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Staff

2020-2021 Teams and Coaches

As we look forward to the start of a new club season, GCVC plans to include the following teams and coaches for our 2020-21 season:

*Teams and coaches are subject to change.

11 Silver and Blue - Christine Simpson, Erin Pence, & Sarah Boyle
12 Silver - Heather Welsh
12 Blue - Matt Brown
12 Red - TBD
13 Silver - Brooke Knollman
13 Blue - Hannah Dolan
13 Red - Kyleigh Jackson
14 Silver - Meg Flaherty
14 Blue - Kelly Bender
14 Red - Katie Curtiss

15 Silver - Allison Merkle
15 Blue - Megan Donegan
15 Red - TBD
16 Silver - Jen Chapman
16 Blue - Natalie Walter
16 Red - Jenna Pitstick
17 Silver - Tim Embaugh
17 Blue - TBD
18 Silver - Shonda Jackson


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.

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.

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 has now coached at GCVC since 2018.  When she is not coaching or playing volleyball, Erin enjoys spending time outside with her husband, Alex, and their dog, Odie.

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. Allison has coached at GCVC since it was founded in 2017, focusing on 14s and 15s national level teams.

Kelly Bender

Kelly Bender

Kelly Bender has been at GCVC since 2019 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.  

Jenna Pitstick

Jenna Pitstick - GCVC Coach

Jenna is a Columbus native graduating from Bishop Ready High school and joined GCVC in 2019. 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. 

Dana Mathews

Dana Chapman

Dana Mathews (Chapman) rejoins our staff as the recruiting contact for our athletes.  She will actively monitor our Sports Recruits program and guide athletes through the college recruiting process.

Dana has been coaching club and high school since 2004 and has great experience with many age groups and skill levels.  In the club realm, she coached for Toledo Volleyball Club and CVA-Columbus.  Many of her teams earned bids to Junior Nationals and several of her players have gone on to play collegiate volleyball either as a scholarship athlete or as a walk-on.  Dana coached high school volleyball for Perrysburg HS, Bowling Green HS, Olentangy Liberty HS, and Thomas Worthington HS. 

Prior to coaching, Dana played outside for both the University of Michigan (’99-’03) and Bowling Green State University (’03-’04).  After completing her collegiate career, Dana continued to compete on several USAV teams across the region. 

Dana received dual bachelors degrees from the University of Michigan and from Bowling Green State University.  She is currently teaching Kindergarten for Worthington City Schools. 

Dana resides in Lewis Center with her husband JJ and their two dogs Luke and Leia. Having lived on both coasts (Miami and Los Angeles), she loves to travel and has been to 45 of the 50 states. 

Heather Whalen-Welsh

Heather Whalen-Welsh Headshot

Heather comes to GCVC with incredible experience as a player and coach.  In high school, she was listed as one of the nation's top 75 high school athletes, helping lead her team to two Michigan High School State semi-final appearances while in her senior season winning the state championship in class C division. She played club in Michigan for Dead Frog from the age of 12 until graduation. Following up on her high school success, Heather was a varsity athlete at The Ohio State University under coach Jim Stone from 2000-2004 as an outside hitter.

Upon graduation, Heather coached girls varsity volleyball for Kalamazoo Loy Norrix. Heather is now her second year coaching middle school volleyball at Columbus Academy, and in 2019 she led the Vikings to the conference championship match where they finished second.  At the club level, she has coached for Match Point Volleyball Club here in Columbus.

Heather earned an elementary education degree from The Ohio State University and also holds a Post Bachelor's Degree in History from Grand Valley State University.

In addition to volleyball, Heather has also competed in the Crossfit Games from 2012-2018. Earning a spot to the games to compete with the fittest on earth in 2012 and 2013. Heather was also drafted 18th to the Miami Surge Grid Team in 2016.

Heather lives in Westerville with her two children Sam-15 and Jillian-11.

Sarah Boyle

Sarah Boyle Headshot

Sarah grew up in Pittsburgh, PA where she played for Pittsburgh Elite Volleyball Club and Synergy Volleyball Club, qualifying for nationals her junior and senior year in high school. Concurrently, Sarah’s high school team finished second in the state of Pennsylvania her senior year, and she was named to the first team All-State her junior and senior year.

After high school, Sarah played for The University of South Carolina and was a four-year starter for the Gamecocks from 2002-2006 and team captain during her junior and senior seasons.  After graduation, she went on to play volleyball for a year in Klagenfurt, Austria, where she competed in various tournaments in Austria, Italy, Germany, and Slovenia.  

After her time in Europe, Sarah coached for Pine-Richland High School and Fairview School District, both located in Pennsylvania.  Sarah is a mother of six young children and currently is a volunteer coach for her daughter’s school volleyball team.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Christine Simpson

Christine Simpson - GCVC Coach

Christine Simpson coached the 11's and 18's at GCVC in 2012 and has since been with us since 2018.

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.

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, and she joined us in 2019. 

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

LaShonda Jackson

LaShonda Jackson grew up in Mansfield, OH where she played club volleyball at Mid-Ohio Junior Olympics (MOJO) and was a 3 year varsity letterman at Mansfield Senior High School where she earned OCC Honorable Mention her senior year. 

After high school, LaShonda went on to play club volleyball for 2 years at Bowling Green State University, where she also obtained her Bachelor degree in Health Care Administration. After graduation, she moved to the Columbus, OH area and continued her education at the University of Cincinnati where she obtained her Master's degree in Health Care Administration. Upon moving to Columbus, OH and finishing her post-secondary degree, LaShonda started her coaching career at Westland Volleyball Club and coached from 2010-2019. Additionally, she coached several age levels, ranging from 8th grade to Junior Varsity from 2014-2018 at Groveport Madison High School. She is currently the Junior Varsity coach and assistant Varsity coach at Westland High School in Galloway, OH where she continues to help build the program.

In both her professional and coaching career, teaching and education are core to her life and she loves being able to spread the fun and competitiveness of volleyball with any player she comes in contact with. There are so many skills that can be applied both on and off the court and that is one of the best parts of playing and coaching volleyball: Being the best version of yourself. Professionally, LaShonda currently works for Olive, Inc headquartered in Columbus, OH as a Senior Revenue Cycle Analyst. When she is not working, LaShonda loves traveling and spending time with her husband CJ, dog Pepper, and her new son little CJ. Additionally, she also enjoys playing in local volleyball adult leagues and is a referee for the OVR. 

Megan Donegan

Megan Donegan

Megan Donegan played at Mintonette Sports as a Libero from 2012 to 2016. Her team competed at the USAV Junior National Championships in Columbus her senior year. She was a three year varsity player and two year varsity letter winner at Dublin Coffman High School. In 2016 the Dublin Coffman volleyball team were state runner ups at the Division 1 Level. 

Megan then went on to play as a defensive specialist at the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio from 2016-2020. She lead the team in service aces for the 2018 season. 

Megan graduated from the University of Mount Union with a degree in Special Education and minors in Early Childhood Education and Spanish. She is currently working as an Intervention Specialist for Delaware City Schools and is also coaching the 7th grade volleyball team for Dempsey Middle School.

Hannah Dolan

Hannah Dolan Headshot

Hannah played club volleyball in Southern California from 2012-2017 and a three year varsity letterman at Santa Margarita Catholic High School in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA. Her teams competed at USAV Junior National Championships in Dallas, New Orleans, and Minneapolis.

After high school, Hannah went on to play at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island as the starting middle blocker for 3 years. During her freshman year, Hannah made an immediate impact, helping the team finish 35-1 and earning her conference Rookie of the Year, as well as New England Region Rookie of the Year. She helped her team to a 6th place finish at the NCAA D3 National Championship. She earned second team all GNAC in 2017 and 2019. Hannah graduated in 3 years earning a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice. Hannah currently lives in Columbus, OH and is preparing to attend law school next fall.

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.

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. 

Contact

Greater Columbus Volleyball Club

535 Lakeview Plaza Blvd.
Worthington, OH 43085

greatercolumbusvolleyballclub@gmail.com

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