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Staff

Tracy Vondran

Tracy Vondran-GCVC Volleyball

Tracy founded GCVC after being a part of CVA-Columbus since its start in 2006. She has experience at the Jr. High, High School and Club levels. In 1984 Tracy played for Sports Performance in Chicago, Illinois and later moved to Southern California to play for Magnum Volleyball Club.

Tracy played at The Ohio State University under coach Jim Stone from 1989-1992 where she was a member of two Big Ten Championship teams and had one Final Four appearance.

After graduation, Tracy shifted gears and began coaching girl’s volleyball at Bexley Jr. High and High School from 1994-2001. In her final two seasons as the Varsity Head Coach, she coached the team to a league championship and to the District finals. During the 2002-2003 seasons she was the Assistant Varsity coach at Thomas Worthington High School where the Cardinals were league champions and District runner-ups. In 2007, Tracy moved to Olentangy Liberty High School as the Assistant Varsity Coach with Jen Chapman and helped guide the Patriots to their first league championship.  She has coached club volleyball since 1994.

Tracy is happily married to her husband, Chris, and has three children, Josie, Michael and Clara.

Katie Capella

Katie Capella-GCVC Volleyball

Katie Capella has been coaching since 2012 across all age groups with Greater Columbus Volleyball Club and formally CVA-Columbus. She also played for CVA-Columbus back in 2006 and 2007 when the club was first established.

Prior to coaching, Katie played at Wittenberg University where she was a two-time 2nd team All American middle hitter. Her team made four NCAA tournament appearances during her career, and in 2011, Katie co-led her team to win the NCAA DIII National Championship.

She graduated in 2012 with a degree in Communication and currently works in sales for JP Morgan Asset Management.

Katie and her husband Jeff are happily living in Grandview with their black lab, Goose, and enjoy cooking and spending time with family and friends.

Tim Embaugh

Tim Embaugh

Tim Embaugh began his coaching career in June of 1991 when he joined the Ohio State Men's Volleyball staff.  Initially it was supposed to be a temporary arrangement, but Coach Embaugh quickly fell in love with the profession and spent the next 27 years coaching with the Buckeyes.  During his tenure, Ohio State garnered 15 conference championships and 3 National Championships. Coach Embaugh was also a part of the first High Performance program put together by USA Volleyball in the early 90's, serving as camp staff, a coach, and Head of Delegation for various junior and youth national teams that competed in Sicily, Quebec, and the Dominican Republic.

Allison Merkle

Allison Merkle-GCVC Volleyball

Allison Merkle played at CVA-Columbus as a setter from 2007–2013. She was a varsity starter her last two years at Bishop Watterson, where she earned 2nd Team All-District DI. She then went on to set for Loyola University Chicago’s Women’s Club Volleyball team. Allison served on the executive board three out of her four years, including President of the organization her sophomore year. During this time, she led her club to a 5th place finish at the NCVF National Championship. In addition to coaching her team at Loyola, Allison has coached at CVA-Columbus lessons and practices, and she is currently coaching the Immaculate Conception 8th grade team with staff member Tracy Vondran.

Megan Flaherty

Megan Flaherty - GCVC Coach

Megan is returning to GCVC (CVA - Columbus) after completing her collegiate career at Wittenberg University as a setter/defensive specialist. Her team made two national championship appearances and won four consecutive conference championships where she was named to the all-tournament team. Megan graduated with a degree in early childhood education.

Prior to college, Megan played for Dublin Coffman where she was a three-year letter winner and two-year captain. She was named second team all-OCC and earned the scholar athlete award as well. 

Megan currently works in the Dublin City Schools district as a Title 1 Math teacher. She also coaches JV at Jonathan Alder High School.

Kelly Bender

Kelly Bender

Kelly Bender is new to the GCVC coaching staff and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience for the game. She played for Pittsburgh Elite from 2010-2013 as a setter and her 18's team competed at the Junior National Championship in Dallas, TX. She was a four-year varsity letterman for Peters Township High School and served as a captain her junior and senior year.

Kelly continued her volleyball career at the collegiate level and played for the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio. While at Mount Union, her team made an appearance to the NCAA DIII tournament in the 2013 & 2014 seasons, along with winning the OAC conference and the conference tournament.

Kelly graduated from Mount Union with a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources and Business Management with minors in Coaching and Sports Business.

She lives in Delaware, Ohio with her husband, Josh, and their goldendoodle Bella and she currently works as a Recruiter for Cardinal Health. 

Kyleigh Jackson

Kyleigh Jackson

Kyleigh Jackson played at a local volleyball club as a middle blocker from 2011 to 2015, and she was a four-year varsity letterman at Westland High School in Galloway, OH where he earned OCC Honorable Mention in 2014.

After high school, Kyleigh completed her collegiate career at the University of Mount Union in Alliance, OH as the starting middle blocker for all four years. She earned All-OAC Honorable Mention 2015 and 2017. During her sophomore year, Kyleigh was also selected to go to Costa Rica to play with fellow Division lll volleyball players. Throughout the week, she completed different volunteer opportunities as well played against the national team, and it was a great opportunity to contact with other players. Kyleigh gradated in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and a minor in Psychology.

Kyleigh currently works at SportsOhio running their 8-week volleyball clinics (ages 9-11). She also works as a Travel Nurse Recruiter for Medical Staffing Options located in downtown Columbus.  

Erin Pence

Erin Pence-GCVC Volleyball

Erin played volleyball at Cornell University where she started as an outside hitter all four years and served as team captain her senior year.  Erin graduated from Cornell in 2011 with a degree in Civil Engineering.  Prior to that, she played high school volleyball at Thomas Worthington and earned All-Ohio honors her junior and senior years.   

Erin previously coached 16's at CVA-Columbus during the 2012 season and has spent the past two springs coaching the Unified Volleyball team for Northwest Special Olympics.  She is thrilled to be joining the GCVC team this year.  When she is not coaching or playing volleyball, Erin enjoys spending time outside with her husband, Alex, and their dog, Odie.

Jenna Pitstick

Jenna Pitstick - GCVC Coach

Jenna is a Columbus native graduating from Bishop Ready High school and is new to the GCVC staff. In high school she was three-year varsity starter and captain, as well as a multi-sport athlete, competing in the state track tournament while also playing at the national level for the COVBC club volleyball program. Jenna went on to play volleyball at Tiffin University where she was a four-year letterman, three-year starter, and captain during her senior year. 

Immediately following college, Jenna was the JV head coach at Capital University, under Pam Briggs. She went on to coach at Grove City High school as the head JV and assistant varsity coach under Alan Pham, and has spent several years volunteering with the OYAA youth volleyball program. After a few years away from coaching, she is excited to be back in the gym and share her love of the game.

Jenna lives in Galena with her husband, Mark, and two children, Aadin and Aleena. She is a Senior Investment Professional at Nationwide Insurance where she works as a Corporate Bond analyst. 

Jen Chapman

Jen-Chapman_GCVC-Staff

Jen has been the Head Girls Varsity Volleyball Coach at Olentangy Liberty since 2003 and lead the team to an OCC championship in 2007, 2009 and 2010, a District Championship in 2015, and most recently OCC Buckeye Division co-champs 2017.  These accomplishments earned her the OCC Capital Co-Coach of the Year in 2007, Coach of the year OCC Capital division in 2009, District Co-Coach of the year in 2009, OCC Buckeye division 2017, and Co-Coach of year Central district division 2017.

Jen is an active participant in USAV as a coach and is Impact certified. In 2007 she coached the CVA-Columbus U16 team and earned a bid to participate in the Junior National tournament in Minneapolis and in 2008 she coached the CVA-Columbus U17 team and earned a bid to Junior Nationals in Dallas. Jen has also coached various levels of open teams for Glass City Volleyball Club and for CapCity Volleyball Club. She lead teams at the U14 level for two years and the U15 level for one year and was voted “Coach of the Club” in 2005.

Prior to coaching, Jen played as a right side hitter for Heidelberg College and earned a degree in Secondary Education. Several of Coach Chapman's former high school and club players have gone on to play collegiate volleyball either as a scholarship or as walk-on athletes.

Karen Morlan

Karen Morlan-GCVC Volleyball

Coach Morlan has coached high school female athletes for twenty volleyball seasons and just completed her tenth year as the head volleyball coach for New Albany High School, where she coached her team to an OCC-Capital Division conference championship and was voted Coach of the Year for the 2016 season.  In 2004, the New Albany volleyball team won the league for the first time in the school’s history and Coach Morlan was named the MSL Coach of the Year.  In 2014, the Eagles were District Runner-Ups.  She coached club volleyball for Columbus United Volleyball club for three years, coaching girls that were between 10-14 years of age.  During her eight years as an assistant coach at Westerville North High School, she was involved with four league championships, two district championships, and one regional championship. A 1993 graduate of Capital University, Coach Morlan currently teaches AP Calculus AB, Senior Seminar, and Engineering Mathematics in conjunction with Wright State University at New Albany High School.  She is the Mathematics Department Chair and Senior Project Coordinator.  She received her Master’s Degree in the Art of Teaching from Marygrove College.  She resides in New Albany with her husband, Brian, and their three children: Kayla, AJ, and Kacy. 

Matt Brown

Matt Brown - GCVC Coach

Matt grew up in northern Ohio, playing basketball & baseball in high school. His introduction to volleyball came while attending Ohio Wesleyan University where he played on the club volleyball team for 2 years as a middle blocker/defensive specialist. Matt has been coaching youth sports (volleyball, basketball, baseball) in Central Ohio for nearly 20 years, including various junior high volleyball teams at St. Andrew School over the past 10 years. Currently, Matt is the middle school history and religion teacher and 4th-grade girls volleyball coach at St. Andrew School in Upper Arlington. With all of his free time, he is currently working toward a Masters in Sports Coaching from Ohio State University and enjoys spending time with his wife, Bree, and two children, AJ and Addie.

Natalie Walter

Natalie Walter - GCVC Coach
Natalie grew up in Akron, Ohio where she played 5 years of club volleyball for Summit Volleyball Club. Natalie played as an outside hitter and was a 3-year varsity letter winner at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School. She graduated in 2011 and played for the Division II District Champion Team during her senior year.
 
Natalie is a graduate of Otterbein University where she received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Throughout college and after graduation, she coached club for several years in the Columbus and Akron areas. In 2016, Natalie was hired as the JV coach for Thomas Worthington High School. Two years later, she accepted the Varsity coaching position at TWHS and continues to work on building their program.
 
Natalie currently works at McGraw-Hill Education as a Contracts Specialist. In both her professional and volleyball careers, education is a huge focus. She enjoys teaching the fundamentals and seeing players improve as they tackle new skills. When she is not coaching, Natalie enjoys playing in several adult indoor leagues, hiking, and riding horses. She also loves going to visit her family and exploring new cities.

Brooke Knollman

Brooke Knollman

Brooke Knollman played at CVA-Columbus as a right-side hitter from 2012-2014. Her teams competed at the USAV Junior National Championship in Dallas, Texas and Minneapolis, Minnesota. She was a three-year varsity letterman at Olentangy Liberty High School for Coach Jen Chapman and Coach Tracy Vondran and earned Honorable Mention All-District DI in 2014. Brooke then went on to play collegiate volleyball for the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio. While at Mount Union, her team made an appearance to the NCAA DIII tournament in 2014 along with winning the OAC conference and the conference tournament. She earned All-OAC Second Team in 2015 and 2017. Brooke graduated from the University with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Management with a minor in Exercise Science. 

During her time at Mount Union, Brooke coached for Tri-State Volleyball Academy from 2015-2018 for age groups 14s, 15s, and 16s. 

Brooke currently lives in Dublin, Ohio and works as an Account Manager for Employers Health.  

Sydney Eiselt

Sydney Eiselt

Sydney Eiselt grew up in Dublin, Ohio and attended Dublin Coffman High School where she was a varsity starter at Dublin Coffman and a four-year letter winner. She also played at CVA-Columbus as a libero from 2009–2015 during which her teams competed in USAV Junior National Championships in Minneapolis, Atlanta, and Dallas.

Sydney graduated from Kent State University in 2018 with a degree in Fashion Merchandising, and she currently works at Lane Bryant as a Buyer. In her spare time, she loves to travel and spend time with family and friends.

Kate Hammer

Kate Hammer

Kate returns to us with several years of playing and coaching experience. She played at Sheridan High School and was in the Athens Volleyball Club system. Kate continued her volleyball career at Marietta College. Kate coached at Bishop Patterson High School and has spent time as an assistant coach at Capital University. Her club coaching career includes Mintonette Sports and CVA-Columbus coaching national level teams at both clubs. Kate is also an OHSAA licensed official.

In her spare time, Kate enjoys playing adult league indoor volleyball, doing DIY projects, and has a side business called Rosie's Posies. She also enjoys spending time with her Boston terriers and her husband, Brent.

Christine Simpson

Christine Simpson - GCVC Coach

Christine Simpson returns to coach at Greater Columbus Volleyball where she previously assisted coaching 11’s and 18’s during the 2012 season. She is excited to begin coaching again!

Christine played at Wittenberg University where she was a Right Side/Outside Hitter. Her team made four NCAA tournament appearances during her career, and was named 2nd Team All NCAC in 2011. Additionally in 2011, Wittenberg won the NCAA DIII National Championship and Christine was part of the All-Tournament team for her performance.

She graduated in 2012 with dual degrees in International Studies and Spanish and now works in Sales for Ohio Laser. Christine lives in Columbus and enjoys travelling, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends.

Katie Curtiss

Katie Curtiss - GCVC Coach

Katie Curtiss has been coaching on and off since 1998 with multiple age groups in Indiana, North Carolina and the state of Delaware. She is currently assisting with Bexley City Schools in both the Middle School and JV volleyball programs.

Katie grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana and played for Fort Wayne Volleyball Club. After high school, she went to play at Otterbein where she specialized as a DS and as a practice setter.

After college, Katie lived all over the east coast working in the field of Procurement. Now back in Columbus for 13 years, she enjoys life with her husband and 3 kids.

Contact

Greater Columbus Volleyball Club

535 Lakeview Plaza Blvd.
Worthington, OH 43085

greatercolumbusvolleyballclub@gmail.com

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