Joe Ripp (Club Director)
Joe is both the founder (1997) and director of Vision Volleyball Club. During that 22 year span, the teams Joe has coached have qualified for the JNC’s every year and won multiple NCVA Regional Championships. He has coached at every age level, from 14's through 18's. In 2017 he coach 17 Gold, a team that won the region and finished 5th at Nationals. In 2016 his 15 Gold team went undefeated in the region and qualified for the Open division at Nationals. From 2016 – 2009 his teams all qualified for the Open division. His 2012 team finished 5th at the Junior Nationals in Ohio. In 2009, the team also earned a fifth place finish at the JNC's in Miami. Previously, he coached the 18 Blue team for two seasons. His 2007 team won a Bronze Medal in the 18 Club Division of the Junior Nationals. In 2005, Joe guided the Vision 17 Gold team to the silver medal in the 17 Open Division of the Junior Nationals. Joe had two stints as head coach at Los Gatos High School and spent a total of 20-year coaching at LGHS. His high school teams won four CCS championships, three Nor-Cal championships and one California State Championship.
Tyler Taylor (Head Coach)
Tyler is entering his fifth year with Vision and his third straight coaching 18 Gold. The last two seasons his teams have had very successful seasons, including both teams qualifying for the Open Division at Nationals. In 2018 Tyler’s Vision 18 Gold team double qualified for the Open division and medaled in 3 National Qualifiers; the Ohio Valley, the Golden State and Colorado Crossroads. Tyler has also served as an Assistant Coach at both Santa Clara and Stanford Universities. Tyler’s last season at Stanford, he helped lead the team to the NCAA Division I National Championship. Tyler has a solid coaching background including as the Men’s Assistant at Golden West, and stints at the University of Nevada and Central Arizona College. After graduating from the University of Arizona, he coached club for Zona Volleyball Club, Arizona Premier, and Huntington Beach. He graduated in history with a minor in psychology, and earned a master’s in Coaching and Athletic Administration from Concordia in Irvine.
Nikki Hess (Assistant Coach)
Nikki is in her third year working with Vision. In 2019 she assisted with 18 Gold and 12 Gold, and in 2017 she assisted 11 Gold. She is in her first year as the assistant coach at San Francisco State University. Prior to coaching, she played as an Outside-Hitter at Santa Clara University. She was awarded WCC All-Freshmen team in 2013, WCC All-Conference team in 2014, 2015, and 2016, a First Team AVCA All-Pacific North Region and an AVCA All-American Honorable mention, both in 2015. She also played Beach Volleyball at Santa Clara and was voted on the inaugural WCC All-Conference team. After graduating from SCU, she joined a team overseas in Switzerland and played professionally for Genève Volley where she also coached a high school co-ed club. Nikki will be assisting with both 17 Gold and 18 Gold this season.
Bret Almazan-Cezar (Head Coach)
Bret is in his 19th season as Head Varsity Coach for Archbishop Mitty High School. His teams won 11 CIF State Championship including 6 in a row from 2012 - 2017. In 2013, his team matched the 2009 season in completing it undefeated. In 2014 he was named PrepVolleyball.com's National Coach-of-the-Year, and in 2009 he was named the AVCA National Coach-of-the-Year. His Monarch teams have won ten state championships and made seventeen appearances in the NorCal Championship match. Bret is also in his 16th season with Vision. At the Junior Nationals in 2007, his team earned a Bronze medal. In 2006, his Vision 14 Gold team finished fifth, and in 2002, his 14 Gold team won the Silver medal. Prior to joining Vision, in 2000, Bret led Delta Valley to a Gold Medal Championship in the 18 Open Junior National Championships in Louisville, Kentucky.
Katy Ripp (Assistant Coach)
Katy Ripp is a full time instructor and Head Women’s Volleyball Coach at Foothill College since 2004. Her Foothill teams have won 11 league titles, and in the 2015 season, finished 4th in the state. Prior to her arrival at Foothill, Katy served as an assistant women's volleyball coach at Stanford University (2002 – 2004); at Santa Clara University (2001 -2002); and at CSU Sonoma (1999 - 2001.) Before her coaching career, she played professionally on the Bud Light Professional Beach Volleyball Tour from 1993 to 1997; played in professional indoor leagues in Italy from 1996 to 1997; as well as for the National Volleyball Association's Orange County Diggers in 1996. She played in the Associated Volleyball Professional Beach Volleyball Doubles League from 1998 to 2002 with partner Stephanie Cox. Coach Ripp played collegiate volleyball at the University of the Pacific from 1989 to 1993. Katy and her husband Joe live in Los Gatos, California and have two boys.
Ron Whitmill (Head Coach)
Ron returns to the 17's team this season after winning the region and double qualifying for the open division with 17 Gold in 2018. His teams have now won the region 4 years in a row and qualified for the JNC's in each of the past 12 seasons. In 2013, his 15 Gold team won two qualifiers and finished fifth at the JNC's. In 2012, he helped lead the 16 Gold team to a 5th place finish at the JNC's in Ohio. In 2011, he coached both the 16 Gold and 15 Gold teams to JNC Bids. Previously he coached the 18 Blue team for three seasons. All three seasons his teams earned bids to the JO's, with the 2009 squad earning an Open bid, giving Vision two teams in the division. This was the first time in the 28-team format that a club has sent two teams to 18 Open. He has a lengthy coaching and playing resume. He spent seven years with City Beach as a Head Coach, and was the Head Coach for the San Jose State Men's program. He previously was the head coach at Menlo-Atherton High School (2012-2014) where he won 2 CCS D1 championships and was a Mercury News Coach of the Year. He is currently the Head Varsity Coach at Valley Christian High School (2015-present) where his teams have won 2 CCS titles as well as 2 NorCal championships and a CIF State championship.
Michelle Gajdka (Assistant Coach)
Michelle is a Vision alum, and a very solid 6-rotation player. She competed at the 16’s-18’s level helping lead each of her teams to the Open Division at the JNC’s. Michelle is currently a senior on the Santa Clara University team, where she is one of their primary hitters, and a 6-rotation starter. She is a fierce competitor but understands the balance in enjoying the experience as well. She is currently in the College of Arts and Sciences, while working toward her goal of ‘being happy in whatever she is doing” – as she notes on her SCU bio.
Nikki Hess (Assistant Coach)
Bio listed above.
Tony Holland (Head Coach)
Tony is in his 9th season coaching club volleyball in the Bay Area. Since joining Vision in 2016, Tony has head coached 18 Blue and assisted Matt Hoffman with 17 Blue. His teams have won the Pacific Northwest Qualifier (‘16), a bronze medal at Colorado Crossroads (‘17) and each has qualified for JNC’s. Prior to joining Vision, Tony served as both a head coach and an assistant coach for Power Teams from ages 12 to 18. He has helped lead his teams to Top 3 Finishes at Far Westerns, the Pacific Northwest Qualifier and qualify for the Junior National Championships in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. Tony is currently in his 6th season as the First Assistant Coach with the Menlo School Girls Varsity where he has helped lead them to 4 WBAL Championships, a CCS Championship, 2 Nor Cal Championships, the 2013 CIF Division IV State Championship match and the 2016 Division IV State Championship. The first in Menlo School history. Tony works as a Global Markets Investment Advisor and resides in San Mateo with his wife Whitney and their daughters, Quinn and Riley.
Jade Gillespie - (Assistant Coach)
Jade is a former longtime Vision player and a current player at San Francisco State College. Jade played locally at Valley Christian High School, where she helped lead the team to a State Championship in 2015. After high school played at Hawaii-Pacific (2017), before transferring to SF State.
Tyler Taylor (Head Coach)
Bio listed above.
Oscar Crespo (Assistant Coach)
Oscar has over 30 years of coaching experience at the club, high school and collegiate levels. Prior to joining Vision, Oscar was most recently the Head Coach of the Women Volleyball Team at San Jose State University where he spent seven seasons. Prior to accepting the Spartan position, Crespo spent seven years as a member of the University of Nevada volleyball coaching staff, as an Assistant Coach and Associate Head Coach. Crespo also has international experience, having coached the BIP/USA Selection team in 2001 in Seblini, Italy. He spent the spring of 2002 coaching a USA College All-Star team in France, Holland and Belgium, and in 2007 was on the USA/BIP staff coaching the USA selection which competed on a six city tour in Argentina vs the Argentinian National Team. Crespo's coaching experience also includes stints at the University of California, Berkeley (1995-98), Saint Mary's College (1993-94) and De Anza College. Crespo and his wife, Lisa Ice-Crespo, a three-time All-American at San José State, reside in Los Gatos with their three children: Ryan, Rachel and Karly.
Shawn Palmer (Head Coach)
Vision is excited to welcome Shawn Palmer to it's coaching staff! Shawn moved to California with his family in January of 2019, and served as a part-time assistant with the club last season. Shawn has over 15 years of experience as a club and high school head coach in Pennsylvania and Minnesota. Shawn’s club teams have consistently enjoyed success at the regional and national levels. Recent highlights include a 2018 championship at the North Coast power league (consisting of top open-level teams from Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, and Canada), multiple regional championships, a 2015 NEQ championship, as well as a 7th-place finish at the GJNC. Shawn also served as a lead skills trainer for 15U-17U age groups. As a high school coach, Shawn has helped to turn around multiple programs. Most recently, he took over a 2012 program that had not qualified for the playoffs in a decade. The team finished third in the state in his second season, qualifying for the WPIAL playoffs all five seasons he was with the program, twice finishing in the final four.
Baylee Christian (Assistant Coach)
Baylee attended Hemet High school in Southern California where she help her team win 3 CIF Championships. In 2012 Baylee was named to the All-League and All-Southern Section teams. In 2013 she was named to the All-League, All-County, All-Southern Section and All-State teams. Both years Baylee lead her team in kills. Baylee played club volleyball for Viper Volleyball Club under head coach Dana Burkholder in Temecula, California. In 2014 at the Junior National Championships in Minneapolis, Minnesota her team won a Bronze Medal in the USA division. Following high school Baylee committed to play at Fresno State, but unfortunately her career was cut short due to severe knee injuries. She is currently finishing a Kinesiology degree at San Jose State.
Joe Ripp (Head Coach)
Bio listed above.
Shelby Edwards (Assistant Coach)
Shelby returns to Vision, having coached multiple seasons, at every age level, from 11's through 18's. She was an assistant coach with the 2012 18 Gold Team that won a JNC bronze medal and also the 2004 18 Gold Team that won a JNC silver medal. She has also coached at the middle school, high school, and community college level. Shelby played high school volleyball at Los Gatos High School where she was coached by Joe Ripp, winning a CCS, Northern California, and State Championship. She also played club volleyball for Oscar Crespo. She played collegiate volleyball at the University of Oregon. She loves “the opportunity to coach young athletes, in a sport that has given so much to her and her family.”
Oscar Crespo (Assistant Coach)
Bio listed above.
Brynja Thompson (Head Coach)
Brynja, originally from Iowa City, Iowa, joins Vision with over 15 years of coaching experience, including most recently in Kentucky for NKYVC. Prior to NKYVC Brynja spent five years in Minneapolis coaching for Northern Lights Volleyball; one season in her home town coaching for the Iowa Rockets; and three seasons coaching for Diamondback Volleyball Club in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Brynja was a four year varsity setter at Iowa City High School. During that time her teams finished 3rd in the State Championships (2004), State runner-up (2005) and in 2006 were the Iowa High School Girls State Champions! After high school Brynja went on to play collegiate volleyball for Mike Jordan at New Mexico State University and one season at the University of Florida for Mary Wise. Her freshman year Brynja earned All-WAC Freshman team honors in 2007. As a sophomore she helped the team to be named Co-WAC Champions in 2008 by beating #4 Hawaii. Brynja resides in San Jose with her husband, Shea Thompson, and 2 year-old son, Wylder.
Victoria Arild (Assistant Coach)
This is Victoria’s first season coaching at Vision. She has been coaching women and men’s volleyball for almost a decade and has worked with all age groups. Prior to joining Vision, Victoria has coached indoor club for City Beach VBC and sand with Santa Cruz Beach Volleyball Club. Victoria studied Psychology while in college and played as an outside hitter for West Valley College and Menlo College. During her time at Menlo, she was part of the Cal-Pac Championship team in 2015 and was nominated as a Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete. For the last two years, Victoria has worked at Valley Christian Schools where she teaches physical education and is the junior varsity head coach of the women’s volleyball program. Victoria recently completed her Masters of Science in Coaching and Exercise Sciences from Concordia University, Irvine.
Matt Hoffman (Head Coach)
Matt is currently in his fourth year as the Head Volleyball Coach at San Francisco State. In 2018 at Vision he coached 17 Blue and assisted 15 Gold, having helped both teams qualify for Nationals. Matt returned to Vision in 2017 to lead the 18 Gold team after spending three years as an Assistant at Wichita State where he helped the Shockers win two Missouri Valley Conference Championships and appeared in two NCAA tournaments. Prior to Wichita State, he served as the Volunteer Assistant Coach at Stanford from 2010-2012. While at Stanford, he helped the Cardinal to three NCAA Tournaments and two Elite Eight appearances and two Pac-12 Conference championships. He also coached five All-Americans, a Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year, and 11 All Pac-12 honorees. In 2011 and 2012, he was the Head Coach of Vision's 13 Gold team, and an Assistant on Vision's 18 Gold team. He was on the 18's staff for their Bronze medal teams in both 2011 and 2012. He helped the 2012 team finish the season with only two losses the entire season.
Danielle Davis (Assistant Coach)
Danielle is currently in her first year as part of the Santa Clara University volleyball staff. After earning master’s degrees in sports administration (2019) and business administration (2018) from Ohio University. In 2017, Davis served as a volunteer assistant coach for Bobcat volleyball and an assistant coach for the Illini Elite Volleyball Club 17 Cardinal team that won the 17 Open AAU National Championship. She grew up in Bloomington, Illinois and started playing club volleyball at the age of 10. She attended Bloomington Central Catholic High School and played for Illini Elite Volleyball Club where she earned an All-American honor for the 18 open division. She continued her volleyball career at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. Illinois reached the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 three times in four years with Davis on the roster. The defensive specialist played in 114 matches with 72 starts and logged 798 digs for her career. Davis was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and a 2016 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar (awarded for maintaining a 3.7 GPA or higher for the academic year).
Jon Wallace (Assistant Coach)
Jon Wallace is in his 20th year at the helm of the Santa Clara University program in 2018. Wallace solidified the Broncos as an annual top 25 program nationally and a regular participated in the NCAA Tournament. The program has reached 16 NCAA Tournaments (13 under Wallace), including a 2005 Final Four berth. Wallace has produced 10 All-Americans and 12 AVCA All-Region selections and 92 All-West Coast Conference honorees, including three WCC Players of the Year and five WCC Freshmen of the Year. He was a player himself at UCSB where his junior season included a run to the NCAA Championship. Jon currently resides in the Bay Area with his wife Nancy and three kids.
Kevin Corral (Co-Head Coach)
Kevin returns to Vision after head coaching our 14 Blue team last year. He has over 15 years of coaching experience, including coaching various age groups at the club level for Vision, Stingray and Yahoo volleyball clubs. He also has been the head coach for several Bay Area high school programs, including Santa Teresa HS, Fremont HS and the Archbishop Mitty Men’s programs. He was formerly an assistant coach at the Junior college level for both Gavilan College in Gilroy and Ohlone College in Fremont. He played collegiately at San Jose State for the Men’s club team and earned a first team All-American honor at the 2003 NIRSA Collegiate Volleyball Championships. He currently works as a land surveyor in San Jose and enjoys spending his time away from coaching golfing, playing grass volleyball and enjoying time with his new baby boy.
Tait Rafat (Co-Head Coach)
Tait Rafat is a full-time instructor at San Jose City College and runs the Adapted PE program. Tait is an experienced collegiate coach, having spent 8 seasons as the Head Coach at San Jose City and prior to that, was an assistant coach at University of Nevada, Reno. Tait is CAP level II accredited by USA Volleyball, is a member of the AVCA, and is a volleyball conditioning specialist. Tait is in his 11th season with Vision and had spent 8 seasons coaching 17 Blue. During that time his teams qualified for Nationals five times, and have won both the PNQ in Spokane and the Las Vegas Invitational. He has also spent a season coaching Vison 18 Blue. Last year Tait helped his Vision 12 Gold team qualified for the JNC’s in Detroit. He and his wife Shannon, reside in Morgan Hill will their two daughters, Aleah and Maya, who both play volleyball for their schools and for club.
Joe Ripp (Head Coach)
Bio listed above.
Kyra Pelayo (Assistant Coach)
Kyra returns to Vision Volleyball Club for a fifth season after competing for Vision as a junior player. She also competed at Saint Francis High School before attending Hawaii Pacific University. She was an outstanding Libero, earning PacWest Conference Libero-of-the-Year honors, as well as All-PacWest First-Team honors. She started her coaching career in Hawaii with HI-Intensity Volleyball Club, and with Chaminade University, where she was a Volunteer Assistant.
Jeanine Haldi (Head Coach)
Jeanine enters her 8th season with Vision, where she has coached at the 16’s, 15’s, 12’s and now 13’s division. She is currently the Head Coach at Soquel High School where her teams have won 2 league and 2 CCS Championships. Jeanine also sent eight seasons as an Assistant Coach with San Jose State. She is into her eleventh season coaching junior volleyball. As a junior player, she played her senior season for Vision's 18 Gold former Head Coach, Jason Mansfield and was an All-American at the Junior Nationals. She played for SJSU from 1999-2002, and finished her career ranking sixth all-time in digs. She was a three-time Scholar-Athlete, and graduated in 2003 with a degree in Kinesiology. She earned her Masters Degree in Sport Management from USF in 2006. For more information see Jeanine's SJSU bio.
Jacob Haldi (Assistant Coach)
Jacob is in his third year with Vision and came on board with 15 years of coaching experience. His coaching resume includes 10 years with Club Levile of Tracy, a club he Co-founded. He as also coached boys volleyball for Heritage High School, Main Beach Volleyball Club and currently with Soquel High School's Varsity where he is the Head Coach. At Soquel he also serves as the Girls JV Coach and as an Assistant to the Varsity team with its Head Coach, Jeanine Haldi (Vision's 12 Gold Head Coach). He has a Culinary Arts Degree from Corden Bleu in San Francisco.
Erin Reineking (Head Coach)
Erin is a Bay Area native having grown up in Salinas. She is a senior setter and defensive player on the Santa Clara University team, which she joined after spending a season at TCU. She had a stellar junior career in the Monterey Peninsula, having helped lead her Salinas High School team to a perfect 36-0 Tri-County League record during her three years on Varsity. She dished out over 1900 assists as a 3-year starter. In her senior season she was her team MVP and the Monterey County MVP. Erin had a successful club career playing for Main Beach in Santa Cruz. She is a Psychology major at Santa Clara, a member of the National honors Society and National Charity League.
Gretchen Reinert (Assistant Coach)
Gretchen is currently a junior libero at Santa Clara University (SCU), majoring in communications with a minor in retail studies. Gretchen prepped at Santa Margarita Catholic High School and played five seasons at Laguna Beach Volleyball Club in South Orange County. As a sophomore at SCU, Gretchen was selected WCC All-Academic Honorable Mention for both indoor and beach teams. As the daughter of a coach, Gretchen has an appreciation for high-level coaching, leadership development and positive mentoring.
Alia Casino (Head Coach)
Alia is entering her 4th season at Vision and has coached at both the 12's and 13's age groups. She is also a former Vision player who continued her collegiate career playing indoor and beach volleyball at California State University, Northridge. Alia appeared in 103 sets and earned a Big West Championship her junior year. Alia attended St. Francis High School prior to college and was a libero for one of Vision's best 18's teams ever in 2012. She helped that team to a near perfect record on the season with only two losses, won major national qualifiers in Las Vegas, Reno, Colorado, and Southern California, and finished the season with a Bronze Medal at the JNC's. She also earned a Bronze Medal her 17s year with Vision.
TBA (Assistant Coach)
Christa Cook - (Head Coach)
Christa is a local product from Los Altos and played collegiality at San Jose State University. She earned a Conference MVP award, went to the Final Four, and the Spartans were ranked in the Top 10 in the country her sophomore, junior and senior years. After college, she continued her career playing professionally both indoor & beach. She represented USA Volleyball on the Olympic B team at the World University Games in Yugoslavia, and as part of the USA All-Star Team Tour of Egypt. Christa has over 25 years experience coaching at the club, high school, and college levels.
Katie M'Guinness (Assistant Coach)
This is Katie’s second season coaching with Vision. She is from San Jose and is currently working towards her Multi-subject teaching credential at Notre Dame de Namur University. She played seven years of club volleyball, finishing out her competitive volleyball play as a middle on JV high school team. Following playing, Katie has coached for 5 years at a middle school and now is excited to be able to coach at Vision!
Oscar Crespo (College Recruiting Coordinator)
Oscar provides a wealth of knowledge in recruiting, with over 25 years of experience coaching at the collegiate level. Prior to joining Vision, Oscar was most recently the Head Coach of the Women Volleyball Team at San Jose State University where he spent seven seasons. Prior to accepting the Spartan position, Crespo spent seven years as a member of the University of Nevada volleyball coaching staff, as an Assistant Coach and Associate Head Coach. He is a member of the American Volleyball Coaches Association, USA Volleyball, and the Northern California Volleyball Association. Crespo is an accomplished coach with international experience. He coached the BIP/USA Selection team in 2001 in Seblini, Italy. He spent the spring of 2002 coaching a USA College All-Star team in France, Holland and Belgium, and in 2007 was on the USA/BIP staff coaching the USA selection which competed on a six city tour in Argentina vs the Argentinian National Team. Crespo's coaching experience also includes stints at the University of California, Berkeley (1995-98), Saint Mary's College (1993-94) and De Anza College. Crespo and his wife, Lisa Ice-Crespo, a three-time All-American at San José State, reside in Los Gatos with their three children: Ryan, Rachel and Karly.
Cassidy Lichtman (Club Assistant)
Cass will be helping across all high school age Vision teams this season after assisting with the 17 Gold team in 2018. She returned to Vision to assist with the 18 Gold team in 2017, after taking a break to compete with USA Volleyball. Her resume in volleyball is extraordinary. She is a current member of the Board of Directors for USA Volleyball. In 2016 she served as an Assistant Coach, helping Stanford University win the NCAA National Championship. This added to her collegiate resume, which as a player included earning First Team All-American honors in 2009 and 2010. Her start into collegiate coaching followed a successful stretch competing with the USA National Team. During that time she earned multiple medals in helping her teams in international competition, including five golds. Cass also had an outstanding junior career, recognized as one of the top players in the country. She graduated from Stanford in 2011 with a degree in Political Science and a master's in History.