COACHES AND STAFF

Caira Dortch

Recruiting Coordinator       &

Director of Coach and Player Development

Dortch recently spent 6 seasons (2014-2020) as the Head Coach at NCAA D-II, Southwest Baptist University. During her time at SBU, there were 9 All-MIAA recognition and 46 MIAA Academic Honor Roll recognition. She also guided the team to an AVCA team-academic award in 2017 and 2018.

Previous to SBU, Dortch spent three seasons (2011-2014) as the top assistant coach at Drury University. At Drury, Dortch primarily trained the Defense and Outside Hitters. She helped lead the volleyball team to their first ever GLVC conference tournament win in 2011. Dortch coached multiple All-Conference and Academic All-Conference players while at Drury.

In 2009, Dortch was the Assistant Varsity/Head JV Coach at Evangel and helped lead the team to a 28-9 record and a berth in the NAIA National Tournament.

Dortch graduated in 2009 from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Arts in Pyschology and a minor in French. She played volleyball for Arkansas from 2005-2009 where she was a setter and defensive specialist. Dortch went on to receive her Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from Evangel University in 2011.

 

Caira currently resides in Springfield, Missouri with her husband Jarrod and two daughters, Addisyn (8) and Evyn (2).

Jerry Schneider

Director of  Coaches

Barry Wheeler

18 National  Navy Head Coach

TBA

18 Regional  Navy 

Julia Krebs

17 National  Navy Head Coach

TBA

17 National  Navy Head Coach

Deirdre Smith

16 National Navy  Head Coach

Deirdre grew up playing both soccer and volleyball all four years of high school. She was First Team All-Northern for soccer and volleyball, and was the league MVP, team MVP, and top server.  Deirdre went on to play volleyball at Evangel and  was voted the Most Improved Player in 1993. She graduated college with a degree in physical education and obtained a Masters in Education with an emphasis in Physical Education from Missouri State University. Deirdre has an extensive coaching career, having coached Varsity volleyball at Springfield Catholic, JV volleyball at Parkview High School, middle school volleyball at Reed Middle School, and currently is going into her second season as the varsity coach at Hillcrest High School,  Coach Smith has coached for Club Bear/Apex for 19 years. Deirdre is CAP 2 Certified and has attended gold medal square coaches' training.

Favorite Quote: "Most people get excited about games, but i've got to be excited about practice because that's my classroom" -Pat Summit

Chris Smith

16's  National Navy Assistant 

TBA

Rachel Watson

16's National Navy Assistant

Abby Akins

16's National Red

Maggie Plake

16's National Blue

Kiley Hunt

16's Regional Navy 

Kailey Bridges

15 National Navy  Head  Coach

Kailey played high school volleyball at Logan-Rogersville High School in MO and played club volleyball for 7 seasons at Club Bear Volleyball. After her playing career, Kailey coached at Republic Schools for 4 years where she had two first-place finishes in the 8th grade large division Central Ozarks Conference Championships. In 2011, Kailey left Republic Schools to coach and teach at Marshfield High School for 7 years. During her time there, the Lady Jays had multiple tournament championships and 2nd place finishes in Conference and District play. In 2018, Kailey relocated to Branson High School to teach and run their volleyball program. During her second season at the helm, Kailey led the Class 4 Pirates to a record-setting season including the most wins in school history (29).

Kailey has worked with ages 5-18 at various volleyball camps, clinics, and private lessons over the past 14 years and has directed multiple youth volleyball developmental programs. She coached at various clubs for 9 years and ran her own club for 10 years in the Springfield, MO area. Kailey is an Impact Certified coach for indoor and beach volleyball through USA Volleyball, as well as a USA Volleyball CAP I accredited coach.

 

She also serves as the Chair of Junior Player Development for the Board of Directors at Heart of  America Volleyball. In 2020, Kailey resigned from teaching and coaching at Branson High School in order to help her husband with the family business they acquired in 2019. In addition, she is studying to earn her Masters in Business Administration at LSU and working towards earning her National Scorer Certification through USA Volleyball. 

Brittany Wright

15's National  Navy  Assitant

Brittany has coached teams of all ages throughout her volleyball career. Brittany comes to Apex after finishing a coaching position of 9 years with the USAV club Extreme Juniors VBC. In addition to coaching, Coach Wright also practices with her doctorate of physical therapy at the Branson Healing Arts Center where she is passionate about both pediatrics and orthopedic conditions.  Coach Wright’s volleyball career began with Ozark Juniors VBC and continued to Evangel University where she assisted with the 2009 HAAC championship. Coach Wright has played through all levels of volleyball, both local and elite, and believes in player motivation and responsibility to participate in team collaboration. 

 

“I am excited to continue coaching and look forward to improving the lives of the next group of kids I have the opportunity to coach. Volleyball is more than a game, and I plan to continue to use it as a way to enrich the lives of the players on my court”

Leslie Forester

15's National Red

McKenna Miller

15's National  Blue

Kiley Alumbaugh

15's Regional  Navy

Kylie Galendo

15's Regional  Red

Kylie is from Strafford, MO where she played for the Lady Indians Volleyball Team all four years gaining Varsity Caption during her Senior Year along with making all conference and all district teams. She was an all-around player who specialized in Middle/Outside/Right side positions. Kylie also played 5 years of Club where she gained her passion for a more competitive level of volleyball and received several college offers. Choosing to take a different opportunity after graduation, Kylie attended the University of Arkansas (Woo Pig Sooie) for Accounting followed by attending MSU receiving a degree in Marketing. Although she was not playing college, volleyball was still a big part of her life as she transitioned into a coaching roll. Kylie is Safe Sport and IMPACT certified. Her past coaching experience consists of 6 years of club ball (ages 14-16) and 1 year of JV High School ball. Kylie is entering her 7th year of coaching club and is thrilled to be part of the APEX family. 

Tori Lowerly

14's Regional   White

TBA

Monica McVey

14  National   Navy  Head  Coach

Monica attended Aurora High School where she was a three sport athlete. She continued her education at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin. She graduated with a degree in education and went back to teach 4th grade in Aurora. In 2004, she began her coaching career at Aurora under head coach Stephanie Heman. McVey gained experience coaching JV, freshman, 8th grade, and 7th grade. Her two daughters have grown up in the gym, either playing under the volleyball cart or trying to stick a $20 bill in the vending machine because Mom was busy coaching. The skills they acquired from school ball and club have allowed her oldest, Julia, to achieve state awards her senior year and allowed her to play collegiately at NCCC. Gabie, a junior at Aurora is switching positions from setter to libero this year because of her knowledge of the game. Last season, McVey coached our 13 National Navy team for Apex. She is impact certified and in the past 7 years she has coached for Club Bear, she has coached at the 14’s, 13’s, 12’s, 11’s, and 10’s levels.

Courtney Jackson

14's Regional   Navy

Courtney has played volleyball for 7 years before beginning her coaching career.  She graduated from Hillcrest High School, where she played volleyball all four years.  She has been a coach for Apex/Club Bear for 5 years now. She has coached 10's, 12's, 13's, and 16's. Along with coaching club, Courtney has coached middle school volleyball for two years, one at Hickory Hills and one season at Ash Grove.  She will be teaching sixth grade reading and writing in Bois D’Arc this year. She has been married and living in Strafford for a year now with her husband and dog, Lila. Coach Jackson's goals as a coach are to give every player a chance to love the game and improve their skills while building teamwork.  Courtney says, "I strive to be like Proverbs 21:35 “She is clothed in strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future.”

Meredith Perkins

14's Regional Red 

Emily Moore

14's Regional Blue

Lindsey Barton

14's Regional White

Molly Ilum

13's National Navy

Kennedy Atkinson

13's Regional Navy

Kennedy grew up in Willard, MO where she attended Willard High School and graduated in 2018. While in high school, Kennedy played volleyball on the varsity team all 4 years and gained a great deal of knowledge of the game while building lifelong relationships throughout her high school career. Following high school, she continued her volleyball career at College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, MO as an OH. In the fall she will be attending Missouri State University pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education.  Kennedy also played competitive club volleyball for 7 years.  Coach Atkinson is excited to create more relationships and memories as a coach for Apex! 

Maddison Campbell

13's Regional   Red

Mindy O'Leary

13's Regional   Red

Abbie Lane

12's National Navy

Abbie Lane is a new addition to our APEX staff in 2020.  Abbie was a  former collegiate volleyball player at the University of Kansas, she will bring not only years of experience on the court but also will be leading our athletes in sports performance training clinics.  Abbie is a Certified Youth Exercise Specialist and NASM Certified Personal Trainer. The training programs will focus on helping our athletes become more dynamic and efficient while educating the importance of total boy control and strength. 

 

Abbie was the head coach at St. Teresa’s Academy in Kansas City for 6 years before moving to Springfield with her husband and 3 children.  While in KC, she also coached for the MAVS organization and led her 12-1 team to the National finals.

Carly DeBriyn

12's  Regional  Navy

Tessa Newman

12's  Regional  Red

Marci Adams

11's  National Navy

Marci is going into her 8th year as the varsity volleyball coach at Kickapoo High School. Prior to coaching at Kickapoo, she was the head coach at Springfield Catholic for 4 years.  During her high school years, Coach Adams played volleyball at the record setting Winona High School.  Her team won second place in the state her junior year and won the state title her senior year.  Marci went on to play volleyball at MSSU, where she played every position on the court, but her main role was setting.  Her club coaching experience started when she was playing in Joplin at MSSU. She's coached various ages while in Joplin, with Springfield Juniors, and most recently last year coaching the Apex 11 National team.  Coach Adams is impact certified and has attended the gold medal square coaching clinics.  

Amy Garnder

11's Regional Navy

Amy will be assisting the 14’s and 16’s National teams. Amy has had many years of experience
as a player and a coach. She was a first team All-Conference player during her senior season at
Southwest Missouri State University. She went on to play several years in the Open division of
USAV and concluded her playing days with the Kansas City Lightning Women’s Professional
team in 1998.
After earning a BS in Education, she started as an assistant coach at Verona High School. She
left that position for a chance to be an assistant coach at Missouri State. Amy moved on to a
head coaching job at Logan-Rogersville High School. A college coaching opportunity presented
itself in 2001 and she found herself heading to NCAA Division I University of North Carolina-
Wilmington where she served one season as an assistant coach and two as the head coach.
NCAA Division II Drury University called her home and she coached four seasons with the
Panthers. Along the way she worked summer camps at Washington University in St. Louis,
West Plains Junior College, Missouri State, and University of Alabama. One summer she had
the awesome experience of being the West Zone Coordinator at the Olympic Festival in St.
Louis.
Amy is a teacher at the Phelps Center for Gifted Education, and volleyball coach at Cherokee
Middle School. She spends her summers coaching for the Community Sports Development
Program. She enjoys watching her two daughters play volleyball and looks forward to giving
back to the sport that has given her a lifetime of experiences.

Meredith Avery

10's Regional Navy

Meredith graduated from Springfield Catholic High School in 2016, where she played for 4 seasons as a setter and hitter. Following high school she attended Neosho County Community College where she spent 2 seasons as a defensive specialist. She played for Club Bear from age 12-18. Meredith has coached 1 season for Chanute Volleyball Club and is in her second year of coaching for Club Bear. She is IMPACT Certified.  

Favorite Quote: "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard." -Tim Notke

Julia Hansen

Apex Beach Head Coach

Julia was a multi-position standout at Fort Atkinson High, spending most of her time as a six-rotation player with one season as a libero. Averaged 4.47 kills, 4.41 digs and 1.44 blocks per set as a senior. Earned first-team all-conference honors each of her final two seasons. Julia went on to play  for the Missouri State Lady Bears indoor volleyball program, where she saw time in 12 sets over seven matches, all during the MVC season.  Due to an injury she switched from indoor to beach volleyball where she played one season for the MSU Beach Volleyball program. She graduated from MSU this year with a degree in Psychology.  This summer she started our Apex Beach Volleyball program and took the junior varsity coaching job at Hillcrest High School.  Last season Coach Hanson coached the 15 Regional Red team.  She loves to train and teach the fundamentals of the game and will be helping Coach Dortch with some of our training sessions along with coaching a team and continuing our beach program

Miranda Britian

I graduated from Logan-Rogersville in 2012 and played volleyball, tennis, ran track, and was on the bowling team. I also played volleyball for Springfield Juniors. I went to College of the Ozarks and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Physical Education K-12 and a Minor in Coaching, along with running Cross Country for a year while I was there. My work station on campus was the Athletic Trainer, and I loved being a part of all of the athletics. This will be my 5th year of teaching. My first two years I taught 7th grade girls at Lebanon Middle School and coached basketball, volleyball, and track. While in Lebanon, I also coached the 15s at Synergy and ran some of the tournaments. I taught PE K-8 at Crane for one year and was the high school and middle school volleyball coach. This is my second year teaching at Jeffries Elementary K-5 and coaching Freshman Volleyball at Kickapoo High School. I am currently working on my Master’s through Northwest Missouri for Educational Leadership K-12. I am thrilled to start this club season!

SUE DAUGHERTY

APEX CLUB DIRECTOR

CONNIE FARIA

APEX CLUB OWNER

JERRY SCHNEIDER

DIRECTOR OF COACHES