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Brian Payne - Club Director/ Tier Coach

Brian is the former head coach at Terre Haute South High. While there, he led the team to over 200 wins with three sectional titles, one MIC conference title, and was one win away from the Final Four two years in a row. He began playing in 1987 at the White River Park State Games, then coached by the legendary Cathedral coach Rhonda Low. His club team finished state runner up three years in a row. He then was picked up by a club  team out of Toledo, OH and competed in the Boys' USVBA Nationals in 1989. He then went on to be a part of the IPFW Men's team for two years, before transferring to ISU where he earned a degree in English Education. He began coaching club in 1992, and was a part of developing the COA VBC starting in 1999. Brian has participated in numerous collegiate camps around the midwest.  He has been exposed to some of the best minds in the game from camps, club,  and participating in the AVCA National Convention. Brian has coached the 12-1s team for over ten years, taking his team to several top 20 finishes at AAU Nationals, with one top 10 finish several years ago.

Aaron Benefiel - 18-1's Head Coach/Tier Coach

This is Aaron's fifth year coaching for COA. In the past, he has assisted with multiple age groups at clinics and during club season. Primarily, Aaron has been the assistant coach for the 18-1’s team along the side of Ali Fell and assisted the team to multiple top three finishes at tournaments around the Midwest in the 18 Premier division and two top 5 finishes and one 2nd place finish at the AAU National Tournament in the 18 Club Division in Orlando, Florida.  In previous years, Aaron has assisted at Terre Haute North Vigo High School. In his free time, he is a licensed IHSAA volleyball official and a volunteer assistant coach at Indiana State University. In 2017, he aided ISU in reaching the MVC tournament where they made program history with their first ever tournament win. On the weekends, he likes to travel to Indianapolis and other major cities to play in competitive volleyball tournaments. Aaron is always striving to find ways to better not only himself but COA and everyone associated with the club. Outside of COA, he is working as a full time Correctional Officer at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility since 2012. This year at COA, Aaron will be the head coach for the 18-1’s team and is super excited to bring the knowledge and skill that he has obtained from many great coaches around the area.

Christy Pinkston - 18-2's Head Coach

Christy grew up in Findlay, IL and started playing volleyball in seventh grade.  She played all four years at Findlay High School, but it wasn't until her junior year that she truly began to appreciate and love what volleyball had to offer.  This was due to a growth spurt and an amazing high school coach.  During her senior season, Christy was named to two all-tournament teams and First Team All-Conference.  Christy went on to play for Millikin University.  She graduated from Illinois State University where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Education.  Since college, she has coached many different sports including, volleyball, softball, cheerleading, track, and gymnastics.  However, coaching volleyball has always been her passion.  In December of 2000, Christy started the first volleyball program in Paris, IL at Crestwood School.  She went on to start the program at Mayo Middle School-- then on to Paris High School.  During her time as the Crestwood volleyball coach, 7 of her teams made it to the state tournament.   Four of those teams finished 4th or better.  Christy's daughter, Emma, was a member of four of those teams.   While running her own club for the past three years, Christy directed and coached teams that won a combined three tournaments, had players make an all-tournament team, and that won three different bracket championships while at AAU Nationals.   Christy is excited to get back Crossroads of America and focus on coaching and spending more time with her family.  Christy has been married to her husband Curt  for 22 years.  They have 2 kids, Emma and Drew, who are very busy in sports.  Emma will be headed back to COA as well to play.  Christy is currently an English teacher at Kansas High School in Kansas, IL.  She is also the head volleyball coach at Paris High School. This fall (2019),  the girls on the team have had the best season in school history.

Ryan Rogers - 18-2's Assistant Coach

Ryan was born and raised in New Castle, Indiana.  After graduating from Ball State University, he and his wife Karen moved to Terre Haute and then to Brazil in 2005.  Ryan and Karen have 2 daughters, Kassidy, currently a senior at Northview High School in Brazil and the late Rylee Rogers.  Ryan’s love for volleyball started 8 years ago when both daughters started playing volleyball at the Brazil YMCA and the COA elementary league.  Karen coached the elementary league the the following year— and they both coached at the YMCA.  

His daughter Rylee fell in love with the game and decided that school ball and travel volleyball was her passion.  She joined COA and played for four years before moving to a different club the last two years. Ryan and Rylee both loved the game so much that Ryan eventually decided to learn  from Coach Pinkston as a coach.  He helped the Intensity Program where he was the assistant coach to the 16’s and 14’s teams, but also helped frequently with the 17’s and 13’s.  

Ryan is employed with Bon Appetit Management Company at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology where he has worked for 22 years.  While Rylee is no longer with him, he is coaching this year for her #All4Ry and is excited to be back at COA to help other girls that love the game as much as Rylee did.

Chelsea Hamersly - 18-3's Head Coach

Chelsea grew up in Warsaw, IN and quickly came to love the game of volleyball, due to her high school coach!  She was the first Warsaw High School athlete to accept a full ride scholarship to play volleyball at the collegiate level in school history.  Chelsea spent her freshman year of college at the University of Alabama Birmingham playing NCAA Division 1 volleyball as a middle hitter for the Great Midwest Conference .  During that year she earned All Newcomer team, Newcomer of the Year,1st Team All-Conference and the Player’s Choice Award.  She then transferred to Butler University to be a middle hitter for the Bulldogs.  During her sophomore year, she earned the honor of All Newcomer Team, led team in hitting percentage, team high block assists, 9th in the Midwest Collegiate Conference in blocks and 14th in the conference in hitting percentage.  Unfortunately, a week before conference tournament, she had a career-ending injury.

Chelsea graduated from Butler University in 1997, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Disorders. 

Chelsea coached at Brownsburg High School as the head JV and assistant Varsity coach from 2012-2015, before moving to Terre Haute.  She and her husband, Brad, live near Blackhawk, with her two children.  She also has four bonus daughters.  They have a small hobby farm, and Chelsea enjoys riding her horse and spending time outside with her animals.

Alison Fell - 16-1's Head Coach/Tier Coach

Ali has been coaching with COA for 6 years. This will be Ali’s first season as the 16-1 head coach. She previously coached the 18-1’s team and led that group to four 5th place finishes and one 2nd place finish at the AAU National Tournament in the 18 Club Division. Ali is excited to take her coaching experience and work with this new age group and help develop them for the next level. 

A native of Terre Haute, Ali has played volleyball since the age of 12 playing for COA and Terre Haute South High School. She attended DePauw University and played for the Tigers. Ali was a four-year starter and letter winner. She received several All-Tournament Team recognitions, All-Conference, and Player of the Week selection in her senior season. Ali was awarded the Tiger Pride Athletic Leadership Award before she graduated in 2006. Ali earned her undergraduate degree in Communication Studies and her master’s degree in Communication Studies from Indiana State University in 2011. She currently works for Old National Bank as a Private Banker. Ali and her husband Derek have two children, Emma and Anaston who both play for the club. Derek serves as a COA Board Member.

Morgan Stearley - 16-1's Assistant Coach

Morgan is from Brazil, Indiana and began playing at COA when she was eight years old.  She lettered all four years at Northview High School.  During her time at Northview, the Knights won 3 Sectionals, 3 Regionals, and 1 Semi-State Championship.  Morgan made All-Conference her junior and senior year and was selected to be a member of the Indiana  South All-Star team her senior year.  Morgan then went on to play for DePauw University, where she is studying Kinesiology. While at DePauw, Morgan was a four year starter and letter winner for the Tigers. Her sophomore year at DePauw, Morgan was recognized as All-NCAC First-Team, All-Region First-Team, and an Honorable Mention All-American. Her junior year, Morgan was named All-NCAC First-Team, as well as Sports Imports/AVCA Division III  National Player of the Week. Throughout her career as a Tiger, Morgan was named NCAC player of the week four times, and she was a captain her junior and senior year.  After graduating in May 2020, Morgan plans to attend Physical Therapy School.

Matt Jarvis - 16-2's Head Coach

Matt was born into the game of volleyball in Muncie, Indiana. He was mentored from a young age, the game of volleyball, by his dad and many other coaches through the Munciana program. Matt was a big factor in starting the boys’ volleyball team at Muncie Central High School, where he played 3 years as a setter, and was voted to the All-State team in the first year and made it to the Boys State Finals the second year. Matt played numerous years in the men’s AAU program with Munciana. Matt has coached at numerous college camps and has also taken teams to participate. Matt was an assistant coach for the 12's and also a head coach in the 12's-girl’s division for Munciana. This will be Matt’s 8th year as a head coach at COA. Matt has coached 16 Blue, 14 White, 14 Red for 3 seasons,  18-White and currently his second year coaching 16 Rhinos.  Matt was the head coach at Terre Haute North High School for the 2015-2018 seasons. Matt and his wife Amy have two kids, Tanner 11, and Wrin 8, and currently reside in Terre Haute. Matt is Vice President of  Benchmark Fabricated Steel in Terre Haute.

Denise Meyer - 14-1's Head Coach/Tier Coach

This is Denise’s second season coaching for COA at the 14’s level. A native of Muncie, Indiana and a graduate of Muncie Burris High School and Ball State University, Denise Meyer has been around the sport of volleyball consistently since she started playing it in the sixth grade. She played club for Munciana and has fond memories of the early AAU Nationals held in Lisle, Illinois at Illinois Benedictine College where athletes from the midwest region would converge for 4 days of play. She feels fortunate to have learned to play the game from legendary coach Steve Shondell which allowed Denise to experience back-to-back State Championships her junior and senior year of high school as well as the opportunity to play in college at Hanover for 3 seasons. Denise has amassed nearly 20 years of volleyball coaching experience at a variety of levels. Her coaching experience began while still in high school working for BSU’s Men’s Volleyball coach Don Shondell at the Ball State University All Skills Camp. While earning her teaching degree from Ball State University, Denise returned to Burris to coach the elementary team and assist with the middle school program. After moving to Greencastle, Indiana, Denise spent the fall of 1996 as the JV coach and assistant varsity coach at Owen Valley High School before landing a full-time teaching job for Greencastle Community Schools in October of that year. She spent a number of years, coaching at the middle school level before moving to coach at Greencastle High School in 2014 where she coaches the JV team and assists the head coach. Greencastle achieved their first postseason victory in 17 years winning the Crawfordsville sectional title in 2017, and they were able to repeat that victory with a sectional win in 2018. Beyond coaching volleyball, Denise teaches at Greencastle Middle School where she’s been since 2004, and before that she taught at the elementary and primary levels. She is also the proud mom to daughters Maggie, Abby, and Lilly and wife to Tony.

Shelby Reed - 14-1's Assistant Coach

Shelby has been playing volleyball since the fourth grade. She competed at COA as well as Terre Haute South where she was a four year varsity letter winner. Her Senior year, she was named captain and libero. At South, Shelby won two Sectional titles and was an All MIC Conference member her Senior year. Shelby then went on to play Division 1 volleyball at Arkansas State University. Starting all four years as a defensive specialist, Shelby played against BYU, Western Kentucky, Mizzou, IU, Kansas, Tulsa, and several other top 20 teams. Shelby graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism in May of 2014. She has been a practice player, assistant and head coach for COA for eight years, along with one year as head coach for the 10's team at Arkansas Jrs. Shelby was recently the Junior Varsity coach at Terre Haute North where they went 15-2.

Jen Sutherlin - 13-1's Head Coach

Jen was born and raised in Covington, IN. She is currently in her 7th season as the head coach at Covington High School where they just won their 5th Sectional Title in a row in the fall of 2019! Jen has also coached at COA for 8 years, working with multiple age groups.  Jen and her husband Doug have one daughter, Alex  that currently plays at COA as well. Jen graduated from Indiana State University with a degree in Accounting, while also playing on the Sycamore Volleyball  Team. Jen is employed by Walgreens where she does accounting work at their corporate office.

Ashley Bazier - 13-1's Assistant Coach

Ashley started playing volleyball at COA elementary school leagues and began to play club at 8 years old, and continued playing club through her last year of 18's. She was a four year varsity letter winner at Terre Haute South where she was a captain for two years. After high school, she went on to be a four year starting setter and two year captain at Franklin College. At Franklin, Ashley was awarded HCAC All Freshmen team, HCAC All-Tournament Team, and received HCAC Honorable Mention honors two times. She is now working towards getting her PsyD in Clinical Psychology at ISU. Ashley has volunteered at COA camps and clinics, and recently coached  14-2's. 

Maddy Howes - 12-1's Head Coach

Maddy is from Terre Haute, IN. She began her volleyball career at COA Volleyball Club in 5th grade. From there, she was a four year varsity award winner at Terre Haute North High School. She continued her volleyball career at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College where she was the first scholarship volleyball player in the history of the school. Maddy received multiple awards while playing for three years such as USCAA All-American Honorable Mention, National All-Tournament Team, and National All-Academic Honors. She went on to assist her team in three USCAA National Championship Runner-Up titles. She is now teaching kindergarten at DeVaney Elementary in Terre Haute. This is her 6th year coaching for COA. 

Heather Ireland - 11-1's Head Coach/Tier Coach

Heather Ireland started her volleyball career playing for Woodrow Wilson Middle School. Later, she lettered all three years at Terre Haute North as a setter, played in the WVVC Volleyball Club and received a scholarship to play at Marian University. She coached for three years in the Metro South League for 14, 16, and 18 age brackets. She has coached various COA camps and clinics, including the lead coach for the very popular VolleyTOTS program. During past years with COA, she has coached a variety of teams from 10s-14s . Heather is known to be one of the best coaches in the club at practice planning, training, and being a student of the game.

KARA SKINNER - 11-2's Head Coach

Kara was born and raised in Northwest Indiana where she started playing organized volleyball in 5th grade. Beyond school ball, she was afforded the opportunity to play year round for the Dunes Volleyball Club.  After high school, Kara attended Indiana University Northwest to earn a degree in secondary education.  During this time, she also transitioned from volleyball player to coach as the JV / Asst. Varsity coach at Lowell High School all four years of college. 

Kara relocated to Kokomo, Indiana to teach math where she also coached the Maple Crest Middle School 8th grade volleyball team to its county championship status. Kara and her husband Clint then moved to Clinton, Indiana where taught math at South Vermillion for many years. Kara had stepped away from coaching volleyball for a few years while raising a family of four children and earning her Masters Degree at Indiana State University in Educational Leadership.  She loves her current job as Principal of Attica Jr/Sr High School and is very eager to get back into coaching the foundational skills of the game she loves as the coach for the 11-2's team. 

Emily Rinck - 10-1's Head Coach

Emily was born and raised  in Terre Haute, IN. She began her lifelong passion for volleyball at age 11; playing volleyball in middle & high school,  travel volleyball teams, college club teams, and recreational leagues. Emily has called COA her home since 2006. In addition, she has coached at several local schools including Honey Creek Middle School, St. Patrick School, North Central Jr. High, and North Central Sr. High. Emily received her bachelor's degree from Indiana State University in 2006 and earned her teaching certification from St. Mary-of-the-Woods College in 2019. She currently teaches 5th grade at Davis Park Elementary School. She resides in Terre Haute with her husband Matt.

Taylor Hooten - 10U Team in Training

Taylor is from Indianapolis, IN where she graduated from Perry Meridian High School in 2018. She was a three-sport athlete and played varsity volleyball, basketball, and softball. She has played volleyball for ten years with seven of those years playing competitive club volleyball. During her varsity volleyball career, she played setter, her team won sectionals twice, and was awarded Academic All-State. 

She is now a sophomore at Indiana State University, majoring in Elementary Education with a minor in Middle School Mathematics and Reading. During the summer, Taylor works as a summer sports camp counselor, where she teaches children how to play different sports. Just this past volleyball season, Taylor coached with her mother at Perry Meridian Middle School and their 7th-grade girls finished 2nd in county and 2nd in conference. This is her first year coaching for COA.

Travis Mason - Recruiting Coordinator

Travis has a background in sports that goes back to the 1980's. He spent most of his time on the ball field, growing into a successful high school baseball player, and then went on to play at ISU.  He started the Mad Dog Baseball Travel Club a few years back, working as the co-director and coach.  His involvement with COA has developed from being a COA parent first, and has led to a passion for the sport. He is now the recruiting coordinator, familiar with NCAA rules, the recruiting process, and assists the COA athletes with the use of the Sports Recruit website;  COA uses this website to promote our athletes to colleges across the Midwest and beyond.

Melina Tedrow - Team TBD

Melina is a sophomore student-athlete at Indiana State University. She is a defensive specialist/ libero for the Sycamores. She graduated from Payson-Seymour High School in 2018. Melina guided her team to a 1A State Championship and 41-1 state record her senior year. She garnered all-conference honors her final three years. Melina played club for High Performance St. Louis. She volunteers as a summer coach for Payson-Seymour volleyball.

Devynn Merriman - Team TBD

Devynn graduated from Center Grove High School in 2018. She set her school’s single season record for most digs as a Senior. She helped guide her team to a sectional title and regional appearance in her last three seasons, advancing to semi-state as a sophomore. She played club for Circle City from age 9-15 and then continued club at Team Indiana her 16's year through 18's. Her 18's year, her team  placed 3rd at AAU nationals in the open division. Devynn received All American her last club season. She is currently on the volleyball team at Indiana State University as a defensive specialist/ libero.   She was born on February 4 and has two siblings, Skyler and Kolby. In her free time, she enjoys canvas painting, DIY projects, and traveling. Devynn is majoring in Sports Management and minoring in Business.

Kara Schafer - Team TBD

Kara was a 4-year varsity starter for Owen Valley basketball & a 3 year varsity starter for volleyball. In that time, she was awarded Most Dedicated & the Coach’s Award. Kara did not play club volleyball but she played 1 year of AAU basketball with the Indiana Nets & 1 with Indiana Elite. She has assisted several clinics for younger players at Tier Ten. Kara is a sophomore member of the Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College volleyball team where she has played as a DS, right side, and a middle hitter. She is majoring in Nursing and minoring in psychology. This will be her first year coaching for COA. 

April Ross - Team TBD

April began her volleyball career in the 7th grade. She continued to play in high school where she was a 3 year varsity letter winner. April was named to both the NTC and EIC all conference team her junior and senior year. She also received best defensive player and MVP her senior year. While in high school she also letter all four years in basketball, softball, and track and field. After high school, she continues her volleyball career at Millikin University in Decatur, IL. Where is graduated with a bachelor degree in Biology and is currently a Physical Therapist Assistance at Union Bone and Joint. Following college she coached at Cowden-Herrick’s High School JV and Varsity volleyball team for 2 years. After getting married to Brian Ross, she continued to play in an all-women’s club in Lake St. Louis, MO. Brian and April moved to Terre Haute in 2003. They have 3 children, Alex, Isaac, and Julia. April has coached Woodrow Wilson Middle School JV team for the past 3 seasons. This is her 7th year with COA.

Mandi Alspach - Team TBD

Mandi Alspach is from Hutsonville, Illinois. She began her volleyball career in 6th grade and began playing club volleyball her freshman year of high school.  During her time at Hutsonville High School she received all-conference awards all four years. After graduation she attended Lincoln Trail College where she earned GRAC all conference as well as NJCAA All Region 24 2nd team.  She also had the opportunity to help as an assistant coach for the Hutsonville Jr. High volleyball team. Mandi is currently a sophomore at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and is majoring in psychology. She is a member of the SMWC volleyball team and was named USCAA All American 2nd Team during the 2019 season. This will be her first year coaching at COA.

Pamela Dorman - Team TBD

Pamela Dorman was born and raised in Terre Haute, Indiana. She has grown up in an big athletic family and has always been around sports having four sisters, one brother, five nieces, and two nephews. She started playing tennis at a very young age, but grew to love the game of volleyball and has been playing since 6th grade. Pamela played for COA for 6 years where her talents led her to be on the 1s team of her age group each year as a Libero/DS. During her time at Terre Haute South High School, she received the mental toughness award, was recognized for most aces in a set, and became part of the 1,000 dig club. This is her 3rd year as a COA coach, and she coaches clinics for volleyball and tennis as well. She is currently a Junior at St. Mary-of-the Woods College where she continues her volleyball career as a Libero and is pursuing her dreams of being an Elementary teacher. 


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Ali Fell

Ali Fell

Fundraising Director

Phone: 812-243-8356