Meet the Coaches




For the last 15 years, my main job was working in the technology industry. Thanks to the economic downturn, I am now able to devote more time on my passion–volleyball. For the last 27 years, I have been playing or coaching volleyball at several different levels.

My father was a high school volleyball coach in Washington for 27 years. Year after year he was able to take his teams to the state playoffs. I asked him his secret one day. His answer? “Oh, I just taught them how to pass and serve. We just ended up being better at those skills than most of the teams we played.” Over 500 wins in his career. I guess he knew what he was talking about.

I have coached volleyball, softball, basketball and swimming. I love coaching and I thoroughly enjoy the game of volleyball. I like being able to take a difficult task and dividing it into small parts which can be assembled into a skill. I’ve been teaching those skills for the last 10 years.

I also enjoy playing the game and have tried to stay fit enough to play in leagues and tournaments (time permitting). I am a dedicated believer in teaching a skill thru actions, not just words. Everyone learns differently, but I have found that the most retention in an athlete comes from talking about a principle, showing how to do that principle, then providing positive feedback on the athlete’s skill.

I have a family of 4 daughters and 1 son. My two older daughters both played club volleyball and I cannot express the joy I get from watching them play. We have a lot of fun as a family and a large portion of that fun comes from sports. It keeps us all healthy and happy.

Coaching Experience:

Club volleyball coach 2005-2007, 2009-Present
Recreational volleyball coach 2003-2007
Professional volleyball instructor 2006-Present
Where did I learn my methods on how to coach? Back in May of 2005, I stumbled across a website dedicated to teaching coaching.

Gold Medal Squared is comprised of the following:
Carl McGown (USA Men’s National Team and former BYU men’s volleyball coach)
Doug Beal (USA Women’s National Team coach and CEO of USA Volleyball)
Marv Dunphy (Men’s National Team and Pepperdine volleyball coach)
Jim McLaughlin (Univ of Washington women’s volleyball coach)
These coaches created a curriculum and now are the proud owners of 3 Olympic Gold Medals.

Memberships and Certifications
American Volleyball Coaches Association 2009-Present
Gold Medal Squared Coaches clinic attendee 2005-2008
USA Volleyball CAP III Candidate Jan 2011
Texas Association of Sports Officials 2009-2012
USA Volleyball Regional Official 2010-Present
USA IMPACT certified 2007-Present


2023-2024 16 National Head Coach

Coach Sara is from La Vernia, Texas. She started playing volleyball at age 5 and continued through high school and into college when she moved to Austin to attend and play for Concordia University Texas.  

Coach Sara shares her passion for the game through coaching and developing young athletes, motivating players to be their very best, on and off the court. 

Coach Sara coached with La Vernia Volleyball Club prior to moving to Austin and has been coaching with Austin Velocity for the past 7 years. In the off-season, Sara helps facilitate clinics and offers one-on-sessions for athletes looking for additional training.

Coach Sara has completed the following coaching certifications: IMPACT, Safe Sport, Positive Coaching Alliance and Gold Medal Squared.


2023-2024 16 National Assistant Coach

Coach Kendall was born and raised in Houston, where she started playing volleyball at age 8. She continued through high school where she was a 3-year varsity member as a middle blocker and outside hitter and played in club leagues during the summers. After high school, she moved to College Station, Texas, where she studied Business Administration at Texas A&M. Each
summer, she came home and coached her high school team’s summer league. She moved to Austin after graduating in 2020 and is now studying to become a teacher. This is her first year coaching for Austin Velocity and is so excited to be a part of such an incredible organization. She can’t wait to be a part of the development of young athletes and to
share her love for the sport!

Kendall is safe sport and IMPACT certified


2023-2024 15 National Head Coach

My name is Loc Do – I grew up in Vietnam and have now lived in Austin and the surrounding area for the last 32 years. I have played semiprofessional for 2 years in Vietnam in my late teens, as well as several men’s clubs in Texas as an Outside Hitter for more than 25 years. I have been coaching volleyball for kids in our community since 2013 and for several years with club. I am dedicated and passionate about developing young athletes and preparing them for the next level. I look forward to watching these young ladies grow as athletes and have no doubt Austin Velocity will have a successful upcoming season.


2023-2024 15 National Assistant Coach

Justin was born and raised in Houston, Texas.

He is currently a graduate student at Texas State University’s Physical Therapy program in Round Rock. Justin has been playing volleyball recreationally since 2016. This is his first year coaching with Austin Velocity! Justin’s goal is to gain experience coaching while providing the best assistance for the 15 National team to push them to their greatest potential throughout the season!

Justin is SafeSport, IMPACT, and Gold Medal Squared Certified


2023-2024 15 Travel Head Coach

Sarah is from Bastrop, Texas. She played on her High School varsity team where she was the Varsity MVP and MVP Outside Hitter of the District. She played club at Texas Shock Volleyball club as a six rotation outside hitter. She is currently a freshman at Concordia University and plays as an outside hitter where she earned all ASC Honors and was ASC Player of the Week in the 2019 season.

She has a passion and love for the sport and wants to share that with young athletes. She desires to motivate and inspire girls to reach their full potential on and off the court. She started by coached several summer leagues in Bastrop as well as private lessons for young girls in Bastrop. Sarah’s mom grew up playing volleyball as well so she has been exposed to the sport all her life. She loves the game and is excited to share her knowledge with the athletes. Sarah is majoring in Environmental Science and is part of the honors program at Concordia University. This will be Coach Sarah’s 4th season Head Coaching for Austin Velocity.


2023-2024 15 Travel Assistant Coach

Coach Lia is originally from Panamá but has lived in Killeen, TX, for many years. She has been playing volleyball for about 9 years, starting at age 11. In high school, she was an outside hitter and team captain making 1st and 2nd team for our district and state. Lia also played for Austin Juniors (AJV) for three seasons as a middle and right-side hitter.
Coach Lia had plans to play collegiate volleyball but suffered an ACL tear ending her career short. Luckily she is now fully recovered and back in the world of volleyball!
She is currently a senior at The University of Texas at Austin majoring in International Relations with the plan to graduate next Fall, 2024.
This is Lia’s first year with Austin Velocity. She is super excited to help guide the 15 Travel team to their highest potential.
Lia is IMPACT, SafeSport, and Gold Medal Squared Certified


2023-2024 15 Regional Head Coach

Coach Sandra was born and raised in South Carolina. She played on her varsity volleyball team for three years in high school as a 6 rotational player. After high school, she joined the Army to travel and see the world as a power generation equipment mechanic. After 10 years in the Army, she decided it was time to change careers, return to school, and expand her family. Coach Sandra and her husband, Tony, decided to settle in the Central Texas area close to Fort Hood. After several years of working in public accounting, she was able to take a break and focus on her family. Coach Sandra started teaching Middle School Math in 2021 and is currently a High School Math teacher and the Varsity volleyball head coach at a private school in Killeen.

Coach Sandra is passionate about volleyball and enjoys watching and playing whenever possible. She loves to share her passion and love for the game with anyone who wants to learn. She loves to learn and grow as a coach. She hopes to make a difference with each athlete she encounters and loves to get to know each player as a person, and wants each one to know that she cares about them.  Her daughter, Alicia, has followed in her mom’s footsteps and has been playing volleyball since age 11 and has been playing for Velocity for the last 4 seasons.

For over six years, Coach Sandra has coached elementary, middle, and high school volleyball teams. In her spare time, she volunteers at her daughter’s school, hunts, reads, watches movies, spends time with her family, enjoys the outdoors, and helps with Velocity clinics.

This is Coach Sandra’s fourth season with Austin Velocity, and she is excited to see another season and to work with the athletes.

Coach Sandra is certified in IMPACT, SafeSport, and Positive Coaching Alliance Level 1. She was a Gold Medal Squared clinic attendee in July 2021. She is also currently working on her AOC Head Coach Level 1 certification.


2023-2024 15 Regional Assistant Coach

My name is Catrina Garrisi but everyone calls me Cat. I grew up in League City, Texas where I learned to play volleyball when I was 13. I fell in love with the sport and later played varsity volleyball for 3 years in high school as well as club volleyball during the off-season. After high school, I moved to college station to get my degree in Landscape Architecture at Texas A&M University (Gig’em). My husband and I then moved to Austin with our newborn and have been living here for over 12 years now. When my oldest, Capri, was about 8 years old, she started playing volleyball for Spike frog and has been playing every season since. During those years, I’ve had the privilege of coaching her volleyball teams and playing volleyball in adult social leagues. I am very excited to be a head coach for velocity lite and look forward to this season!


2023-2024 14 National Head Coach

 Coach Kam grew up in Laie, Hawaii. She can’t remember a time where volleyball was not a part of her life. It almost feels like she grew up in a gym, gaining her love of volleyball from her father who led the women’s volleyball program at BYU-Hawaii to 10 national titles over his coaching career. Kam played volleyball through middle school and high school as a setter and DS. She played two years as a DS for BYU-Hawaii, grabbing one of those national titles in 1994.
After that, she was ready to experience life beyond the islands and transferred to BYU Provo, got married, started a family and graduated with a degree in Art Education. She loves being a mom to her three daughters. She also enjoys traveling with her family and finding all the great eating spots!
Coach Kam has been coaching with Austin Velocity since 2017. As a coach, Kam strives to develop mature athletes who can balance giving their whole hearts on the court and being great teammates. She values strong fundamental techniques and aims to teach players to be smart, aggressive, and competitive. She loves being a coach and helping athletes learn skills that will help them on and off the court.
Kam is IMPACT, Safe Sport, and Gold Medal Squared certified.


2023-2024 14 National Assistant Coach


2023-2024 14 Travel Head Coach

A native of Italy and a player of 30 years of experience, Tullia played semi-professionally (“Serie C”): her success as an all-around player was due to mental toughness, high energy, and ability to read the game and anticipate the play. As a coach in Italy, she coached mini-volley (10-12U), developing athletes that eventually played professionally and/or for the Italian Youth and Women’s National team.

In the Austin area, Tullia has coached girls at several clubs for 13 years and boys for four years. Her teams have consistently exceeded expectations, finishing the season with a higher ranking than they started with. As a club coach, she has qualified three teams for Nationals and has won a National Title at AAU in 2022.

Currently, Tullia is the head coach for both JV and the 7th-8th grade team at St. Stephen’s Episcopal. This is her 3rd year at St. Stephen’s, where she’s also coached high school soccer and middle school and high school tennis. Previously, Tullia was also head coach of Round Rock Christian Junior High.

In addition to coaching club and school volleyball, Tullia has managed several youth programs, coaching over 400 athletes aged 9 to 13 to prepare them for club volleyball.

Tullia holds USAV, IMPACT, CAP I, and CAP II certifications. She keeps updating her training constantly, and her mentors include present and former coaching staff of the US Women’s National Team and the Italian Women’s National Team.

Tullia’s coaching philosophy and methods are based on solid, scientific learning principles: 1) the “game teaches the game”: practices based on real game-like situations, with players developing a high volleyball IQ and a solid competitive spirit; 2) “playful approach”: it is scientifically proven that athletes learn faster and retain better when having fun and being emotionally engaged; 3) ” players as people”: the bond she’s able to create with her athletes and their families is strong and long-lasting.

In her non-volleyball-related life, Tullia is the Manager of a US-Italian Food Company, a certified translator, and a Certified Life Coach committed to empowering players to grow in the life skills acquired through playing the game. She lives in Leander with the apple of her eyes, her son Brian (13), and her ever-supportive husband, Rick.


2023-2024 14 Travel Assistant Coach


2023-2024 14 Regional Head Coach

Coach Makaila was born and raised in Oregon, where she grew up playing club volleyball starting at age 10 and through high school and finishing off with some college before fully focusing on her bachelor’s in Nursing at Linfield University.
Since then she has been coaching club volleyball for the last 6 years.

This is her first year with Austin Velocity and she is thrilled to be a part of such a great organization. After each year of coaching her love for the game grows. Makaila loves bringing positive energy and helping players find their self-confidence in themselves.
She is excited to see what this season brings.

Makaila is IMPACT, Safesport, and Gold Medal Squared certified.


2023-2024 14 Regional Assistant Coach


2023-2024 13 Gold & 11 Black Head Coach

Melanie is from a small town in central Texas where she was a four-year letterman in volleyball, basketball, track, and cross country and a three-year letterman in softball.  After being introduced to the game of volleyball at the age of 10, it became her passion.  She played outside hitter in high school and club for Mid Cities volleyball.  She had to commute four hours round trip to attend club practices, but she was determined to play at the collegiate level.  Her dedication led to a full four-year athletic/academic scholarship to play volleyball at St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX.  As a collegiate athlete, she played as an outside hitter, right-side hitter, and middle blocker.  After graduating with her Bachelor’s in Kinesiology, she taught and coached in the Austin area while attending night classes at Texas State University to obtain her Master’s in Education Administration.


Once Melanie became an assistant principal, she took a break from coaching and started a family with her husband, Daniel.  Their oldest daughter decided to play volleyball for Junior Frog in the spring of 2019, which is when Melanie stepped back in coaching.  Since then, she has coached her daughters’ league teams, Spike Frog and Austin Velocity clinics, throughout the year. She is entering year four as a head coach for Austin Velocity. Melanie is IMPACT, SafeSport, and Gold Medal Squared certified.


2023-2024 13 Gold Assistant Coach


2023-2024 13 Green Head Coach

This is Calvins first year coaching with Austin Velocity! Straight out of high school, Calvin went on to play division 1 football for the University of Houston. After ending his football career, he started playing sand volleyball which began the passion for the sport. Years later, his daughters found an interest in volleyball and sparked the interest in volleyball again! Calvin went on to coach his 3 daughters at Spike Frog Volleyball for 8 years, leading one of their teams to win the championship! Calvin wanted to take his coaching experience to the next level and share his passion for the game, so he decided to start his elite coaching journey with Austin Velocity.

Calvin will be Gold Medal Squared certified in November 2023.

Calvin currently lives in Burnet, Texas with his wife and 3 daughters. In addition to coaching, he also owns two companies. In his spare time, he enjoys the great outdoors, hunting, fishing, camping, and of course watching his daughters play volleyball.


2023-2024 13 Green Assistant Coach

Melissa was born and raised in Minneapolis Minnesota before being transplanted to Texas in her college years and resided here since.  Melissa‘s love for volleyball runs deep as she comes from a long line of successful high level athletes. Both her parents were coaches (her dad coaching nine All Americans). Melissa began playing volleyball, both school and club at a young age and was a three-year varsity starter outside hitter and defensive specialist/lib. She was district defense MVP, had a record 718 season digs, All Conference, and named an All State player her senior year as she led her team to the State Championship game.

Melissa credits a lot of her athletic success in both play and coaching style to her parents and varsity volleyball coach who was inducted into the Minnesota state coaches Hall of Fame, and who was ranked in the top 30 high school volleyball coaches in the nation.

Her love for the sport has been fueled over the last couple years with now having daughters who play the sport. Melissa has coached most recently Boss Frogs Pro (having a 2nd place finish) and 5-6th grade volleyball and elite summer camps in Colorado. She invests time private coaching young athletes 1 on 1 and small group as she specializes in training skill and technique, motivating them to success. 

Melissa has a passion for young people as she has had years training and developing them on and off the court. Leading hundreds of teenagers overseas on mission trips, impacting both the students lives and the lives of those in the most rural parts of the world – impacting them for life. 

Melissa, her husband, and three kids live here in Leander Texas where she owns a business of 12yrs – a women’s apparel company Grace and Lace.

USAV safe sport certified, IMPACT, and Gold Medal Squared Certified


2023-2024 13 Gray Head Coach

Lianne is from Pearland, Texas. She has been playing volleyball since she was 10 years old. She played 4 years on her high school’s varsity team as a setter and right side hitter earning First Team All-District awards two years in a row. She also earned All-State Honorable Mention. She played on club teams for 7 years starting at 12 years old. She finished her club seasons playing for Texas Alliance Volleyball in Houston.

She has been living in Austin for 4 years now attending Concordia University Texas. She played as a setter on the Concordia volleyball team from 2016-2019. Her collegiate athletic awards included 2016 All-ASC West Division Second Team, 2017 Academic All-ASC, 2019 ASC West Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year, and 2019 ASC Volleyball All Championship Tournament Team. She graduated in the Spring of 2020 with a Bachelors of Science in Biology.

This will be her 4th year of coaching with the Austin Velocity and Spike Frog. She is excited to continue to learn and grow as a coach. She hopes to impact young athletes more than just on the court like her coaches did for her. She also hopes to implement habits of hard work, teamwork, and character.

Lianne will be the Graduate Assistant for the Concordia Volleyball program while pursuing a Masters of Buisness Administration for the 2020-2021 seasons.

Lianne is IMPACT, Safe Sport, and Gold Medal Squared certified.


2023-2024 13 Gray Assistant Coach

Emily is originally from Houston, TX, and has played volleyball since 5th grade. She has played for Houston Skyline and Kaboom as Right Side Hitter, Setter, or DS/Libero. Emily finished up her volleyball playing days at Concordia University during her Sophomore year as a DS/Libero. During Emily’s Freshman year at Concordia, the team advanced to the Conference Tournament for the first time in 13 years! She received a BS in Environmental Science and Conservation in 2017.

Emily has coached Spike Frog and assisted before the pandemic hit. This is her 3rd season as a Head Coach for Velocity. She is most excited about this age group understanding more advanced volleyball and hoping to develop team players and versatile athletes.

Emily is IMPACT and SafeSport Certified and has attended Gold Medal Squared in 2018.


2023-2024 12 Gold Head Coach

Amanda is from Round Rock, Texas. She has been playing volleyball since she was 8 years old through high school as a setter. She played club volleyball for 4 years, starting at the age of 12. She is currently living in Austin studying sports medicine to be a CPT (Certified Personal Trainer) and PNC (Nutrition Coach).  She has coached club volleyball for going on 5 years as well as summer leagues for Spike Frog Volleyball. This is her fourth year with Austin Velocity and she couldn’t be more excited. Her love for the game of volleyball has grown and continues to grow. She is excited to continue growing as a coach while helping other players grow themselves. She hopes to pose a positive impact on these athletes abilities both on and off the court.

American Volleyball Coaches Association
Gold Medal Squared
USAV IMPACT/SafeSport certified
Positive Coaching Alliance


2023-2024 12 Gold Assistant Coach


2023-2024 12 Green & 13 Purple Head Coach

Aaron grew up in Southern California and was introduced to volleyball, his sophomore year of high school, where he fell in love with the sport. He continued through high school playing both JV & varsity- middle and right side. His senior year the team made it to the state finals.

He was part of the first College of the Canyons men’s club volleyball team, playing middle and right side. Sadly the club only had a few seasons. While at BYU-Idaho he was on many rec. leagues and was on the BYU-I men’s competitive B team. Currently, he gives private lessons and plays both indoor and outdoor as much as he can.

Aaron has coached both baseball and basketball for his son’s teams. This is Aaron’s 2nd year coaching club volleyball, and is very excited to be back on the court with the young athletes. Aaron teaches the fundamentals of each skill and helps develop game IQ and strategy to help each player develop and progress toward their volleyball goals.

Aaron is IMPACT, SafeSport, and Gold Medal Squared certified.


2023-2024 12 Green Assistant Coach

Tawny grew up in Allen, Texas and moved to Austin 6 years ago with her family. She found the love of coaching volleyball when her daughter started playing for Spike Frog 5 years ago. Tawny was an assistant coach for her daughter’s team for 7 seasons. When she’s not coaching, she enjoys teaching local group fitness classes or playing with my great Danes. She is very excited for this new chapter of coaching club volleyball for Velocity and look forward to the games ahead!

Tawny is IMPACT, SafeSport



2024 12 Black Head Coach


2024 12 Silver Head Coach


2024 14 Black Head Coach


2024 14 Silver Head Coach

This is Heather’s first year coaching with Austin Velocity. Heather has played volleyball for about 35 years starting with playing out at Bull Creek in Austin as a child. She won multiple Top Player awards through school where she ended up falling in love with the DS/Libero position. After school she played everything from sand doubles to co-ed sixes. While this is Heather’s first year to officially coach, she has worked with athletes one-on-one to secure spots on their respective teams.

Heather is IMPACT, Safe Sport, and Gold Medal Squared certified.


2024 15 Black Head Coach


15 Silver & 16 Black Head Coach

Michaela is from San Antonio, Texas, and grew up in both San Antonio and Puyallup, Washington. She has been playing volleyball since she was 12 years old. She played club throughout junior high and two years in high school as a middle and outside hitter. She went on to play in college at Green River in Washington State as a universal player, specifically specializing in opposite and middle defending. At the end of her college career, she had the opportunity to play at a few universities but decided to focus on enhancing her skills in coaching.

Michaela earned a bachelor’s in communications, fine arts, and interior design with studies in sports education at Washington State University. She has been coaching club volleyball for six years, with three years of coaching high school and club and one year of rec volleyball. Reaching multiple undefeated seasons and MVC awards.

Michaela has lived in Austin for almost a year; this is her first year with Austin Velocity! Hoping to grow with the Austin city and team. Her coaching goal is to implement trust, honesty, and hard work by adding healthy lessons and play that the teams can incorporate into their everyday lives.


Matt was fortunate to grow up in a house behind a baseball field and have a basketball goal and volleyball net in his backyard. Sports have always been a big part of his life. Or maybe his parents just wanted him outside.

In high school, he focused on basketball, playing varsity for three years, and earning all-district honors for two years.

During this time, he developed a love for sand volleyball, playing locally and in tournaments.

He started his college basketball career at Eastfield College, before transferring to play at Taylor University. While at Eastfield, Matt took the opportunity to work with the volleyball team as a practice player. 

He has coached Spike Frog teams for eight seasons and focuses on three things: fun, fundamentals, and the concept that players learn by making mistakes. 

He has a BA in Business Admin-Finance from Taylor University and an MBA from Texas A&M. For the past 15 years, he has worked in the high-tech industry in Sales Strategy Consulting and Corporate Sales Operations Roles.

Matt is a Gold Medal Squared certified coach.


My name is Abi Hilpert and I am a freshman at Concordia University Texas. This is my first year playing college volleyball, but I have been playing competitive volleyball for 7 years. I was voted team captain my sophomore, junior, and senior year of high school and won MVP my junior year. I grew up in Hawaii, but I currently live in Maryland. I am studying religious education, which means I plan on going into church work and working with children. In my free time, I work at Texas Roadhouse and have previously worked at my churche’s pre-school and neighborhood elementary school. I have two brothers, one older who goes to California Baptist University and one younger who goes to Chesapeake High School. I also love to travel with my family to different countries and states, like Australia, Japan, Thailand, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. My passion is working with children in any way possible, whether it’s in a church setting or on the court. I can’t wait to get to know my 11s team and have a great season!


Coach Jen is a UNICORN! She is born and raised right here in Austin, TX. Jen has either played or coached volleyball for over 20 years! Jen started her coaching career right out of high school and coached for a period of time until she started a full-time career as a financial advisor.  She continued to play rec leagues to feed her joy for the sport.  After taking time out from coaching, she came back to coach her young athlete and is super excited to be back!


Johna has played volleyball for a total of 6 years and is currently playing at Concordia University. She quickly developed a love for the sport when she started playing in 7th grade as a Righ Side Hitter. Johna played through her years at North Point High School in Waldorf, Maryland, where she grew up. After graduating high school in 2021, she committed to Concordia University in Austin, Texas, where she is getting her Undergraduate degree in Computer Science, hoping to become an Intellectual Property Lawyer.
Throughout her volleyball career, she has played every position except setter and libero. Johna can’t wait to get to know everyone in the Velocity family and help expand the athletes’ volleyball knowledge!


Savannah is from Euless, Texas. She played high school volleyball at Colleyville Heritage HS where she earned All-District honorable mention, Academic All-District, Academic All-State, and the Heart and Hustle award in her 2020 season. She began playing volleyball at the age of 8 and began club volleyball at the age of 12 at Texas Image in Grand Prairie. She played on National Teams becoming an all-around player and team captain. She finished her club career at Texas Image.

This will be her second year living in Austin and she is currently playing collegiate volleyball at Concordia University Texas as an outside/defensive specialist. She is working towards getting a degree in nursing and becoming an RN.

This is Savannah’s second year coaching with Velocity, and third year coaching overall. She is super excited to leave a positive impact on the young athletes who come in to play volleyball and wishes to help them create good habits and work ethics both on and off the court. She believes that young athletes make amazing leaders in the real world and hopes to implement respect and responsibility into their lives. She is ready to grow her love for the sport and continue to learn about the game as a coach.