Coach Li, Founder/President
Coach Li was the setter of China Men's National Volleyball Team. He was, afterwards, named the head coach of various national volleyball teams, including China Army Women's Volleyball team, Singapore National Men's and Women's teams, and more importantly, China National Women's Volleyball Team. He led the China National team to win most individual games against national teams of Cuba, Brazil, Russia, and United States as well. Coach Li has received numerous awards and honors such as the "Coach of the Tournament" and the "Best Coach of Asia." With more than 30+ years teaching this sport, his impressive resume below speaks for itself.
4/08 - Present Founded North Carolina Volleyball Academy
12/04 - 4/08 Head Coach, CCVC, NC Challengers and local High Schools
09/02 -11/04 Assistant Coach, University of Maryland volleyball squad
07/99 - 03/01 First Assistant Coach, NC State University
03/98 - 03/99 Volunteer Coach, Cal State University, Northridge
02/95 - 02/98 President, Beijing Chinese Veteran Volleyball Club
02/93 - 02/95 Head Coach, China National Women's Volleyball Team
10/89 - 03/93 Head Coach, China Army Women Volleyball Team
08/86 - 10/88 Head Coach, Singapore National Men's and Women's Volleyball Team
10/83 - 08/88 Head Coach, China Army Women Volleyball Team
05/79 - 10/83 Assistant Coach, China Army Women Volleyball Team
09/74 - 09/78 Student, Beijing Sports University
10/70 - 09/74 Setter, China Men's National Volleyball Team
Bryan Bunn, Associate Director/Staff Since 2016
Coach Bunn has 28 years in college coaching, 19 as a head coach at the DI, DII and NAIA levels with an overall record of 443-205. His programs have won 7 conference championships and produced 19 All-Americans. As head coach at NC State, Bunn led the Wolfpack to their first NCAA tournament bid in 25 years. He had more ACC wins in 6 years as head coach than the program had from 1990-2009 and holds the record for most ACC wins in program history. The program produced the only All American in school history in 2012. As associate head coach at Baylor University, he helped lead the team to a Sweet 16 appearance in 2009, upsetting highly ranked UCLA on their home court. They also produced 4 first team All-Big XII selections, two All-Americans and program’s 2nd and 3rd best conference records in school history. As head coach at the University of North Florida, Bunn led the program to 5 conference championships, a 63 match conference win streak, 5 NCAA post season appearances and left as the winningest coach in any sport in school history. Bunn is one of the Top 30 Winningest Coaches of All time in NCAA with a minimum of 5 years Division I experience (.683). He was named a USAV All-American twice and has playing experience in the AVP, Bud Light, Mikasa and EVP beach tours.
Ingrid McCree, Associate Director/Staff Since 2016
Coach McCree brings over 16 years of collegiate and club coaching experience to Academy as she begins her first season. She has had coaching stints at NCSU, NC A&T, and NCCU along with several University camps and clinics. During her 12 year tenure at NCCU, Ingrid led the team to three conference championships and two NCAA DII appearances. She was named CIAA Coach of the Year three times. Ingrid's playing career started at C.E. Jordan High School in Durham, NC where she was a member of two State Championship teams. She continued her playing career at The George Washington University and was inducted into the GWU Hall of Fame in 2012. Ingrid played USAV Women's Open Division in the Carolina Region for more than 10 years where she also served on the Region's Board of Directors.
Ingrid is currently the Director of Athletics at NCCU and resides in Durham, NC with her husband, Geno and three kids, Alexia (17), Quinton (15) and Sydney (12).
Karl Redelfs, Assistant Director/Staff Since 2010
Coach Karl is a graduate from NC State University with a degree in mathematics education. He has played volleyball since high school. After high school, he started and coached the men’s club team at Covenant College for three years, then came to NCSU and played on their club team for 2 years. He has also coached at CCVC while finishing his degree, as well as played in multiple tournaments in the Charlotte area.
He is currently in his 5th year as the Varsity Head Coach at Green Hope High School.
Krista McGivern, Assistant Director Since 2011
Coach Krista was a 3 sport athlete (Volleyball, Basketball and Softball) who earned many all conference awards, MVP awards and sports recognitions throughout her playing career in High School, College and Travel Teams. She is a graduate of Western Carolina University with a BS in Sports Management and is also a graduate of the School of Sports Management presented by North Carolina State University.
Coach Krista has dedicated over 17 years full time in the profession of Director of Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources. She has served as District Coordinator, Chapter Director and Certified Clinician for the National Youth Sports Coaches Association. She was awarded the Outstanding Young Professional Award by the State of North Carolina Athletic Director's Association. She has held many certifications in the past as a Athletic Trainer, Strength & Conditioning Coach & Personal Fitness Trainer. She has spent the past 5 years of her career dedicating her time as a Youth Volleyball Coach with the Fuquay-Varina Athletic Association and providing clinics and private volleyball instruction to athletes wanting to succeed in the sport.
Uma Balasundaram, Staff Since 2009
Coach Uma graduated from Madras University, Tamil Nadu, India and was the setter of Indian Women's National Volleyball Team. In 1996, she captained Indian Junior Volley Ball Team for the Princess Cup Tournament held in Bangkok, Thailand. She was twice awarded the State Chief Minister's Award for her contribution as player in the National Games Championship Tournament in 1997 and 1999. She was an active player in the Southern Railways Volleyball Team (one of India's elite teams), between 1994 and 2000. She has won numerous awards and honors, including Disciplined Player of the Tournament Award, Best Player of the Tournament Award.
1997 and 1999: Represented the State team in the National games held in India
03/1997 : Represented the State Team in the National Volleyball League
01/1996 : Competed in the Rail Games (Department Level National Games)
1994 - 99 : Competed in Inter Railways Tournaments and won the Championship four times
11/94 – 12/00 : Joined the Railways Women’s Volleyball Team
1993 – 99 : Represented the State team in Senior National Volleyball Tournaments
1993 – 94 : Represented The Madras University in All India National Level Tournament for Universities
1989 – 92: Competed in Indian National Tournament for Schools, Indian Junior Nationals Tournament, Indian Nationals for Youth Tournament.
Fiona Barkley, Staff Since 2018
Coach Barkley has 15 years of collegiate coaching experience. She joined the Meredith College athletics staff in 2007 and built this DIII volleyball program into a championship success. Barkley led the 2016 Avenging Angels squad to the USA South Conference Tournament Championship complete with a NCAA tournament bid. At Meredith, she has coached 23 All-Conference Players including two Rookie of the Year athletes, one Libero of the Year, 4 All-Tournament team, Tournament MVP, and the program’s first ever All-American. Barkley’s teams have also received AVCA Team Academic Honors. Prior to Meredith College, Barkley had stints as an assistant coach at NC State University (DI), Lynn University (DII), and Elon University (DI). Fiona (MacPherson) Barkley was a four-year varsity letterwinner at Elon, Barkley helped lead the Phoenix through its transition from Division II to Division I as a member of the Big South Conference. Playing from 1995-98, she was named captain during her senior year and capped off her career with Most Valuable Player and All-Conference honors. Barkley received numerous tournament awards throughout her career at Elon and accumulated more than 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs. In November 1996, she was named the AVCA Division II National Player of the Week and later helped lead her team to the 1996 South Atlantic Conference championship. Coach Barkley is married and has three children.
Nicole Barnes, Staff Since 2018
Coach Nicole previously played for Academy and Triangle Volleyball club. She has seven years of volleyball experience so far and recently coached as an assistant volleyball coach at Chapel Hill High. She received a most valuable player award from Triangle in 2014 and another one from Pinecrest High School in 2017. She graduated from Pinecrest High School in 2018 and is now attending UNC Chapel Hill!
Sandra Yee-Benedetto, Staff Since 2015
Coach Sandra is from Cape Cod Massachusetts and has been playing volleyball for over 30 years. She started playing indoor volleyball in middle school, played varsity high school at Dennis Yarmouth Regional, and college volleyball at Alfred University. She transferred to Arizona State University and played intramural while completing her undergraduate degree in Psychology. While working at Mayo Clinic in Arizona for 16 years in Clinical Research, in 2010 she completed her Masters Degree in Healthcare Administration from University of Phoenix. She also participated in sand volleyball both competitive and recreation leagues, from 2004 through 2015 through the City of Scottsdale. Sandra has coached club 12s, 13s, 14s at Club VOS Volleyball in Cave Creek Arizona. She moved to North Carolina in 2015, and has coached 14C and 16C over the past three seasons at NC Volleyball Academy. Sandra is IMPACT and CAP I certified. She currently works at Duke University in the Department of Anesthesiology as Senior Grants and Contracts Manager.
Andi Bentley, Staff Since 2017
Coach Andi joins Academy with more than 10 years of collegiate and club experience. Since 2006, she coached at Triangle volleyball club, where she coached top teams in 12s, 14s, 15s, 16s, and 17s age groups, with numerous Region Championships and top half finishes at Nationals. Coach Andi also coached Division I at Dartmouth College, North Carolina State University, and North Carolina Central University. She played libero at North Carolina State University in 2004-2008. She consistently led the ACC in digs and remains ninth all-time in career digs. During her high school career at Cardinal Gibbons, she led her team to three consecutive state championships, setting school records in single-match digs, single-season digs, career digs, and career aces. The two-time all conference player and team captain also received TISAC Player of the Year honors in 2003. Coach Andi and Triangle 18 Kaepa were undefeated in North Carolina and the first North Carolina team to finish in the top 10 at a national championship event.
Angela Buchholz, Staff Since 2017
Coach Angie is from Angier, NC and began her volleyball career as an outside hitter for her high school earning all conference selections academic all conference and MVP player. She was a 2 sport college athlete at Methodist University transitioning to a middle hitter/blocker and was selected all conference and MVP as well. She began coaching in 1995 in Virginia Beach VA with 13-15 year old girls in the Princess Ann volleyball league. After moving back to North Carolina to Apex she began working with girls from ages 8 to 16 with the Recreation League and club teams. She is thrilled to begin working with girls here at Academy.
Brian Bushelow, Staff Since 2018
Coach Brian has been playing volleyball for 11+ years. He set for a semi-national club team as well as a varsity level high school team. Brian graduated from East Carolina University in 2015 where he was the setter of the Mens Club team for all four years. Brian has been coaching volleyball for two years. He served as a head coach for both a regional and national level team.
Rebekah Bushelow, Staff Since 2018
Coach Rebekah began her love for volleyball in middle school and played throughout her high school career. She played for Coastal Plains Volleyball Club in Pitt County in high school. Rebekah has been an Assistant Coach for both a regional and national level team. She has also been the head coach at the middle school level. She received the Teaching Fellows Scholarship to attend East Carolina University and is now a high school teacher and loves to help students develop through academics as well as athletics.
Bruce Cao, Staff Since 2009
Coach Bruce attended the University of Maryland from 1992-1996, where he played as the right-side hitter for the UMD men’s volleyball team. He started his volleyball journey at Quince Orchard High School (Maryland), he played three years in the varsity squad and was named MVP and All-Conference team in his junior and senior year. After college, he played in the USAV league for many years and was named MVP and All-Conference Team for the Chesapeake Region in 2000. Bruce moved to North Carolina in 2006 and continued to pursuit his love of volleyball by playing in the city men’s and coed leagues and coaching for city (Cary), club volleyball (NC Academy), and school (Thales Academy) teams and private skills coaching. At home, he enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. Professionally, he works as a consultant for the pharmaceutical industry.
Karen Cao, Staff Since 2018
Coach Karen has been playing volleyball since high school. She was recognized with honors as a setter for her high school team, which went to the state finals her senior year. She played recreationally through college, including various indoor, outdoor and travel tournaments. She took an extended break from the game when her children were younger. Her husband, Bruce, coaches volleyball at Academy, and children also play the game, the youngest being a great scorekeeper. This sport is truly a family affair for this gang. Professionally, Karen is a pharmacist in the pharmaceutical industry and she enjoys music, sports, teaching and volunteering.
Aidan Carroll, Staff Since 2015
Coach Aidan began playing volleyball at the age of ten with the Cary YMCA Boy's Volleyball Club. He continued to play volleyball throughout high school later joining the NC Elite. He managed the girls volleyball team at Ravenscroft School during his junior and senior year. Upon entering Carleton College, he joined the Men's club team and became captain his sophomore year. Through high school and college Aidan worked as a swim instructor and a student athletic trainer. Aidan is excited to help others grow their knowledge of the sport and passion for the game through his own enthusiasm. Aidan hopes to use his experiences an NC Academy to grow and improve as a coach.
Diego Castaneda, Staff Since 2019
Coach Diego has 10 years of coaching experience at the collegiate level, the last 7 as an assistant coach at the University of North Texas, Wake Forest University, the University of Georgia, and Mississippi State University. Prior to joining Mississippi State, Coach Diego served as the recruiting coordinator for the Georgia Bulldogs. Before his stint in Athens, Coach Diego spent three years at Wake Forest, where he worked primarily with the middle blockers and liberos. A trio of Demon Deacons earned ACC honors during his tenure in Winston-Salem. He also stayed heavily involved in the Winston-Salem volleyball community, taking the role of head coach of the Deacon Volleyball Academy. His first assistant coaching position came at North Texas, where he helped the team achieve a 43-29 record over two seasons. During the 2012 season, the Mean Green tied the school record with 26 wins and advanced to the Sun Belt Conference Tournament championship game for the first time in the program's history. Prior to his time in Denton, Coach Diego rose through the ranks of the Baylor program throughout six seasons with the Bears. During his time at Baylor, he served as the team manager, graduate assistant coach, and director of volleyball operations. As the program's graduate assistant coach, he helped the Bears advance to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 in 2009. Adding to his volleyball coaching experience, Coach Diego has also been an assistant coach for Team North Texas and Team Carolina Flight of the USA Premier Volleyball League, a regional indoor pro league sanctioned by USA Volleyball. Along with his participation on the PVL. He has completed the levels I and II of the Coaches Accreditation Program of USA Volleyball and is a certified Data Volley instructor.
Eduardo Castillo, Staff Since 2012
Coach Eduardo was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and started his volleyball career at the age of 12. He began playing in middle school and continued on playing JV & Varsity volleyball for one of the top ranked high schools in Puerto Rico. During the school off season, Coach Eduardo dedicated his time to play volleyball at the national/open level, for one of the best clubs in Puerto Rico in the mid-late 90’s. After graduating from high school, he moved to Arizona and started attending Arizona State University pursuing a B.S. Industrial Engineering degree. During his college years, Coach Eduardo played intramural volleyball at the school and various indoor and outdoor tournaments. He was relocated to Cary NC inn 2007 and started playing volleyball again, participating in open gyms, rec-leagues and eventually joining a bronze & silver level USAV team in the Carolina region. In 2012, he joined the Athens Drive High School as Volleyball Varsity Assistant Coach, to make this his 1st volleyball coaching experience for girls at a high school level. He joined Academy becoming the head coach for a 16 Crystal team in 2012. Coach Eduardo is looking forward to continue developing his coaching skills as well as sharing his passion for volleyball with the young upcoming players in the Carolina Region.
Joe Chen, Staff Since 2009
Coach Joe attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he played as a setter and power hitter for the RPI men's club team as well as in various Asian volleyball tournaments played at universities in the surrounding area (NYC, Toronto, Cornell, U Penn, Boston University, etc.). He started volleyball as a freshmen in Brighton High School (Rochester, NY) where he played in JV followed by Varsity in his sophomore, junior and senior year, where he was the team captain on his senior year. After college he played in the USAV league and various city co-ed leagues in Cary, NC. He's currently the head coach for NC Volleyball Academy's 15 Sapphire team and assistant coach for Apex Thales Academy girls varsity team. At home he spends time with his wife and two teenage girls who also enjoy playing volleyball.
Tammy Choboy, Staff Since 2011
Coach Tammy grew up in Durham, NC where she led Jordan High School to 3 consecutive 4A State Championships as a middle blocker. She played volleyball at Appalachian State University for 4 years and won numerous All-Conference and All Tournament accolades including Team MVP. After college, Tammy played many years of USAV, outdoor sand and grass tournaments up and down the east coast.
Tammy has been coaching volleyball for over 20 years at the Club and Collegiate level. In the Triangle area, she has coached for CCVC, TCA and now at the Academy. Tammy’s passion is teaching the fundamentals of volleyball and instilling a love for the game.
Melissa Cornett, Staff Since 2018
Coach Cornett is happy to be back in her home state of North Carolina and brings with her a lifelong love of the game. A graduate of Campbell University, where she played middle blocker for the Fighting Camels, she has utilized her coaching skills, passion and competitive spirit in four states – Michigan, Kentucky, Indiana and, of course, North Carolina – while serving in assistant and head coaching roles. Cornett has a talent for working with all ages in both public and private school as well as club settings, instilling a love for volleyball in athletes as young as pre-school and kindergarten and helping to hone strong skills in those at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Highlights include; three years as head coach at Bartlett Yancey High School(Yanceyville, N.C.) where her team went from last in conference play to first; 2 years as head coach of 16s and 17s Regional teams at Union Volleyball Club(New Albany, Indiana) where her teams won Gold and Bronze and head coach at Leesville Road Middle School(Raleigh) where her Lady Lions were undefeated. Coach Cornett has assisted multiple athletes under her tutelage to achieve the goal of playing volleyball at the collegiate level. With nearly two decades of coaching experience, she has passed on her love of volleyball in a very personal way to the next generation of players; daughter Megan, both are excited about their first season here at Academy.
Keisha Demps, Staff Since 2019
Keisha J. Demps is a long time advocate for volleyball. She has had an extensive coaching and playing career and brings over 15 years of experience. Demps played both volleyball and basketball for the University of Arizona Wildcats, earning All-Pac-10 honors in volleyball while also being selected to the US National team in 1998. She played professional volleyball for two years in Murcia, Spain and the inaugural USPV “Dream Team” where she helped the U.S. win the 2000 Millennium Cup during international competition.
Demps retired from her playing career and began coaching collegiately at University of Nevada-Reno, Boise State & NC State where she trained over 10 all conference players. Demps later returned to the professional ranks and coached in the USPV with the St. Louis Quest in its opening season. In 2007 Keisha was named as one of the coaches with USA Volleyball High Performance programs and continues to serve as an evaluator for the past 11 years. Keisha lives in Raleigh with husband Thomas, daughter Jade (16) and son Thomas IV (11).
Latacha De Oliveira, Staff Since 2015
For her fifth season at Academy, Coach Latacha is coaching 13 Diamond. She brings over twenty-four years of coaching and playing experience to her players and the club. Coach Latacha’s previous teams have set a high bar for her current and future players. Last year, her 13 Diamond team earned a gold finish at the City of Oaks tournament in Raleigh and a club record-setting third place finish at the Girls Junior National Championships in Indianapolis. In previous years, Coach Latacha’s 13 Crystal teams earned recognition in multiple championships, including gold at Capitol Hill, gold at Queen City Classic, silver at Monument City, and second in North Carolina in 2017. When she’s not at the Academy gym or enjoying time with her own five children, Coach Latacha is the varsity assistant coach at Durham Academy where the team went to the state finals this year and finished in the final four last year, and she coaches year-round at Sinjin Beach Volleyball and with USA High Performance. Her love of sports stems from her experiences as a three-sport athlete who played volleyball, basketball, and softball. As an athlete, she’s earned many awards, such as defensive specialist of the year in volleyball, offensive player of the year in both softball and basketball, and team MVP. Additionally, she’s won numerous all-state, all-conference, and all-tournament awards during her playing career. In college, she played intramural indoor and sand teams, as well as competitive rec.
Coach Latacha’s passions lie in giving back to the community through team community service projects and team building activities that help her players improve holistically both on and off the court. Coach Latacha loves to help her players find their inner rockstar and believes that young women improve when coaches provide continual feedback and show confidence in their players’ abilities.
Selena Dickinson, Staff Since 2016
Coach Selena is a recent graduate from Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) in Wisconsin, where she earned high honors in Biomolecular Engineering. While in college, she played for 4 years on the MSOE women’s volleyball team. She also coached for 2 years at Southwest Volleyball Club in Milwaukee, where she emphasized mastering the fundamentals and building teamwork. Selena started playing volleyball in 7th grade, and when in high school she helped to lead her varsity team in back-to-back regional championships. Her work in high school led to many accolades including WIAA Scholar Athlete, All-Conference 2nd Team Defensive Specialist, All-Conference Honorable Mention Libero, and captain of both the varsity volleyball and track teams. Selena has also mentored young athletes in numerous volleyball summer camps. Selena’s favorite aspect about coaching is seeing her players grow and develop technical skill, sportsmanship, and love for the game.
Jeff Feuerhelm, Staff Since 2013
Coach Jeff began coaching in 1990 as one of the founders of the Fairfax Juniors volleyball club where he coached both 18’s and 16’s. His 16’s team participated in the inaugural multi-region Atlantic Rim Power League. In 1998, he pioneered the Youth Volleyball Program at the Cary Family YMCA. In 12 years he grew this program from individual volleyball skills clinics into both an Elementary and a Middle School League emphasizing skill development. He joined CCVC in 2007 as a coach and rose to be co-director. In addition to teaching volleyball skills to his team, his responsibilities included season planning, recruiting coaches, coordinating skill clinics and strength, agility and quickness sessions, budget preparation and working with the CCVC Board. Assisted in merger between CCVC and TCA. Most recently he coached at Club Red.
Coach Jeff has achieved both USAV Cap I and CAP II certification.
Casey Fields, Staff Since 2013
Coach Casey Fields (formerly Salchert) is a 2015 graduate of North Carolina State University which she attended to receive her degree in Communication with a concentration in Public Relations. In the fall of 2011 Salchert was the starting setter and captain for Cape Fear Community College. In high school, she played 3 years at Cardinal Gibbons and five years of club at both Triangle (06-09) and Club Red (09-11). In 2013 she began her coaching career at Immaculata Catholic School where she served as the head coach. Casey then spent 3 years as the head coach at Research Triangle High School (14-16).
Coach Casey has been at the helm of 14 Diamond for the past 2 seasons. This last year her 14 Diamond team became the first 14's team in Academy history to qualify for USAV Nationals. Placing 3rd at the Sunshine Qualifier in USA and narrowly missing the Open bid when finishing 3rd at Big South. This is currently the highest placing Open finish in club history. At Nationals they went on to finish 3rd overall in the USA division, again becoming the first team in Academy history to place that high at USAV Nationals. Coach Casey is currently married to Coach Ross Fields, they wed this past summer. During the day she works for Builders Mutual Insurance. She is excited to be returning for her 7th season with Academy.
Ross Fields, Staff Since 2015
Coach Ross began playing volleyball in high school and continued to play during his time at university. He is entering his 7th year of club volleyball after coaching all ages 10s-18s. After 4 years of coaching and teaching in France and Indiana, he took over at Knightdale High School of Collaborative Design while leading the team to a top 3 finish in the conference. After one year at Knightdale, he took over the program at Chapel Hill HS leading the team to the conference championship and the 3A State Championship in his first season. He was also chosen as the Big 8 Conference Coach of the Year in 2016. He is entering his third season with Academy and second year at Chapel Hill.
Darija Franjic, Staff Since 2017
Coach Darija is a graduate from NC State University with a degree in Business Administration - Marketing and a double minor in German and Design Studies. She currently works for NC State as a Program Coordinator. She has been playing volleyball since high school and has coached a couple of rec leagues over the years. Most of her experience is indoor, but she has recently expanded to playing beach and grass volleyball. Darija is looking forward to starting her first coaching season with NC Volleyball Academy!
Tempestt Frazier, Staff Since 2015
Coach Tempestta is recent graduate of William Peace University, where she majored in Elementary and Special Education. Here she played 4 years of Varsity volleyball and received honors such as USA South Second Team All-Conference and USA South First Team All-Conference. Now, Coach Tempestta is continuing her volleyball career here at Academy in her third year as a coach. Her initial goal is to positively impact athletes where she changes and mold them into players that she knows that they can be.
Jon Garner, Staff Since 2017
Coach Garner joins Academy with more than 30 years of indoor and beach playing experience. He claimed his professsional beach volleyball status in the early 90s and played all over the United States and Caribbeans. Coach Garner jumped into coaching 23 years ago and has coached at some of the best volleyball clubs in the United States. Coach Garner most recently coached at Triangle volleyball club where he lead 16 Blue to a 5th place finish at USA Nationals. They also took 2nd place at NEQ and 2nd place at Capital City classic. He was also the beach volleyball director during his time at Triangle.
Coach Garner has also coached several years at the collegiate level, including stops at College of Charleston and Methodist University. He is currently the head coach at Louisburg College. He runs all the day to day operations for the volleyball program at Louisburg College.
Greg Havenstein, Staff Since 2017
Coach Greg has been playing and coaching volleyball for more than 30 years. He began his career playing competitively in high school in Ohio and continued playing club while in college. Coach Greg has been coaching for several years and currently is the head coach at Thales middle school and coaching two rec teams as well. Coach Greg still plays several times a week when he is not coaching. He is very passionate about coaching and enjoys developing kids into better players while having fun.
Erik Hofheinz, Staff Since 2018
Coach Erik Hofheinz has been the head coach at Jordan HS for the last 14 seasons and has been coaching for over 20 years. He was on the James Madison University men's club team for three years and continued after college playing USAV. Many of his summers were spent playing in two man tournaments in Virginia and one summer overseas in Australia and New Zealand.
Lorraine Hudak, Staff Since 2010
For the last 11 years coach Lorraine has coached all ages at CCVC and was their lead coach in their Special Position Academy Clinics. She focused on teaching the basics and fundamentals which contributed to a successful development program at CCVC. She worked the last 7 seasons with the Green Hope High School JV volleyball program as the Head Coach of a young Falcons squad. She also assisted the Green Hope High School Varsity squad with an unprecedented performance by the Falcons again this school season.
Coach Lorraine has 32 years of coaching experience with 11 years as a College Coach at Bryant College D-II Women and Men. She spent 7 years as a Physical Education teacher and Volleyball Coach at Warren High School. During her career at Bryant College, Coach Hudak was named to the Hall of Fame as the Pioneer of Women’s Sports and Most Successful Volleyball Coach in the history of the college. She has coached nationally ranked teams, named the Bryant College coach of the year, winner of the New England Conference Championship, and a State Playoff Contender.
Mark Huffer, Staff Since 2018
Coach Mark recently moved to Raleigh from Kansas City, MO where he coached in the USAV Heart of America Region. He has over 20 years of coaching experience in baseball, basketball, and volleyball – but his passion is volleyball. His playing experience includes 4 year of college Club volleyball at Division I Ohio University and 15 years thereafter at USVB/USAV Club volleyball. Coach Mark has coached USAV Gold Level volleyball for 6 years as well as developmental volleyball for 3 years, and has coached both boys and girls teams in each sport. His philosophy is striving for excellence in a mentoring and encouraging manner. He believes in coaching fundamentals and proper techniques so that athletes can excel. Coaching is not only about the sport, but also life-long skills of dedication, determination, goal setting, and teamwork. In his spare time, Mark enjoys spending time with his family, working out, golf, skiing, and riding his Harley.
Joe Kolousek, Staff Since 2018
Coach Joe is a 2014 graduate of NC State University with a degree in Middle School Language Arts and Social Science Education. He played club volleyball while at NC State from 2011-2014, co-captaining the team his senior year. He continues to play volleyball year-round, mostly indoor and grass, in local leagues and local and regional tournaments. Coach Joe is passionate about the sport and enjoys working with upcoming players to help them always be working to improve and better themselves.
Elizabeth Ledford, Staff Since 2017
Coach Elizabeth currently serves as the Assistant Volleyball Coach at Meredith College in Raleigh. Elizabeth played collegiate volleyball as a 4 year starter and letter winner at James Madison University where she was a Middle Blocker, a team captain, CAA conference player of the week and Colonial Scholar Athlete. She then began her coaching career at Emory and Henry College in Virginia as an assistant coach in 1992 and then a head coach in 1993. Elizabeth spent the next 10 years in corporate America as a Human Resources Manager before starting her family. Coach Elizabeth returned to the sport of volleyball as a high school coach in 2007 at St. David’s School in Raleigh where her team won the NCISAA 2A State Championship in 2011. In 2012, Elizabeth accepted the Volleyball Head Coaching position at Ravenscroft School in Raleigh where she led her teams to Final 4 and Elite 8 finishes for 4 out of 5 years. Elizabeth is also on staff with the Triangle Fellowship of Christian Athletes, currently serving female coaches and athletes at NCSU and Meredith. Coach Elizabeth is married to Coach Don Ledford and they have 2 athletic children, Grace and Luke. She has many years of playing and coaching experience in the USAV Carolinas region.
Erica Lenzen, Staff Since 2018
Coach Erica is a 2017 graduate of North Carolina State University, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering. She grew up in Kernersville, NC, where she played volleyball at both her high school, as well as at Set Point Volleyball Club for 5 years. Erica began her coaching career by coaching youth volleyball camps at her local YMCA. She is excited to begin her first coaching season at Academy.
Shantel Moore, Staff Since 2015
Coach Shantel is originally from Westmoreland Jamaica. Her volleyball journey started in high school where she made her debut representing Jamaica at the International Caribbean Volleyball Championship on two different occasions. They earned a bronze medal that year (2006). In 2007 she represented G.C Foster College in the intercollegiate Volleyball Championship where they won the title and I was named MVP of that year. She played for NoC Central University from 2008-2011 and there she earned NCAA Division I Volleyball All-Independent Team 2009 & 2011, 3-All-Tournament Team honors at the NCCU Volleyball Tournament 2009, 2010 & 2011, All-Tournament at Holiday Inn Jefferson Cup 2011, Ranked 9th among independent schools in kills per set, total blocks, and blocks per set 2011, NCCU Student-Athlete of the month August 2010 and September 2011 and in 2011 I was NCCU student-athlete to make the “MEAC All-Tournament Team” .
Gregory Moss, Staff Since 2012
Coach Moss graduated from Moorhead State University in Minnesota where he ran track and was All Conference. Founder of Champions Quest sports academy in Southern California, Coach Moss is a certified sports trainer and an experienced mental training coach. During his time associated with the Los Alamitos (CA) high school volleyball team, Coach Moss’ skills and mental coaching helped the team earn three Region and State titles. As the mental training coach for TCA (CA) club team, Coach Moss helped them achieve both USAV Open 17's and Open 18’s Championship titles. Greg trained many top Southern California junior volleyball players, including his daughter Rachael, D1 high school Player of the Year and Duke University 2006-2010 All American. Coach Moss has worked with several volleyball clubs including Triangle, TCA, Mizuno Long Beach and Quest. In addition to providing focused individual training, he runs weekly Top Gun volleyball skills clinics. Coach Moss has authored a mental performance training program, Footsteps Of A Champion, which includes “10 Ways To Develop A Winning Mindset” and “Words That Inspire”. He brings a vast amount of knowledge to help prepare our players at Academy work through challenges and build a champion’s mindset. Coach Moss will also serve as assistant coach, and run our APT as well as volleyball private/group lessons.
Nadiya Omarova, Staff Since 2011
Coach Nadiya has a passion for seeing young women succeed in sports. Volleyball, being a team sport, teaches many lessons that can also be used off the court. Coach Nadiya brings her experience and passion for the sport in her “work hard, play smart, and never give up” attitude.
Coach Nadiya started playing volleyball at the age of 12 and quickly rose to become a primary player for the former U.S.S.R Republic of Kazakhstan’s Junior National Team by age 15. During this time of competitive play, she held several positions and was the winner of international, national, and regional tournaments and championships. Coach Nadiya later played volleyball for the Kazakhstan Women's National Volleyball Team and was the team captain for the National Technical University of Kazakhstan Women's Volleyball Team.
After graduating with a Master’s degree in Electromechanical Engineering, Coach Nadiya played on the Institute of Physical Education & Sports of Kazakhstan Women’s Team. At the same time, she coached school teams and was the assistant coach of college teams in Kazakhstan. Her love of playing volleyball continues, and she currently plays in the USAV Carolina Region league and competes in various indoor and outdoor tournaments in the Piedmont-Triangle area.
Alicia Paeplow, Staff Since 2017
Coach Alicia is a recent UNC Pembroke alumni and will be graduating this December with her degree in Business Administration with a concentration in management. She currently works at Lenovo as an Inventory Planner. Alicia also played two years at Wake Technical Community College before transferring. She has been playing competitive volleyball since the age of 12 both in indoor and beach. Coach Alicia is very excited to begin her first year at Academy!
Kennedey Paine, Staff Since 2015
Coach Kennedey currently attend William Peace University while getting her Masters in Game Simulation and Design with a minor in Business. She played 3 years of varsity volleyball at Clayton High School, team captain 2 time all conference setter graduated with the most wins for a player at the school year with a total of 65 wins in 4 years. She played club for 5 years while 3 seasons at Academy. She is now a starting setter for William Peace University.
Emily Parrish, Staff Since 2013
Coach Emily has worked with the 14 Diamond team at Academy from 2013-2017. For the 2018 season, she headed 17 Crystal. She is a graduate of NC State University with majors in Mathematics Education and Mathematics. Since 2013, she has been teaching Holly Springs high school as well as being the Varsity volleyball coach. She has been playing volleyball since age 8 with experience on school and club teams throughout her youth. She enjoys getting to work with the younger girls to help develop their fundamental skills and passion for the sport.
Izzy Piedmonte, Staff Since 2017
Coach Izzy grew up in Charlotte, NC where she began playing volleyball at the age of 12. She has been coaching at a competitive level for about 4 years. Izzy went to East Carolina University for undergrad where she played intramurals and won 3 championships. During this time she started coaching at Costal Plains Volleyball club and then East Carolina Junior Volleyball Club. During her free time she plays sand volleyball. Izzy completed her MBA last year from ECU and currently works for the Durham Bulls Baseball Club.
Spencer Reynolds, Staff Since 2013
Spencer will be entering his 8th year coaching club volleyball. He is no stranger to volleyball as he has collegiate coaching experience as well as having worked with in the past with Club Red, Challengers & CCVC. Spencer was CAP I certified in 2009 and has coached the Carolina Region Select team in the High Performance Championships in 2008 - 2010. Spencer also served as Volunteer Assistant Coach for NCSU under coach Rita Stubbs for 3 years from 2005-2008. Spencer also played and served as president for the NC State Men's Club Team. He and his wife Erica are excited to be a part of the Academy family with a baby on the way.
Josie Richardson, Staff Since 2015
Coach Josie Richardson is a sophomore in college at William Peace University. She is a Criminal Justice major and is planning on getting her masters in criminology after she graduates. She played two years on JV at Farmville Central High School and then two years on varsity there as well. Josie received the hustle award her sophomore and senior year of high school, Josie also ran winter and spring track until her sophomore year. She started playing volleyball at the age of eight with recreational league then moved on to club at 14. She played for Coastal Plains Volleyball Club until she graduated and tried out for WPU team.
Corrinna Sammons, Staff Since 2018
Coach Corrinna has 20 years of volleyball experience between playing and coaching. She played D3 at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, Virginia and has continued to play in competitive adult leagues both indoor, grass and sand. After taking a break to have a family, she returned to coaching volleyball in Granville County where she resides with her family. She is currently the head coach at Falls Lake Academy where she has taken a brand new school program and developed it into a very competitive program built on strong fundamentals and increasing each players’ volleyball IQ. Coach Corrinna started her 5th year with the program this past season. The high school joined the NCHSAA 3 years ago. Since joining, She taken the team post season each year. In 2017 they made the final four in 1A and East Regional Runner up. This year she lead her varsity team to a conference championship, Regional Championship and finished with taking the 1A State Championship. She previously coached at Jammers for 4 club seasons with ages 12-16, and had some of the top teams in the club. In 2017, she started Power Performance Volleyball Club, based out of Granville County. She took a 17s team on a semi-national schedule and finished in the top third in our region. She is very excited to be joining Academy and looking forward to a great season.
Jill Shanahan, Staff Since 2019
Coach Jill graduated from Clarkson University where she played collegiate volleyball and earned her BS in Mathematics. After college, she played Carolina Region USAV, sand and grass tournaments and coached USAV with CCVC for 3 seasons until focusing on her family. Coach Jill started coaching again when her daughter became interested in Volleyball, coaching various recreational leagues. She was the head coach for Carnage Magnet Middle School from 2015 – 2019, winning 2 Conference Titles. She has also been the Coordinator of the Kraft YMCA Volleyball program since 2015. Jill coached 3 club seasons with NC Elite, coaching 13’s and 14s and is looking forward to being the JVA Volleyball Coach at Middle Creek High School this fall. She enjoys spending time with her family, being involved with the community and sharing her love of the game.
Alexis Sinclair, Staff Since 2019
Alexis Sinclair was born and raised in New Hampshire where she played volleyball for Newfound Regional High School. She earned All State honors her Junior year on Varsity and was offensive player of the year with a hitting percentage of .320. Her senior year she served on the team as team captain and once again earned All State Honors and was defensive and offensive player of the year with a hitting percentage of .279 and 366 digs on the season.
Alexis played volleyball at Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island while studying Baking and Pastry arts for all four years. She started out as and outside her freshman year and switched to libero as a Sophomore. During her time at Johnson & Wales she helped her team along to 3 conference championships, 3 NCAA apearances and 1 Regional NCAA tournament title. Her senior year her team went on to compete in the Elite Eight in Grand Rapids Michigan for Division 3 and finished 5th in the Nation. In her final season with the wildcats she was a team captain and earned a 35-1 record on the season.
Alexis now enjoys to play all forms of volleyball from grass to beach, and of course indoor. She previously has coached for the Blast Volleyball Club in Rhode Island and is excited to start her first year at Academy!
Sam Smith, Staff Since 2016
Coach Sam is currently continuing her volleyball career at Meredith College located in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she is studying biology and spanish. She played club volleyball at Club Red for two years and NC Academy for 3 years. Sam received the coach’s award her 17's year at Academy. She also played varsity volleyball at Middle Creek High School in Apex, NC, for 3 years, and her senior year she was a team captain. Sam received a team award her senior year for her performance and leadership on the team.
Karla Sosa, Staff Since 2019
Coach Karla is originally from Texas where she attended Porter High School in Brownsville. She was a multi-sport athlete throughout high school earning All-District honors in both volleyball and softball. Upon graduation, she attended Frank Phillips College were she was a middle blocker on the women’s volleyball team. She earned All-Conference Honorable Mentions both her freshman and sophomore years. She transferred for her junior and senior years to Shaw University where she transitioned to outside hitter. At Shaw, she has earned All-Conference Second Team and All-Tournament at the CIAA tournament.
Karla has junior club coaching experience serving as both an assistant and head coach at Amarillo Elite Volleyball Club. She is currently a senior at Shaw majoring in Biology. She plans to attend nursing school upon graduation.
Tania Stafford, Staff Since 2011
Coach Tania relocated with her family to NC from upstate NY in 2000. Her previous experiences include beach volleyball in the NOVA circuit, she served as a middle hitter as well as a setter in college at Monroe. She worked as a referee and in club management and marketing. Since she has been in NY she has continued to play beach volleyball as an adult in local leagues. Coach Tania ran Western Wake Volleyball Club in Cary for 13 years. Other club coaching after Western Wake include 4 years at Triangle Volleyball club coaching ages 14-16 National. This will be her 2nd year with us at Academy as the 18 Diamond coach, prior in 2011. She has also served as Head Coach at local schools throughout the years including Durham Academy, Raleigh Charter, Southern Wake Academy and currently at Northwood High School. College coaching experience includes Wake Tech. Tania lives in Apex, NC and lives with her husband and has 2 boys. She is a photographer, teaches horseback riding and is the founder and CEO of a non-profit organization for animal rescue called "Help em' Furget". Tania is excited to rejoin the Academy team and looks forward to working with our athletes.
Daphne Stam, Staff Since 2013
Growing girls in sport and in life. Learning something every day." As a volleyball player of many years and mom of two teenage daughters, Coach Daphne loves introducing younger players to volleyball, and loves watching them grow in the game even more! She started coaching Morrisville and Apex youth rec teams as a parent volunteer in 2013, and soon moved on to coaching high school teams at Durham Academy (2014 and 2015) and Chapel Hill High School (2016 - 2019). She and Coach Li have coached 12 Diamond teams to Carolina Region East 12s Finals in 2015 and 2016, and Carolina Region 12s State Championships in 2017, 2018, and 2019; along with gold or silver finishes at Monument City Classic (2016 - 2018) and City of Oaks (2019). Coach Daphne is USAV IMPACT and CAP Level I certified. 2020 will be her seventh club season coaching at Academy and her sixth season coaching 12 Diamond.
Tim Sullivan, Staff Since 2017
Coach Tim comes to Academy with a passion for volleyball and over 10 years of volleyball coaching experience. After coaching middle school for 8 years, Tim decided to help start the Apex Friendship High School volleyball program, along with the school’s Academy of Engineering. He has coached the JV volleyball team there since the school opened in 2015. Coach Tim also coached club volleyball in Johnston County before transitioning to Apex. Originally from New York, Coach Tim came to North Carolina to attend NC State University, graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Computer Science. He worked in the telecommunications industry for over 15 years before leaving the business world to teach technology/engineering. Coach Tim started playing volleyball in 1985 and immediately fell in love with the sport. His playing experience includes men’s and co-ed intermural play, competitive city league, and recreational leagues (indoor and outdoor, beach, grass, and water).
Dan Thomas, Staff Since 2017
Coach Dan played with the Wake County Volleyball Club (Carolina Region) throughout the 1990's. He also played grass doubles, triples, and quads throughout the 1990's and played Raleigh and Cary leagues (men's and co-ed) from early 1990's until 2013 and began playing again in 2016 with an adult team in Raleigh. Coach Dan coached a women's team in a Raleigh city league in the early 1990's. He coached for Capital City Volleyball Club (Carolina Region) from 2001 to 2005. He was an assistant coach for 2 years for 15's, served as a head coach for 1 year for 14's, and 1 year assisting with 11 year old development players.
Amy Melillo, Staff Since 2014
This will be Coach Amy's 10th year coaching volleyball and her 6th year here at NC Academy -- in the past she has worked with a variety of our teams including 2 Diamond teams, as well as Jade, Pearl & Onyx . She is currently teaching Business and Computers at Mills Park middle school, along with being the Assistant Varsity Coach at Green Hope High School. Coach Amy is a graduate of East Carolina University where she earned her Masters Degree in Business Information & Technology Education. She played volleyball 4 years in high school and went on to play for 2 years at the collegiate level before switching over to swim for the next 2 years.
Shira Wells, Staff Since 2017
Coach Shira is currently a sophomore at Wake Tech Community College. She recently completed a successful freshman season as a setter/defensive specialist for Wake Tech. After being introduced to the sport in the summer as a freshmen in high school. Shira invested a great deal of time and effort into developing as a player. During her high school career, she played club for Club Red and NC Elite. Shira previously coach at Jammers Volleyball Club for two successful seasons. During the summer, Shira is an avid beach doubles and a grass player. Coach Shira is excited to join the coaching staff at Academy.
Emmy Wood, Staff Since 2019
Emmy Wood graduated from North Carolina State University with a bachelors in Environmental Design in Architecture and a Masters of Architecture. She currently works for Integrated Design as a project designer. She has played indoor volleyball since she was 13, specializing as setter and libero. She has coached for a volleyball club in Aspen, CO and participates in local adult leagues.
Emmy is looking forward to starting her first coaching season with NC Volleyball Academy!
Anne Yount, Staff Since 2009
Coach Anne graduated from UNC Charlotte where she played collegiate volleyball and softball. After college, she played Carolina Region USAV, sand and grass tournaments and local recreational leagues. Coach Anne was the head coach for Carnage Magnet Middle School from 2009 – 2011 and has coached various youth recreational leagues. She has coached the 13 Diamond team at NC Academy since 2009 and has led teams to multiple championships and state titles. During the 2018, she lead 13 Diamond to a 13th finished at USAV Nationals becoming only one of two coaches from Academy who has received a bid from a national tournament (Big South). She enjoys involving her teams in community service projects while teaching teamwork, sportsmanship and fundamentals of the game.
Tom Yount, Staff Since 2009
Coach Tom was Member/Player NC State Volleyball Club 1988/89. He played sand and grass doubles throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s. He also played for the Wake County Volleyball Club (Carolina Region) during the 1990’s. He earned medals in Men’s and Coed divisions at the NC State Games and Played in the City of Raleigh or Town of Cary Men’s and/or Coed leagues from 1988 through 2011.
Coach Tom’s coaching experiences include Coaching women’s club teams at Wake County Volleyball Club 1993 -1994 Fuquay Varina Athletic Association Coach 4 seasons Assistant Coach for Academy 12 Diamond, 13 Diamond and 13 Pearl teams in 2011; Head Coach 14 Pearl (Carolina Region Brass 2nd Place); 2012 Assistant Coach 14 Diamond and 13 Diamond. 2013 Assistant Coach 14 Crystal. 2014 Assistant and tournament coach 15 Diamond B, 2015 Head coach 15 Crystal. 2016 Head Coach 14 Ruby and 14 AAU, 2017 Assistant Coach 15 Pearl. Coach Tom is USAV Impact, CAP I, Beach Impact and Beach Cap 1 certified.
Sydney Yount, Staff Since 2015
Coach Sydney played club volleyball at NC Volleyball Academy for six years. She was awarded MVP of the Carolina Region in 2011, Best Attacker at Capitol Hill Classic in 2013, and received the club loyalty award in 2014. Sydney also played varsity volleyball at Athens Drive High School for three years. She was captain her senior year and was awarded a spot on the second all conference team for the Southwest Athletic Conference. Sydney attends North Carolina State University where studies mechanical engineering with a minor in biological sciences. At NC State, she co-founded Outdoor Club Volleyball, participates in various grass and sand tournaments across the state. Along with being assistant coach for academy, she is also one of our assistant tournament directors.
Pamela Criswell, Staff Since 2019
As a player and coach, Coach Pamela has 40+ years of volleyball experience. This includes Juniors, High School, Junior College, and Division I programs. Currently, she is the Head JV and Assistant Varsity Coach at Falls Lake Academy in Creedmoor, NC. She began her volleyball career in her hometown of Baltimore, Maryland at the age of 13. It was love at first “set”. Her player career includes high school, college, and adult USAV. Coach Pamela is passionate about the sport of volleyball and works hard to pass that on to the young players she has the privilege to coach. One of her most proud volleyball moments is her participation in the 1996 Olympics as a volleyball statistician. This included working the Gold Medal Men’s match and the Bronze Medal Women’s match. She is the proud mother of two and grandmother of four. She has been a special educator for 19 years and is now an Assistant Principal at a elementary school in Granville County where she also resides. Coach Pamela is looking forward to and super excited about working with the young players at Academy!
Caitlin Grubbs, Staff Since 2019
Coach Caitlin has played volleyball for the past six years. She played club for 13s-15s at CHAVC and then went to Academy where she played up on the 18D team for her 16s year. She went to Chapel Hill High School and played on Varsity for 3 years while also helping her team go to 2 state championships in 2017 and 2018. Caitlin now is a freshmen at North Carolina State University and is now playing on their club team. She is so excited to be a new coach at Academy and work with Ross as an assistant coach for 14 Crystal!!
Elena Mast, Staff Since 2019
Coach Elena graduated from University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a bachelors in Mechanical Engineering. She currently works for Biogen as an Engineer I in the Manufacturing Sciences department. She has played indoor volleyball since she was 11 as a libero and setter. In her years as a club player, she played for Academy from 15 year to 18 year age group. During college, she played on the Charlotte Club team as well as many intermural leagues. This is her first time coaching volleyball and is very excited to starting her first season coaching with Academy!
Tacara Moxey, Staff Since 2019
Coach Tacara has over 20 years of volleyball experience as a player, coach and official. She's a graduate of Saint Augustine's University with a degree in Computer Science. During her tenure in college she helped lead her team to four straight CIAA championships and in 2002 her team made history, becoming the first HBCU to secure an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II championships. Coach Tacara is a native of The Bahamas and former member of The Bahamas Junior National Volleyball team, in which she held the role of captain. She was a volunteer assistant coach at Saint Augustine's University from 2003 - 2018 and is currently the Assistant Varsity Volleyball Coach at Saint David's.
Corie Ware, Staff Since 2019
Coach Corie recently moved to the Raleigh area from Greenville, NC. She is originally from Winston-Salem, NC. Coach Corie is a graduate of Appalachian State University where she majored in advertising, and she received her Master of Arts in Teaching from East Carolina University. She a middle school teacher in Wake County, and this will be her first season coaching. Coach Corie have been playing volleyball since 12 years old. She played on her high school volleyball team for 4 years along with playing club for several years. She is excited to get back into the sport she loves!