 & Alumna
Paige had over 8 years of experience coaching volleyball. She has coached at NC Elite for the majority of her coaching experience, coaching both the Black and Cardinal (National Team) levels. 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 level club volleyball through her high school 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. Paige attendended the 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 Crenshaw, Coach & Alumna
Molly grew up in Raleigh, NC and played at Broughton High School. She attended Davidson College where she was a member of the Davidson Varsity Volleyball Team, playing as a libero, where she holds the second highest all-time dig record. After graduating in 2013, she lived in 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 was a volunteer coach for two additional 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!
Katie (Tatum) DeVillier, Coach & Alumna
Katie is an NC Elite Alumnae who played under Coach Gary DeJames for five seasons. She was a recruited outside hitter at the University of Central Florida before transferring to UNC Wilmington as a Student Assistant due to a career ending injury. She worked in Wilmington as an official while in college ,and also coached for Cape Fear Volleyball Club and NC Elite Coastal satellite 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 was a two-time NC 4A State Champion and a four-time PAC6 Conference Champion, which included an undefeated league record during her senior year. Katie 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 a degree in Elementary Education. She is currently a teacher and math interventionist at Roxboro Community School. She resides in Roxboro with her husband, daughter and two dogs.
Cap Certified, CPR Certified
Ciara Devlin, Apprentice Coach
BIO COMING SOON!
Nelle Durkee, Coach
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 clubs before eventually playing for FAVA (Fayetteville Area Volleyball Association) for her final club 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 volleyball while she earned her Master’s degree at UNC-Greensboro. Nelle continues to play volleyball in an indoor women’s league and in outdoor double’s tournaments. She is coach of the JV and Varsity team at the middle school where she is a speech-language pathologist. 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.
Jordan Dye, Coach
Jordan graduated from Western Carolina University where she received a Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice and a minor in Psychology in 2017. She now works with the Autism Society of NC. She has been involved with volleyball for over 10 years as a player, captain, and coach. Jordan attended Jordan High School and played volleyball for all 4 years. In her senior year (2013), JHS became conference champions for the first time since 1995. While in HS Jordan also played club volleyball in the region. Jordan continued to play volleyball at Western Carolina by joining the club team, leading her team to regional champions her junior year. While in college, Jordan also had the opportunity to be an assistant coach at a small local high school in Cashiers, NC where she was able to use her volleyball knowledge to help players develop and become confident in their skills. She hopes to use her playing experiences and her past experience as a coach to continue to help foster growth and confidence in players through VolleyU!
Kali Emans, Coach
From Bluffton, Ohio, Kali is 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. 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 5th year teaching ESL at FVHS.
Stephanie Flores, Apprentice Coach
BIO COMING SOON
Sarah Frey, Coach & Alumna
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.
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 Gillespie, Coach
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.
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.
Megan Harris, Coach & Alumna
BIO COMING SOON.
Marteen Hill, Coach & Alumna
Marteen Hill is entering her first year as an club coach. She is a 2014 alumnae of NC Elite. Upon graduating from Leesville Road High School, she continued her undergraduate studies at North Carolina A&T State University where she received her degree in Speech Language Pathology while playing volleyball for three years as a middle blocker. During her career, she received several MEAC Academic Honors and NCAT Student Athlete Awards. Marteen is actively involved in her community. She is a mentor for the Butterflies mentorship program for young women in Greensboro and Raleigh. In her free time she enjoys traveling, trying new foods, and spending time with friends.
Macaiah Honable, Apprentice Coach
BIO COMING SOON!
Anne Hudson, Coach & Alumna
BIO COMING SOON!
Grace Irvin, Coach & Alumna
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.
Sarah Johnson, Coach & Alumna
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
BIO COMING SOON!
Rob Kent, Coach
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
Meagan Kimbrough, Coach & Alumna
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.
Rachel Kinsey, Coach
BIO COMING SOON!
Saraya Klink, Coach & Alumna
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.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. Saraya and the Lady Bears won the title of CIAA Champions in 2018-2019 season. While she is there studying to become an elementary school teacher. Saraya is a four year student athlete and 2014 alumnae of NC Elite.
Brienna Laskowski, Coach
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 Leavel, Coach & Alumna
Kristen is a Junior 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.
Carla Lunday, Coach
Carla Lunday is a graduate of Meredith College where she received a Bachelors of Science in Interior Design. She is now the Design Studio Coordinator at Taylor Morrison. 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 seventh year with VolleyU.
Marlee Marotta, Coach & Alumna
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 & Alumna
Coach Marissa is on sabattical from coaching while she attends medical school at USC!
Marissa is an NC Elite Alumna. 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.
Joe McClean, Coach
Joe has been coaching youth athletics for 10 years, the last 5 of which have been focused on Volleyball. In his inaugural season at NC Elite, Joe had the distinct privilege of Assistant Coach for the 2018-19 15 Black team, who qualified for, and competed fiercely at, USAV Nationals in Indianapolis.
Originally from California, and arriving by way of Seattle, Joe has now lived in Apex for the past 9 years. He has 3 children, 2 of which are active in the club, one a rising 14yr old, and the other (8) beginning his Volleyball life in Next-Gen.
Joe is passionate about player growth, both in sport and in life. He is a firm believer in former UCLA Coach John Wooden’s philosophy that love is the most powerful 4-letter word, and Joe aims to ensure that every player he interacts with knows unequivocally that they are valued, that their effort matters and is recognized, that hard work pays off, and that win or lose, there is opportunity for growth that will carry far beyond the court.
Mckenzie Moore, Coach & Alumna
BIO COMING SOON!
Andrea Murrell, Coach
Andrea's love for volleyball began at a very early age while attending middle school in Jamaica. She played volleyball at middle and high school, club (Venus Volleyball Club, Jamaica) and the national level. Andrea was the youngest player on Jamaica's National Senior Volleyball team in 1993 where she represented Jamaica in three Caribbean Volleyball Championships before leaving to attend College in Raleigh, NC on a volleyball scholarship. During her first year of playing in college, Andrea was named rookie of the week on several occasions and made the All CIAA team in that same year. She was awarded the most outstanding Student Athlete award in her senior year of college . She was a starter in High school and all four years in college. Andrea graduated from St. Augustine's University in 2000 with a degree in Computer Information Systems and has a daughter who has also developed a love for the game. She played in NC Elite's VolleyU team and also plays for her middle school team. Andrea is excited to bring her energy, experience, positivity and technical expertise along with her love for the game in this my second year at NC Elite. Andrea served as the 15 Cardinal Assistant Coach in the 2018-19 season.
Elizabeth Pattison, Coach & Alumna
~~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.
Grace Patton, Coach & Alumna
Grace grew up in Raleigh, and her love for volleyball started in middle school at St. Timothy’s School, where she played on the varsity team for all three years. Grace attended Saint Mary’s School where she graduated
from in May. While at St. Mary'e, Grace earned a position on the varsity team all four years, and received the MVP award her junior year. Grace played club volleyball for five seasons, the last three of wich were for NC Elite. She is
currently attending Wake Tech to pursue a degree in Sports Management. Grace has also returned to St.Timothy’s School as the Head Coach of the JV Volleyball team.
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.
Katherine Scicchitano, Coach
BIO COMING SOON!
Casie Slaughter, Coach & Alumna
Casie is a Raleigh native and an NC Elite Alumnae. She played club volleyball with local clubs for 4 seasons and played 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. Casie got offered 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 2013-2014 club season with Magnum Volleyball Club, in Columbia, SC, where she assisted the 16 National team for two seasons. 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 moved back to Raleigh in the spring of 2018, which is when she reconnected with NC Elite Volleyball Club and assisted 14 Black for the 2018-2019 club season.
Kelsey Stallman, Apprentice Coach
BIO COMING SOON
Sarah Stone, Coach
BIO COMING SOON
Nicole Willis, Coach & Alumna
Nicole enters her 11th year coaching and her 7th year 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 Head Varsity coach at Ravenscroft School where she also teaches third grade. 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.
Collegiately, Nicole played as an outside/rightside for the Bengal Tigers of LSU and the Pirates of East Carolina. She earned her bachelor's degree in Child Development in 2014 and masters degree in Elementary Education in 2015, 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 fifth year teaching. We look forward to having Nicole head a Raleigh national-level team at the younger ages focusing on fundamentals, discipline and increased knowledge and love of the game.
Serita Wilson, Coach
BIO COMING SOON