Camp Coaches

Leslie Irie, VPC Director

Coaching Experience

Playing Experience


Christy Hansen (nee Torgerson)

Christy was born and raised in Calgary, AB. She started playing competitive volleyball in grade 9 and never looked back. She is currently residing in Edmonton where she is a Co-Founder of ASPIRE Volleyball. 

Here are some of her volleyball highlights:

High School Volleyball 

Club Volleyball

Alberta Provincial Team Volleyball

University Volleyball

National Team Volleyball

Leah Allinger

Coaching Experience

2010 - Current: Assistant Coach, UBC Women's Volleyball

2010-2011: Coach, Volleyball Centre of Excellence

2009-2012: Mental Trainer, SFU Volleyball Centre of Excellence, SideOut Beach

2008-2010: Head Coach, Beach Volleyball

2003: Assistant Coach, BC U-19 Provincial Team (Gold Medalist)

Indoor Playing Experience

1997-2002: UBC Volleyball (CIS Silver Medalist, 2 x CIS Bronze Medalist)

 2001-2002: Canada-West 1st Team All-Star and CIS Honourable Mention All-Canadian

2000-2001: Canada-West 2nd Team All-star

Professional Beach Volleyball

2009: AVP Beach Tournaments (5th-Ft. Lauderdale; 7th-Long Beach)

2009: Vancouver Beach Volleyball Corona Open (5th)

2008: Vancouver Beach Volleyball Corona Open (1st)

2008: AVP Beach Tournaments (17th-San Diego; 25th-Chicago and Manhattan Beach)

Vanessa Arbour

A fourth year student-athlete at Nippising University, Vanessa is majoring in Criminal Justice. She has been a middle blocker in each of her years while at Nippising and gained experience at this position playing club volleyball with Ottawa's Maverick Volleyball Club.

Heather Brinkman (nee Osberg)

Currently, Heather is a teacher with the Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) in southwestern Ontario. She was born in Ontario and raised on the West Coast. Heather attended West Vancouver Secondary School where she played both volleyball and basketball with a highly competitive senior squad throughout her high school career. After a successful start with her high school and club team, BCO, she headed south of the border to Gonzaga University (Spokane, WA) where she continued to play both sports. During her time there, she played for the developmental Canadian A2 squad and competed in several international tournaments. After moving up to the top Canadian squad for three years, Heather continued to play professionally in Europe and Asia, and has recently settled down in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She has spent the last six summers coaching throughout the Pacific Northwest, and, after 18 years as a player, is looking forward to making the transition from player to coach.

Here are some recent highlights from her playing career:

Canadian National A2 team

Canadian National Team

Professional Teams

Vivian Chan

Currently, Viv teaches in the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). As a coach, she has experience working with both female and male volleyball players at the club and high school level. Viv had a tremendous playing career both indoors and on the beach. She was an OUA Champion (U of T, indoor) and represented Canada internationally at the Beach World Championships (19U and 21U).

Sophie Chenail

Joely Christian-MacFarlane

Nicole Collard

Currently, Nicole is in her last year of eligibility while studying Nursing at Humber College. Prior to this, Nicole spent 4 years as a student-athlete at Guelph majoring in Psychology and Neuroscience. Without a doubt, she will bring a certain level of maturity and experience to Humber’s Volleyball Team.

Bonnie Cooper

Mandi Doris

Alina Dormann

On January 29/19, Alina, along with only 7 other USport student-athletes, will be at Rideau Hall receiving the Governor General's Academic All-Canadian Commendation. One female and one male student-athlete are chosen from each of the four conferences that represent Canada. This incredible honour will be even more special as Alina was born and raised in Ottawa.

In each year as a student-athlete with the Blues, Alina has been selected as an OUA All-Star (1st Team) and a U Sport All-Canadian. ‘Only’ in her 4th year, Alina has represented her country on the SR, JR, FISU Games Teams and has captured a USport National Championship throughout her career to date.  

A point of interest: Alina spent 2 summers as a VPC athlete, so it was an absolute pleasure to have her return but now as a coach.


Melanie Dormann

** Full Circle Moment: Melanie is a two-time former VPC athlete **

Bruce Dunning

Jackson Dunning

As a Ryerson Business Management Major, Jackson has achieved success both indoors and on the beach. He, along with his teammates, medaled at various provincial and national championships. A product of the Maverick Volleyball Club, Jackson has coached both indoor and beach athletes during his time in Ottawa.

Keyomi Ellis

Kelsie English

2013-2014, student-athlete on the Women's Volleyball Team at l'Universite d'Ottawa (4th year)

2012-2013, OUA Champion and All-Star (2nd Team)

2011 23U Team Ontario Provincial Team

2010 Team Ontario Provincial Team * 2010 NTCC Champions

Graduated from Louis-Riel High School (Sport Etude Volleyball Program)

* two-time AAA Provincial Champions (08-09 Soccer and 09-10 Volleyball)

* six-time National Capital Finalists (5 gold and 1 silver: soccer and volleyball)

Myriam English

One of the greatest players to have worn a Gee-Gee uniform, Myriam has received All-Canadian status in each of her 5 years while at uOttawa. Having played professionally overseas for a year, currently Myriam is an elementary school teacher.  She has been with VPC for 5 years as either an assistant or a lead coach.

2013-2014, student-athlete and co-captain on the Women's Volleyball Team at l'Universite d'Ottawa (4th year)

2012-2013, OUA Champion and All-Star (2nd Team)

2011-2012, OUA All-Star (2nd Team)

2010-2011, CIS and OUA All-Rookie Team and OUA All-Star (2nd Team)

2013 Junior National Team

2009, 2010 Team Ontario Provincial Team * 2010 NTCC Champions

Graduated from Louis-Riel High School (Sport Etude Volleyball Program)

* two-time AAA Provincial Champions (08-09 Soccer and 09-10 Volleyball)

* six-time National Capital Finalists (5 gold and 1 silver: soccer and volleyball) 

Laura Fedorak (nee Mireault)

Coaching Experience

Playing Experience

Claude Ferland

Émie Gaboury

** Full Circle Moment: Emie is a former VPC athlete and this is her 2nd year coaching with VPC **

Sammie Gibson 

** Full Circle Moment:  Sammie is a former VPC athlete **

Breanna Golding

Currently, Breanna is in her 2nd year with the Humber Women’s Volleyball Team. As a starter in her first year with the Team, she was chosen as Rookie of the Year for both Humber Athletics and the OCAA. Breanna played her club volleyball with the Scarborough Titans where she was a two-time VC National Champion. She has been in the gym since she’s been ‘little’ as her mom was a former setter with the National Women’s Volleyball Team

Janie Guimond

One of the best liberos Canada has produced, Janie joined the Universite de Montreal as a walk-on. That’s right, no one recruited her! While chosen as Libero of the Year, she went on to lead the Carabins to the highest placement in their Team history – 2nd place at Nationals.

Janie spent two Olympic cycles trying to help Canada qualify for the Olympics. She was named MVP at an Olympic Qualifier and a Norceca Championship.

Currently, she is an Assistant Coach with the U de M as well as an occupational therapist.

Milana Grahovac

Currently, Milana is a 2nd year student-athlete with the uOttawa Gee-Gees. Milana is an Academic-Canadian who hails from Kitchener, ON.

Chelsea Hobbs

Chelsea is from Edmonton, AB and has been playing competitive volleyball since grade 7. She is currently playing for Mount Royal College in Calgary and entering the fourth year of her Bachelor of Arts Degree in the fall. She is eager to return to her former stomping grounds to help share what she has learned with other athletes. She is also excited to give back through a camp she enjoyed so much growing up.

High School Volleyball 

Club Volleyball

Alberta Provincial Volleyball

College Volleyball


Felicia Jones

Tracy Keats Lapointe

Coaching Experience

Playing Experience

Alix Krahn

Alix has a wealth of experience to draw upon:  as an assistant, she has coached at the University of Winnipeg, York University and is currently with U of T. She competed in Canada-West while a student-athlete at U of W. Alix is PhD candidate at York University. 

Caroline Lemay

Caro excels both in the classroom, as an Academic All-Canadian and on the court, as one of the Gee-Gees starting OH’s as well as being one of the Team’s co-captains. Currently in her 5th year, Caro has been selected twice to the RSEQ All-Star Team.   

A point of interest: Caro spent 2 summers as a VPC athlete, so it was an absolute pleasure to have her return but now as a coach.

Annie Levesque

Coaching Experience

Playing Experience

    8 years, National Women's Volleyball Team

Jeremie Lortie

Currently, Jeremie is in his 3rd professional season playing overseas in France. Jeremie has been a National Champion while playing club volleyball for the Mavericks ('09) and as a member of Laval's Rouge et Or ('13). While at Laval, Jeremie was a 4 time conference all-star as well as being recognized as the tournament MVP the year the Rouge et Or captured the Championship. In his final year with the Mavericks, Jeremie was presented with the highest honour as the winner of the  OVA's Ken Davies Award which recognizes determination, leadership, athletic ability and sportsmanship.

Marcela Mansure

Marcela's coaching experience involves assistant coaching positions with the uOttawa Gee-Gees and the Maverick Volleyball Club. It is no coincidence that McGill's last appearance at the CIS National Championships was when Marcela was the starting setter. Marcela comes from Rio de Janeiro where she played for Fluminese, one of the best clubs in Brazil.

Shanice Marcelle

Shanice has represented our country indoors for 2 Olympic cycles (2011-2016). She has been a member of Canada’s JR and Youth National Teams. Outdoors, Shanice was on the SR National Beach Team in 2008-2010.

Shanice is one of Canada’s most accomplished student-athletes across all sports including all male and female athletes. While at UBC, Shanice won 5 National Championships, twice was chosen as the MVP and was selected as the USport Athlete of the Year. She has played professionally in France and Germany (MVP). 

Kaiva Mateus

When coaching the VPC middles, Kaiva draws upon her vast experiences from University, National Team and playing professionally oversees to bring out the best in each athlete. She spent 4 years at McGill where she was a conference All-Star. Kaiva received one of the highest honour’s when she was chosen as Quebec’s nominee for the prestigious Therese Quigley Award that combines Academics, Athletics and Community Service. While completing her Masters, Kaiva played her final year of eligibility at uOttawa.

 Linda Melnick

Coaching Experience

Playing Experience

Joel Miller

Coached various age class athletes (female and male) in Canada

Playing Experience

Meggie Moir

Coaching Experience

Playing Experience

Jen Neilson

Coaching Experience

Playing Experience

Alexandra Newman

A graduate of the University of Guelph-Humber, Alley was a Captain of Humber's Women's Volleyball Team and recipient of numerous MVP and All-Canadian CCAA Team All-star and Academic All-star awards. 

Jessie Niles

A graduate of the U of A, Jessie was a 5 time Academic All-Canadian and she is a member of the National Women's Volleyball Team. In her final year with the Pandas, Jessie was Canada-West's nominee for the prestigious Therese Quigley​​​ Award which recognizes excellence in Academics, Athletics and Community Involvement. As well, Jessie was U of A's Female Academic All-Canadian, U of A's Female Athlete of the Year and a 1st Team All-Star for Canada-West and CIS.

Vincent Pichette

Currently, Vincent is the full-time assistant coach for the Men's Senior National Team. Vincent has had this position since 2009 and has coached has coached at the 2016 Olympic Games, 4 World Leagues, 2 World Championships, 2 Pan Am Games, and numerous Norceca Tournaments. Vincent is the head coach for the Men's full-Time training centre team.

Michele Prince

Michele is from Edmonton where she started her volleyball career at the High School, Club, and Provincial level. She continued on as a player through College and University then took on a Coaching Role. Through 24 years as a player and coach Michele has gained much knowledge and wisdom about the sport and is excited to pass on her experiences to the up and coming young athletes.

Here are some of her volleyball highlights: 

High School Volleyball 

Club Volleyball and Alberta Provincial Teams

College and University Volleyball

Professional Volleyball

Coaching Career

Master's Volleyball

Diane Ratnik

Volleyball Experience 1977 – 1999

Scarborough Titans VB Club (1977 – 1982)

University of Michigan    (1981/82)

Canadian National Volleyball Team (1982 – 1996)

Major League Volleyball – Minnesota Monarchs (Womens Professional League) 1989-1991

National Open Championships




Allison Ritter

Allison is from Westlock, AB. She played on AB's provincial team (16U-18U) during her years as a club athlete. She went straight out of high school to the U of A and played with the Pandas from 2007-2010. Allison has coached numerous U of A summer camps. In the 2012-2013 club season, she coached the Pandas 16U team. Allison graduated from the U of A with a Bachelor of Physical Education along with an after degree, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Danika Robert

** Full Circle Moment: Danika is a two time former VPC athlete **

Pam Rogers

Coaching Experience

Playing Experience

Sabrina Roy

Chloe Schum

Played club volleyball at both Forest City Volleyball Club (FCVC) and London Volleyball Club (LVC)

** Full Circle Moment:  Chloe is a former VPC athlete **

Courtney Sestric

Charlotte Sider

A member of the National Women's Indoor Team, Charlotte has represented Canada on the beach competing in a FISU Games and 2 World Championships. A graduate of U of T, Charlotte was a 4 time OUA All-Star, OUA Player of the Year as well as a two-time All-Canadian. She has played professionally overseas in Belgium as well.

Adam Simac

For the past 2 years, Ryerson has been fortunate to have had Adam working with their student-athletes ('17-'18 Associate Coach, '16-'17 Strength/Conditioning Coach). This season, Adam is the full-time assistant coach with the Women's Team.

As a player, Adam has represented our country for 2 Olympic cycles (2008-2016) and was a member of the Team where Canada finished 7th at the ’14 World Championships. Most recently, Adam was on the Team that qualified Canada for the Rio Olympics at the last chance qualifier in Tokyo. When he wasn’t with Team Canada, Adam played professionally in Turkey, Slovenia, Switzerland and France.

Adam played at Queen’s University (2002-2006) and was an OUA Champion during the 2005-2006 season.

Ashley Simac (nee Voth)

Having coached at VPC in AB and ON, Ashley has been coaching volleyball with some of the province's top clubs. As well, she spent one season as an assistant coach at Ryerson.

Her playing experience is immense as she has represented Canada as a member of the SR, Junior, Youth National Indoor Team and the SR National Beach Team. Ashley has been an Academic All-Canadian and a two-time 1st Team All-Canadian. In her first year as a student-athlete at U of M, Ashley was honored with the prestigious Mark Tennant Rookie of the Year Award. Ashley completed her Masters last fall and is a certified strength and conditioning coach as well.  

Melissa Smyth

Kaly Soro

Kaly is in her last year of eligibility with the uOttawa Gee-Gees and she has spent the past 4 summers coaching at VPC. She is a gifted multi-sport athlete. She was a member of Ontario’s 2013 Canada Games Team; the only high school athlete that was chosen.

Thinesa Sri

Thinesa brings a balance of playing and coaching experience to VPC. She has represented Canada on the SR National Team, Thin was also captain and a member of the All-Rookie Team during her time at York. Thin has transferred her playing knowledge over to coaching and has been the head coach with several successful club teams over the years.

Lia Stang

Coached various age class athletes in Canada

Playing Experience

Tea Vukovic

Tea is a student-athlete at Ryerson University majoring in Urban Sustainability. She was a 3 time honour roll student in high school and during 2011-2018, Tea played her entire age class years for Pakmen Volleyball Club winning a National Bronze Medal. Tea has been a member of Canada's 2018 JR National Women's Team and Team O in 2017.

Tesca Wasylik

Completing her physiotherapy degree, Tesca is a former National Women's Team libero. Tesca has competed in a World Championship, World Grand Prix and a Pan Am Cup. Having played professionally in Romania, Tesca's team competed in the prestigious Champions League. While in Canada-West, Tesca was selected as the conference's Libero of the Year.

Kyla Wilkins

Currently, Kyla is in her final year of eligibility with Humber College’s Women’s Volleyball Team. She is a 4-time OCAA Champion and has one CCAA bronze medal to date. She is studying Business Marketing and played her club volleyball with Pakmen Volleyball Club.

Lauren Wong

Currently in her 2nd year at Ryerson University studying Nutrition and Food, Lauren has had several significant milestone's in her career to date. As the starting setter in her first season, she won a USport National Silver Medal along with being the OUA East Rookie of the Year. She has been the OVA recipient of two prestigious Awards:  Evelyn Hollick and Jason Senechal Memorial.

Lauren played her club volleyball for the Scarborough Titans (2011-2018) becoming 14U National Champions along with winning two National Silver medals in 2016 and 2018. As an accomplished soccer player, Lauren has coached club volleyball since 2014 and is a certified official.

Michelle Wood

Having been an assistant at 2 FISU Games as well as leading Team O at the ’13 Canada Games, Michelle is currently the Head Coach at Acadia University. As a student-athlete at U of T, Michelle’s work ethic led her to be successful both in the classroom as an Academic All-Canadian and she was selected as a two-time OUA Libero of the Year.

Becky Zeeman

Becky is in her 3rd season as Assistant Coach for the Ryerson Women’s Volleyball Team. As a student-athlete, she was an OUA Champion as well as a conference All-Star while at Queen’s. Becky has been a part of Team O’s Beach Team (2009-2010) and Team Canada (2010-2012).

Dr. Lorne Sawula

This Sports Wall of Fame inductee is generally known as "Dr. Sawula" but for many he is called "Dr. Volleyball" for he has been called upon regularly to diagnose and prescribe treatment for volleyball programs across the country and around the world. 

Lorne entered the University of Alberta in 1964 and won a spot on the Golden Bears volleyball team until 1969. During these years, the Bears won the WCIAA championship in 1965 and were silver medalists in 1967 and 1968. He earned a spot on Alberta's Canada Games team in 1967. After a brief time away from the University of Alberta, Lorne returned to coach the Golden Bears for the 1971 - 1973 seasons.

For the next two decades, Lorne travelled around the world and was lured back to the U of A in 1993, as assistant coach of the team which, in 1994-1995, won a silver medal at the national finals. Beginning in 1995, Lorne joined Laurie Eisler and the Pandas, becoming part of the superb Panda teams that produced six consecutive national titles. In 1996 he became co-coach, a position he held until 2000 when he became coach of the Canadian Women's National team.

The siren call of Canada and other countries lured Lorne to the challenge of coaching national women's teams: the Canadians (1982-1988 and 2001-2005); the Swiss (1990-1993) who won a FISU bronze medal in 1993); the Australians (1994) and the Swedes (1997-1999). He also assisted the training and development of the Costa Rican Women’s team during the 2006 World Championships in Japan. The records of few volleyball coaches can approach "Dr. Volleyball's" numerous appearances at international competitions.

Today Lorne serves Canada's volleyball communities as a Level IV Canadian Certified Coach for Volleyball Canada and also is a Level III FIVB Coach and Instructor who is in demand around the world. 

2007 - 2009        Head Coach, Great Britain's National Women's Volleyball Team

2009 - present    Volleyball coaching educator/speaker and Co-Founder of ASPIRE Volleyball

(source: University of Alberta folio - 2004)