Coaching Staff

Bio Coming Soon!

Toni Alford, Elite Program Lead Trainer, Head Coach

Playing Experience:
Toni spent the first fourteen years of her life in New Orleans, Louisiana where she started playing volleyball at 9 years old. She played on the High School JV team at 12 years old (that's how small her school was). She moved to Evanston at 15 years old (culture shock) and played for Evanston Township High School where she was all-conference 3 years in a row. She played on the first ever Sports Performance 18 Elite Club Volleyball Team and received a full-scholarship to play at Northwestern University. Toni played at Northwestern from 1982-1985. Her team won the Big Ten Championship two years in a row and made the NCAA tournament all four years. Toni is a member of the Northwestern Women's Volleyball Board.

Coaching Experience:
This year is Toni's 8th season coaching at Wildcat Juniors. She has coached the 12s, 14s, 15s and 18s. This will be her third season as the 12 Black head coach.

Personal Information:
Toni lives in Evanston, is married and has two kids in college (lucky her). While enjoying her empty nest she keeps herself busy coaching, training for triathlons and rowing in regattas. Toni was an athlete for Team USA at the 2014 Triathlon World Championships in Edmonton, Canada and finished 24th in the World. Toni is passionate about teaching young people how to play volleyball and is excited for another great season!

Doreen Banez, Head Coach

Originally from the Philippines, Doreen came from an athletic/competitive family, where they always played one sport or another. She started playing volleyball in grade school and played as a defensive specialist all 4 years in high school and 4 years of varsity in college.

Doreen coached at St. Bartholomew Catholic School for 9 years, where she coached teams from 5th – 8th grade, and accumulated a total of 12 championships for various teams in the Northwest Catholic Conference League and Northwest Junior Volleyball League. She also ran beginner summer camps for 4th and 5th graders as well as advanced skills camp for 6th – 8th graders.

Doreen lives in Chicago, is married, and her youngest daughter (Isabelle) played with Wildcat Jrs. for 4 years and is now playing volleyball at DePaul University. She is dedicated to training the girls as a whole person and not just an athlete and her coaching philosophy is focused on making volleyball an enjoyable experience for the athlete by adhering to positive reinforcement. With 2 daughters involved in club sports, a lot of her and her husband’s time was spent in gyms, started with travel basketball and eventually moved to travel volleyball. During this time, Doreen observed many coaches and realized how much a coach impacts a player’s confidence. She has seen some coaches who have been so negative to the point of ruining her daughter’s confidence. This is the reason why she chooses to coach and train younger players - she wants to help develop the players not just as an athlete but also as a person. Her goal is to encourage the players, build their confidence, and not just focus on winning or losing. She believes that a happy, confident player is a successful player.

2017 (Freshman): Named to the BIG EAST All-Academic Team... appeared in 109 sets for the Blue Demons in her freshman campaign as a defensive specialist... second on the squad in digs with 252 on the season... set a career high with 17 digs at Saint Louis... boasted 25 service aces on the season to rank second on the team.

High School: Member of Northside College Preparatory High School’s volleyball and basketball teams... played the Wildcat Juniors club team under coaches Evelyn Kim and Cassie Rose... named JVA Midwest Challenge Open 10 Players to Watch... three-time Northside Varsity Volleyball Team Captain... won the Northside Varsity Volleyball Tournament MVP award... named Northside Varsity Volleyball Invitational All-Tournament Team in 2015 and 2016... two-time award recipient of the Northside Outstanding Achievement Award... won the Northside Volleyball Senior Leadership Award... two-time Northside Outstanding Achievement Award recipient.

Personal: Daughter of Garry and Doreen Banez... has one sister, Gabbi... plans to study Health Science.

Craig Boller, Assistant Coach

The former Blue Demon volunteer assistant returns to DePaul after stints at Michigan and Delaware, and will be charged with working with the team’s setters, as well as pin attackers and blockers. “Craig started his career here, and since he left he was part of a staff that went to the Final Four at Michigan,” said head coach Nadia Edwards, who enters her fifth season in 2014.

“With my program and Michigan’s program, Craig was in charge of blocking and helped Michigan move up in the Big Ten in blocking statistics – from the bottom to the top. That’s something he brings to the table here, but he’s also worked with setters and a host of other positions. He’s gained a wealth of knowledge in his time away from Depaul, and we’re really excited to have him back.”

He joined Delaware’s staff in April of 2013 and has been recognized as a rising star in the coaching ranks, as he was awarded the AVCA’s 30 Under 30 Award last year. He came to the Blue Hens after serving two seasons as a volunteer assistant coach at the University of Michigan, which made school history as a 2012 Final Four participant. During his time with the Wolverines, Boller was instrumental with the team’s front-row play and coached AVCA All-American, All-Big Ten selection and single-season block record holder Jennifer Cross, who posted 181 blocks in 2012. He also served as the team’s scouting coordinator. Before leaving DePaul for Michigan, Boller trained Blue Demon outside hitters and passers for a season after wrapping up his collegiate career at Lewis University in nearby Romeoville, Ill.

As a Flyer, Boller was a two-time MIVA Academic All-Conference selection while also earning the Lewis Delahanty Award for academic excellence among student-athletes as a senior. Boller graduated in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in sport management and 2010 with a master’s in business administration.

Bio Coming Soon!



Bio coming soon!

Bio Coming Soon!


Bio Coming Soon!

Elyse Glab, Head Coach

Playing Background
During high school, Elyse was a four year starter for Resurrection varsity team and a four year GCAC All-Conference selection, being named Player of the Year her senior season. She played club volleyball for seven years for Sports Performance. Her team won the 2007 Junior Olympics 18-Open National Championship and the AAU title. In 2006, her team took fifth at the USAV 18 Club Nationals and the AAU Nationals. Elyse earned All-Tournament team honors at the AAU 18s and the USAV 18-Club tournaments and took home the Sports Performance Spirit Award that year. She was selected as one of the nation's top 50 recruits by

Elyse was a 4-year starter at Northwestern, finishing her career 2nd in career assists. Her 1,196 assists is the eighth best single-season performance in program history. After her time at NU, she went on to play in the top professional league in France: Ligue A Féminine for Terville-Florange Olympique Club.

Coaching Background
Elyse is in her 7th season coaching at Wildcat Jrs, where she has coached with our 12's, 14's, 15's and 16's. Elyse will be taking over the setter training for the 13's and 14's age groups and will be the head coach for 14 Black this season.

Personal Background
Elyse graduated from Northwestern University with a double major in Psychology and Religious Studies. After her time at NU, Elyse spent a year playing in the top professional league in France: Ligue A Féminine for Terville-Florange Olympique Club. Currently, Elyse resides in Chicago and works for Guerrero Howe Custom Media.

Jana (Brusek) Goyette, a Chicago native and Wildcat Juniors alum, is thrilled to reenter the Wildcat Juniors community as the Lead Trainer for 13 Premier and Assistant Coach for 17 Black. Jana concluded her time as an assistant coach for Hill College in the summer of 2018 after completing four years as the starting libero for Baylor University in Waco, Texas. She is currently the Junior Varsity Assistant Coach at Latin School of Chicago.

While playing for Baylor, Jana led the Bears to their highest finish in Big 12 play in program history, finishing 2nd in 2017. As the starting libero, Jana led the Bears to their first back-to-back NCAA postseason appearance. The Bears also earned the program’s first national seed and hosting opportunity in the NCAA Tournament in 2017, where they were the #12 seed. 

Jana earned a variety of honors, including finishing second-most career digs in program history (1,620). As a four-year-letter winner, she finished her senior year as a team captain. In 2016, Jana was awarded a position on the All-Big 12 (second team). Jana was a three-time Academic All-Big 12 (first team) selection in the classroom and a six-time Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll Selection. She was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the week during her Freshman and Junior seasons. 

This will be Jana’s first season on staff at Wildcat Juniors. She is excited to build up, sharpen, and remind her players that “success is measured in changed lives, strong character, and eternal values rather than in material gain, temporal achievement, or status” (Tony Dungy). Jana graduated from Baylor University with a degree in Biology in May of 2018 and married her husband, Bailey Goyette, in June. 

Douglas Han, Head Coach, Lead Trainer, Recruiting Team, Lessons

Coming Soon!

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Playing Background:
In high school, Eileen was the senior captain of New Berlin West High School Varsity Volleyball Team in New Berlin, WI. She received an all-conference honorary mention her junior year, and made the Second Team-All Division her senior year. She played 3 years at Southwest Volleyball Club in Milwaukee, WI as a middle hitter, and her team qualified for nationals each year. Today she’s a middle hitter for Northwestern’s Women’s club volleyball team.

Coaching Background:
Eileen was a summer camp coach at New Berlin West’s Team Pineapple camp for girls volleyball ages 12-15. She also coached 4-10 year olds for Southwest Volleyball Camp for 2 years. This is Eileen’s first year coaching for Wildcat Juniors and she will be the head coach for the girls 16 White team this year.

Personal Info:
Eileen is a sophomore at Northwestern University, majoring in Applied math in the School of Engineering, while also receiving an engineering design certificate. She is also a member of the Northwestern Club Boxing Team, and part of the Society of Women Engineers.

Playing Experience:
Originally from Chicago, IL, Amanda played for Mother McAuley high school and Celtic Force VBC, Attack VBC, 2nd City VBC and Northwest Elite VBC. In high school, she lettered twice. Her junior-year won regional and sectional championships en route to a third-place finish at the Illinois High School Association state championship, while her senior-year team also won regional and sectional titles, coached by Jen DeJarld. Also, she was a three-year member of the basketball team and awarded Girls Catholic Athletic Conference all-academic and honor student.

She attended Carthage College from 2007-2011 and was a member of the Varsity volleyball team. Was undefeated in the CCIW conference from 2007-2009, conference tournament champions from 2007-2010 and appeared in the D III regional tournament 2007-2010. Her senior year she was team captain and awarded Erin Calteux Most Inspirational Women’s Volleyball Player Recipient (2011).

Coaching Experience:
Amanda is going on her 6th year of coaching club volleyball. In the past Amanda has coached for Celtic Force Volleyball Club and Kenosha Spirit Volleyball Club. In 2011 she was selected and attended the NCAA Career in Sports Forum, which provides education on career development and potential career opportunities for nearly 300 student-athletes from Divisions I, II and II. The 2013-2014 season was his third with Wildcat Jrs as an assistant with 16 Purple.

Personal Information:
Amanda currently lives in Chicago and works in Oak Brook. Amanda majored in Exercise and Sports Science at Carthage College and received a certification in Coaching and a certification in Leadership. She was named to the Carthage College dean’s list five times and athletic director’s honor roll. From 2008-2011 she was a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and named secretary for the 2010-2011 school year. Amanda has four older siblings Katie, Candice, Mary Kate and Jessica.

Bio coming soon!

Bio Coming Soon!

Kirstine Jensen, Youth Programs Director, VolleyKITS, Head Coach, Lessons

Playing Background
Kirstine grew up in Aurora, IL where she competed for Sports Performance Volleyball Club and West Aurora High School. She was a four year varsity letter winner and five time USA Volleyball All-American as an outside and middle hitter. Kirstine went on to accept a full scholarship to play for Ohio State University (1992-1995) and legendary coach Jim Stone.

In 1994, Kirstine helped lead OSU to the NCAA Final Four and a Big Ten title. Her career hitting percentage ranks in the top 20 of Buckeye record books. Kirstine completed her degree in speech and hearing sciences, graduating magna cum laude. Kirstine played both outside and right side hitter and was also a four-time scholar athlete for the Buckeyes.

Coaching Background
Kirstine entered the collegiate coaching ranks sixteen years ago as an assistant coach at Ohio university where she helped the program to its first ever MAC East Championship in 2000. Between 2002 - 2005, Kirstine served as an assistant coach at Florida State University where she recruited Wildcat Jrs. Program Director, Cassie Rose! Following FSU, Kirstine returned to her Illinois roots where she spent three seasons as the assistant at Northern Illinois University and was promoted to the associate head coach in 2008.

Kirstine headed to Evanston in 2009 as the assistant coach at Northwestern University where she helped lead the Wildcats to their 2nd round NCAA tournament appearance in 2010 and was promoted to associate head coach in 2015. Under Kirstine’s tutelage she has coach seven AVCA All-Americans and one AVCA Regional Freshman of the Year.  

Personal Background
Kirstine and her husband Tim have a young son, Jaxen and live in Skokie, IL.

Evelyn Kim, Head Coach, Elite Program Lead Trainer, Lessons

Playing Experience:
Evelyn started playing volleyball when she was 11years old in Korea.

  • 5 years - Attended Seoul, Korea Athletic Junior and High School, trained by a former Olympic setter, Jung Hye YU (1976 Montreal Olympics).
  • 1 year - Artesia High School in California.
  • 2 years - Cerritos College in California.
    • All conference team, MVP in college, etc (insert other awards that Evelyn claims she cannot remember! )
  • 2 years - Illinois State University
    • NCAA DIV I. Ranked 12th
    • All Conference Team
    • Gate Way Conference Champions
    • Texas A&M Tourney Champions
    • Redbird Classic Champions
  • 6 years - Chicago Women's Korea Olympic Volleyball Team
  • 4 years - USAV Women Open Division
  • 10 years - USAV Women AA/A Division


Coaching Experience:
This is Evelyn's 4th year coaching with Wildcat Jrs. Evelyn has coached 15's and 16's. This will be her first year with the 18's and 13's age groups! Prior to coming to Wildcat Jrs:

  • 6 years-Sky High 16's JO head coach
  • 6 years-Chicago Women's Korean Olympic Volleyball team
  • 3 years-Illinois State University Assistant Graduate Coach
  • 5 years-Illinois State University and University of Tennessee summer volleyball counselor
  • 12 years- Private lessons with players Junior high through college players


Personal Background:
Evelyn was born in Korea raised in Seoul until she was 17 years old, when her family decided move to California. Currently, she resides in Palatine, Illinois with her husband Sung K Yoo (aka, SKY or Master Yoo, as he holds a 9th degree black belt in Taekwondo). Both Evelyn and SKY went to Korea/ Seoul Athletic High School in Korea. They reunited 28 years later in the US and got married 6 years ago :). Currently, Evelyn is working as a teacher at St. Johnberchmans School in Chicago. Evelyn has been teaching for over 20 years.

Coming soon!

Jaime Lee, Head Coach

Playing Background:
Jaime fell in love with volleyball when she was introduced to it during gym class in High School. Being a piano major in college, she couldn’t play competitively but she chose volleyball/badminton each semester as her PE elective and played intramurals each year. (Because volleyball and badminton were a package deal, Jaime became proficient at badminton, as well!) After graduating from college, she joined several leagues and played on both coed and women’s teams throughout the years.

Coaching Background:
This will be Jaime’s second season as a Wildcat Juniors coach. She was the Head Coach of 12 Silver last year.

Personal Information:
Jaime lives in Chicago and currently works in Evanston. She enjoys everything that deals with the outdoors, including camping (although she hates bugs!), biking, and roller coasters.

Playing Experience:
Nick brings 16 years of playing experience to Wildcat Jrs. Nick played for four years at Niles West High School and also one year with Adversity South VBC. He served as co-captain for both his varsity team at Niles West and 16U team at Adversity South. Nick has played every position. He was offered a scholarship to play for Robert Morris University (NAIA) in 2011. Nick still plays in competitive adult leagues/tournaments, USAV, and beach in the summer.

Coaching Background:
Nick will be entering his fourth season with Wildcat Jrs as the 14-Purple Head Coach. He has had success with the 14-Purple group for the past three seasons. His first season in 2015, his group finished in Bracket A for Great Lakes Power league and finished 5th in the 42nd AAU Junior National Volleyball Championships Premier Division. His setter, Allyson Gordon was chosen as an All-American for her performance and is the second player in the program to receive the honor after Taylor Tashima (2014). His second season in 2016, the 14-Purple finished in the top quarter of GLPL and had a second place finish in the WI Jrs President's Day tournament.

In 2017, 14-Purple finished fourth in the WI Jrs President's Day Tournament and won the Crystal Division for the 44th AAU Junior National Volleyball Championships. He has had multiple players play up on JV and varsity as a freshman for their high schools. The 14-Purple teams could not have achieved their goals without the help of their assistant coaches. Hannah Crippen (2015), Ryan VanWeese (2016), Lexi Kleva (2017), and Courtney Herschberger (2018). Nick continues to work with his players during the offseason to help prepare them for high school through private lessons and beach volleyball. Along with being the 14-Purple Head Coach, Nick also assists the 17/18U teams. He guided the 17-Black team to a top 10 finish at the 2017 Sports Performance National Junior Classic Open Division.

Nick has eleven years of coaching experience that started once he graduated high school. He has experience working with players ranging from 10U-18U. Nick spent three seasons with Velocity VBC (2007-2010) before going to Energy VBC (2011-2014). During his four seasons with Energy VBC, he alternated as the head coach for the development teams and top teams each season. Many of his 14U players earned individual awards at tournaments and have played on both the JV and varsity teams for their high schools. Nick ran clinics throughout the season, worked with individual players 10U-18U through private lessons, and ran summer camps. Nick was also the master coach for Kevin Hitt who was the camp director for Destinee Hooker's E.S.T. summer camp in 2013.

Nick coached boys volleyball at Notre Dame College Prep (Notre Dame High School) for three seasons (2008-2010), serving as the Freshman B Assistant Coach his first year, Freshman A Head Coach his second (tied for conference champs), and JV Head Coach his third year. Nick currently coaches girls volleyball at Maine West High School in Des Plaines as the assistant varsity coach and is in charge of position training. In 2015, he guided their Freshman A team to a third-place finish in the conference. The 2016 varsity team finished 6-4 in the conference, had two all-conference athletes (setter & middle), and had their first winning season in eight years (19-18). His 2017 varsity team finished their season as CSL North Conference Champs (8-2) with a final record of 23-14 which is the second-best record in program history since 2008 (24-13). The team earned three all-conference athletes (setter, middle, OH/L), beat Glenbrook North for the first time in eight years, and gave Naperville North their first loss of the season.

Personal Information:
Nick currently lives in Morton Grove. He has earned his Associates Degree from Oakton Community College and is planning on earning a marketing degree from Northeastern Illinois (NEIU). He is also a personal assistant and model for his friend Greg Chmiel, who is a professional photographer. His responsibilities include carrying the equipment bag, retrieving wifi passwords, airport pick ups and drop offs, liking pictures on Instagram, looking athletic for pictures, organizing content on Adobe, giving nonvalued ideas during editing, and not crashing the drone. Nick has a pet rabbit named She-Ra who looks like a panda.

Bio Coming Soon!



Bio coming soon!

Ryan was born and raised in Oak Park, IL. Ryan learned the game of volleyball through his older brother, a local EVP Pro in the Chicagoland area. Ryan quickly fell in love with the sport, and soon enough was playing in his local park district team at the age of 10. In junior high and high school, Ryan was recognized as a natural born leader, and was nominated as team captain for every team he played for in high school and club. Ryan played at Sports Performance Volleyball Club starting his freshman year, where he was trained as a right side hitter. By his senior year of high school, Ryan was ranked Top-20 in Illinois by the Chicago Tribune.

After high school, Ryan attended College Of DuPage, where he started the COD Men's Club Volleyball Team. Representing the club as the president, coach, and captain, Ryan lead the team to 3 consecutive NCVF national championships. After his playing success at COD, Ryan was offered an athletic scholarship to play Division I Men's Volleyball at Quincy University, where he played for the next 2 years.

Coaching Background:
Ryan is currently in his 4th year coaching for Wildcat Juniors. This past season he was the head coach for 14 White and has worked in our 14's and 15's age groups. Ryan is passionate about bringing the beach game to the indoor players at Wildcat Jrs. A life-long indoor volleyball player, started playing beach volleyball competitively at the age of 16, spending his free summer days trekking to North Avenue Beach. In his college years, Ryan used his summers every year to play and train regularly on the beach with other high-level players, and he competed against some of the best players Chicago and the Midwest have to offer in tournament play. His love for the game and extensive experience playing at a high level make him a great coach to teach the beach volleyball game.

Personal Information:
Ryan lives in downtown Chicago. He works by day as an IT Consultant, and in his free time enjoys being outside, watching movies, and tinkering with computers.


Ryan O'Malley, Head Coach and Beach Coordinator

Playing Background
Ryan was born and raised in Oak Park, IL. Ryan learned the game of volleyball through his older brother, a local EVP Pro in the Chicagoland area. Ryan quickly fell in love with the sport, and soon enough was playing in his local park district team at the age of 10. In junior high and high school, Ryan was recognized as a natural born leader, and was nominated as team captain for every team he played for in high school and club. Ryan played at Sports Performance Volleyball Club starting his freshman year, where he was trained as a right side hitter. By his senior year of high school, Ryan was ranked Top-20 in Illinois by the Chicago Tribune.

After high school, Ryan attended College Of DuPage, where he started the COD Men's Club Volleyball Team. Representing the club as the president, coach, and captain, Ryan lead the team to 3 consecutive NCVF national championships. After his playing success at COD, Ryan was offered an athletic scholarship to play Division I Men's Volleyball at Quincy University, where he played for the next 2 years.

Ryan is passionate about bringing the beach game to the indoor players at Wildcat Jrs. A life-long indoor volleyball player, started playing beach volleyball competitively at the age of 16, spending his free summer days trekking to North Avenue Beach. In his college years, Ryan used his summers every year to play and train regularly on the beach with other high-level players, and he competed against some of the best players Chicago and the Midwest have to offer in tournament play. His love for the game and extensive experience playing at a high level make him a great coach to teach the beach volleyball game.

Coaching Background
Ryan is entering his 5th season coaching for Wildcat Juniors. This year Ryan is the Head Coach and Lead Trainer for the 15 Regional group. This past season he was the head coach for 14-White and has worked in our 14's and 15's age groups in past seasons.

Ryan lives in downtown Chicago. He works by day as an IT Consultant, and in his free time enjoys being outside, watching movies, and tinkering with computers. Ryan is also very active in the Chicagoland adult volleyball scene, playing year round in many indoor/beach leagues and tournaments throughout the city.

Playing background:
Cassie started playing volleyball in Ann Arbor, Michigan when she was in 7th grade and immediately fell in love with the sport. She was an Ann Arbor Pioneer High School Varsity Team starter her sophomore year on. She earned the Coaches Award during her junior season and was named the MVP her sophomore and senior years. She was a three-time All Conference player.

Cassie played college volleyball at the University of Michigan from 2006 through 2009. During her time at Michigan the Wolverines had four NCAA Tournament Appearances, two Sweet Sixteen Appearances, and one Elite Eight Appearance, which was the best finish in program history.  Cassie was a three time Scholar Athlete for the University of Michigan.

Cassie has continued to play recreationally at two USAV Adult National Tournaments as well as locally in beach volleyball tournaments on North Ave.

Coaching background:
Cassie has been coaching volleyball since she was 18. She started coaching for MJuniors Volleyball Club out of Ann Arbor, Michigan in 2006, where she stayed for four seasons, coaching 14 through 18 and under teams. She then started coaching for A2 Volleyball Club when the club was founded by the University of Michigan Head Volleyball Coach, Mark Rosen. She coached the 18-1, 15-2, 16-1, and 14-1 teams while coaching for A2.

Cassie also coached the University of Michigan Men’s Club Team for one season from 2010-2011 before she went to pursue her Master’s in Social Work. While earning her Master’s from the University of Michigan from 2011-2013, Cassie was the Varsity Volleyball Coach at Skyline High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Cassie’s first year coaching the program was also the first year that the high school had four full classes of students. The Skyline Volleyball Team won their home tournament both years under her leadership. They finished as the runner-up in their District during Cassie’s last season with the team.

In 2013, Cassie moved to Delaware where she was the Assistant Coach for the Goldey-Beacom College Women’s Volleyball Team. Goldey-Beacom was a Division 2 school that competed in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference. Cassie also coached the 15-1 team at Club Delaware in the spring.

Cassie moved back to the Midwest in the summer of 2014.  She is the Volunteer Assistant Coach for the DePaul Women’s Volleyball Team as well as a Middle School Coach at Latin School of Chicago. Cassie coached the 17 Black team in 2015 during her first season with Wildcats.

Personal information:
Cassie lives in Lakeview with her boyfriend, Craig Boller. She enjoys reading, walking along the lake, and playing recreational volleyball.

Coming Soon!

Bio Coming Soon!


Cassie Rose, Program Director, Elite Program Lead Trainer, Head Coach

Playing Background:
Cassie grew up in Cary, IL where she competed for Sky High volleyball club and Cary-Grove High School. In high school, she was a three-year varsity starter and played middle from 1999 - 2003. In 2001, she led her team to their first Super Sectional Appearance in the Illinois’ State Tournament. She was named All-Conference, Daily Herald All-Area, Northwest Herald All-Area, Sun Times All-Area and also earned Tribune and News-Gazette All-State honors. Cassie played club volleyball for Sky High Volleyball, out of Crystal Lake, IL where her team ranked in the top 10 nationally throughout her career.

Cassie went on to accept a full-scholarship to play for Florida State University.  Cassie begin her collegiate career in 2003 at FSU where she was named ACC Freshman of the Year and voted the East Region’s Freshman of the Year by the AVCA in 2003.  In 2003, she recorded 21 double-digit kill performances, had nine straight matches with double-digit kills, posted as season-high 18 kills on three different occasions, led the team and finished in a tie for fourth in the ACC with 44 service aces and also led the team with 360 kills on the season. 

After two seasons with the Seminoles, Cassie transferred to Northwestern University in 2005 where she finished out her career and graduated in 2007.  In 2005, she finished the year with a .305 hitting percentage, the fourth–best average in Northwestern single-season history.  At NU, Cassie helped the Cats to the first second-round appearance in the NCAA tournament in 2006.

From 2008-2009, Cassie played professional volleyball in Kuusamo, Finland. She competed for Paka Lentopallo in the top Finish division.  Cassie represented the Great Lakes Region’s professional volleyball team at USA Volleyball Adult Open National Championships in 2011 & 2012.

Coaching Background:
This will be Cassie’s sixth season with Wildcat Juniors. Last season, Cassie coached 18 Black to an 18th place finish in the Open division at AAU Junior Nationals in Orlando, Florida.  In 2014, she led 15 Back to a 20th place finish in the Open division and in 2011, she led her 14 Black team to a 27th place finish in the Open division, highlighted by huge wins over local rivals Sports Performance 14 Elite and Milwaukee Sting 14 Gold.

Cassie started coaching during college at FSU, doing their team camps and all-skills camps. While playing at Northwestern, she coached NU’s team camps in the summers and coached club volleyball for Sky High, both their 13’s & 14’s age groups; she continued to coach at Sky High for five seasons before moving downtown and joining Wildcat Juniors.  After college Cassie began coaching for All-American Volleyball camps nationwide with other college and professional volleyball players.  These camps would take her coast-to-coast, doing camps anywhere from Florida, to Iowa, to Alaska. 

Cassie is lead trainer for our 17's and 18's age groups where she oversees the training and development of our juniors and seniors. She is also the Recruiting Coordinator and assists in our players' recruiting process & journey.


Personal Background:
Cassie currently resides with her husband, David Rose, in the South Loop neighborhood of Chicago. Cassie has a Masters Degree of Education in Community Counseling from Loyola University Chicago and a Bachelors Degree from Northwestern University.  Cassie enjoys Pilates, cooking, and spending time with her puppy Roy. Cassie is a member of the Northwestern Women's Volleyball Board.

Karen Sonders, Executive Director

Playing background:
Karen grew up in Crystal Lake, IL where she competed for Sky High volleyball club and Crystal Lake Central High School. She was a three-year varsity starter on a team ranked in the top ten in the state all three years. In her time at Crystal Lake Central, she set a school record for most kills in a season, was an FVC all-conference selection, all-area selection, and Chicago Tribune all-state special mention as a setter and outside hitter.

Karen went on to accept a full-scholarship to play for Michigan Tech University (1998-2001), where she completed her degree in biomedical engineering. Karen played both outside and right side hitter and was named MVP in her sophomore year. A 3-time All-GLIAC selection, Karen finished her tenure as the school’s season and career leader in digs.

Coaching Background:
Karen began her coaching career 16 years ago where she spent three seasons as the head varsity volleyball coach at Chassell Township High School in Michigan. In 2002, she earned Conference Coach of the Year honors after taking over a team that had never won a match and leading it to the conference championship the next year.

Between 2003 and 2006, Karen served on the volleyball staff at the University of Wisconsin Madison as the director of operations. At Wisconsin, Sonders directed and managed five camps with more than 1,000 participants, 40 employees and five sites. During her time at Wisconsin, the team made two NCAA Elite Eight appearances.

Karen was also the development director with Wisconsin Power Volleyball and in 2003, club director at the Fusion Volleyball Academy in Crystal Lake, Ill. In addition to her duties as FVA’s club director, Sonders served as facility manager for the Fusion Sports Center. With Wisconsin Power Volleyball in 2004, Sonders led her 18's team to its first Junior Olympic Nationals, preparing all 10 players for careers in collegiate volleyball.

Karen Sonders came to Northwestern as an assistant coach in March of 2006. Karen assisted in all aspects of the Wildcats' program, including on-court instruction , recruiting, scouting and the coordination of camps. She also coordinated the team defense, coached the outside hitters and liberos, built scouting reports, handled team travel and managed the Northwestern coaching clinic. In her first season with the program, three different Wildcats landed on Northwestern single-season top-10 lists. She helped freshman libero Kate Nobilio to the second-best single-season dig total in school history, and coached Lindsay Anderson into the NU 1,000-Kill Club. Under Karen’s in-game instruction in 2007, Northwestern set a program record with 339.5 total blocks, holding opponents to a paltry .169 hitting percentage. In addition, middle blocker Chelsy Hyser earned AVCA All-Region accolades, becoming the first Wildcat to win an All-Region honor since 2002. Karen grew the Wildcats' volleyball camps into the largest they have ever been in just her first year at the helm of the sessions.

Karen founded Wildcat Jrs. VBC in 2007, beginning with five teams ages U12-U14. Through it’s continued success, the club has grown to twenty four teams from U11-U18 and has become the premier club of the North Shore and Chicagoland area.

The 2012 season marked several firsts for Wildcat Juniors. The club graduated its first class of seniors, sending more than half to play D1 volleyball in college. There were several seniors, juniors, and even a few sophomores who accepted full scholarships to top volleyball programs. And two of our athletes were selected to play on the USA Junior National Team — the only two players selected from Illinois.

In 2013, after taking a break to finish a Masters degree in Nursing from DePaul University and having a baby, Karen jumped back into coaching as the head coach of 18 Black. The team finished the Great Lakes Power League with a record of 18-6. At the AAU National Championships, Karen led 18 Black to a 9-3 record, winning the Silver Division and taking 16th place in the 18 Open.

In 2014, Karen coached 18 Black to a 5th place finish in the 18 Open at the AAU National Championships in Orlando, FL. The team played a whopping 15 matches in 4 days, with a record of 11-4 including the team's crossover match against Peru in the International Division. Karen also guided the team to a 1st place championship and an 8-0 record at the JVA Midwest Challenge in Des Moines, IA with a huge wins over Nebraska Jrs and Iowa Rockets in the semis and finals.

As a Lead Trainer, Karen oversaw the development of the juniors and seniors that made up the club's 18's age group. Karen prepared all ten seniors for their college volleyball careers: six of which were on full scholarships to DI schools, one on full scholarship at a DII university and three will be continuing on to play at DIII universities. In that senior group, Karen also coached 2013 USA National Team player, Taylor Tashima, who was chosen as a 2014 All-American after her performance at AAU Nationals. 

Personal Information:
Karen and her husband, Dave, have two young daughters, Quinn and Macie. In 2012, Karen completed her Masters in Nursing at DePaul University. Karen is a member of the AVCA, USAV and JVA.

Bio Coming Soon!

Jaime Swartz, Head Coach, Lead Trainer

Playing Experience:
Jaime grew up in West Des Moines, IA, where she started playing club volleyball in 6th grade. She played club volleyball as a setter for Iowa Power Volleyball Alliance, Cyclone Cylect, and Westside Juniors all throughout junior high and high school.

In her 2006 club season, Jaime led her Cyclone Cylect 16 team to a top 10 finish at the Colorado Crossroads National Qualifier. She was a varsity setter for 3 years for West Des Moines Valley High School, helping her team earn a spot in the state tournament in 2006. Jaime was named to the Iowa Region’s High Performance Team in 2006 and competed as a libero at the High Performance Championships in Austin, TX.

She attended Northwestern University, where she competed on the Women's Club Volleyball team for 4 years and was the club’s president for 3 years. She currently plays competitive women's and coed volleyball - both indoor and on the beach in Chicago - and she is the captain of her indoor adult women’s USAV team.

Coaching Experience:
Jaime enters her 8th season as a Wildcat Juniors head coach, where she has worked with the 12’s, 14’s, and 15’s age groups. She loves to work with the 14's age group to guide, mentor, and prepare her players for competitive high school volleyball. This season, she will be the Head Coach for the 14 Premier team and the Lead Trainer for the 14 Regional group.

Personal Information:
Jaime graduated from Northwestern University in 2011, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics. Jaime is currently pursuing her MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, while she continues to work full-time. Jaime lives in downtown Chicago and works as a derivatives trader for Belvedere Trading, where she trades on the Chicago Board Options Exchange floor, coordinates the education program for new hires, and helps to recruit future traders.

High School:

  • 4-year Varsity letter winner at Portage Central High School
  • Nominee for 2010 Michigan Miss Volleyball Award
  • AVCA 2010-11 Under Armour Girls High School All America’s Watch List
  • Michigan Interscholastic Volleyball Coaches Association first-team All-State selection 2010
  • First-team All-State 2009
  • Advanced in state tournament to state finals 2009
  • All-region, All-District Honors as a freshman, sophomore, junior and senior


  • Dead Frog Far Out Volleyball Club Alumni
  • Placed 3rd at the 2010 AAU Junior National Championships
  • Honored as a 2010 AAU National All-American


  • Played at Michigan State University from 2011-2014
  • All 4 years appeared in the NCAA Tournament
  • Contributed to two back-to-back Sweet Sixteen appearances
  • 2013 Spartan Invitational All-Tournament Team

Coaching History

  • 2012-2017 Michigan State Summer Camp Coach
  • 2015-2016 All-American Volleyball Camp Coach
  • 2015 Western Michigan University Summer Camp Coach
  • 2015 Spring Dead Frog Far Out 15’s Capital Blue Coach
  • 2015 Spring Dead Frog Far Out 14’s Capital White Coach
  • 2016 Legacy 16 National Assistant Coach, qualified for JO’s
  • 2017 Legacy 16 National Head Coach, placed 5th at Nationals
  • 2017 Legacy Position Training Lead Coach
  • 2017 Co-Director of Hurricanes Volleyball Club
  • Offer Private/Group Lessons



  • Graduated Michigan State University with a degree in Hospitality Business.
  • New to the area of Chicago, IL but love every second of it.
  • Husband is an Assistant Collegiate Men’s Basketball coach at Loyola University
  • My family lives in Indianapolis, Indiana and I enjoy traveling to visit them!

Bio Coming Soon!


Playing experience:
Meghan played at Burlington Central High School, and at Club Fusion. During her time at Burlington Central, she was an All-Area and All-State selection. She helped lead Burlington Central in their first State Championship appearance and a 2nd place finish. During her club time, Meghan played for 18 Black at Fusion and was able to play overseas with them as apart of their annual 18 Black trip. After Fusion and H.S., Meghan played at Illinois State University as a D.S., and was a scholar-athlete.

Coaching experience:
Meghan has worked a countless number of camps and clinics at Illinois State, Northwestern, as well as in her home town of Burlington. Other than camps and clinics, Meghan started her coaching career as the Assistant Varsity Coach for Blue Ridge High School in Farmer City, IL. After graduating from ISU, Meghan coached for Club Fusion and is now on her second year at Wildcat Juniors. She is currently the Assistant Coach at North Park University here in Chicago!

Personal background:
Meghan graduated from Illinois State with a Political Science Degree. She now is completing her master’s degree in Non Profit Organization Management at North Park University. Meghan still plays in several volleyball leagues, indoor and beach, through out the year. When she's not playing volleyball, you can find her running as her new hobby, and she just ran the Chicago Marathon last year!