This is Laynie's 4th season coaching club volleyball and her first season with Apex. She is so excited to be a part of such a competitive club. Her volleyball journey began 11 years ago and it quickly became a passion of hers. She played high school volleyball at Mount Vernon. After graduation she attended Missouri State University where she was fortunate enough to compete as a middle alongside and against incredibly talented athletes for four years as she obtained a bachelor's degree in communication sciences and disorders. She has spent her last four summers helping develop athletes through the Community Sports Development Program, where she has been fortunate to develop as a coach and learn from the coaches who helped mold her as a player. Laynie is now a first year graduate student at Missouri State University where she studies speech-language pathology.
17'S REGIONAL NAVY
Bailey played high school volleyball at Clever and Ozark High School. She also played club volleyball for Club Bear for many years while growing up. While at Clever HS and Ozark HS she was a 4 time all-state selection as an outside hitter and libero. Bailey went on to play volleyball for 4 years at Southwest Baptist University where she was a 3 time all-conference libero. She graduated from SBU with a degree in Biology Education. Currently she is a high school physical science teacher and junior high volleyball coach at Branson. This will be Coach Nelson's 6th year coaching for Club Bear/Apex. She has coached a variety of age groups and is looking forward to another great season.
16's NATIONAL NAVY
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.
15'S NATIONAL NAVY
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
AST. 15'S NATIONAL 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
15's NATIONAL NAVY ASST
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.
15's NATIONAL RED COACH
Arwen grew up in Marshfield, Missouri and graduated from Marshfield High School. She played school and club volleyball all throughout her school years, as well as playing for Club 417 Volleyball, which was under the coaching of Leah Johnson, during her high school career. She was Marshfield's first-ever All-District libero leading her team in pass percentage and digs her junior and senior years. Arwen received honors during her high school career such as All-District, All-Conference, Licking All-Camp team (Jr. & Sr. year), and other various All-Tournament teams.
During her senior year of club, her team qualified for USAV Nationals through a national qualifying tournament. After finishing her playing career, Arwen went on to coach club volleyball for 4 years and also coached a youth team at The Courts. She was also active in the outdoor/beach program.
Most recently, Arwen was Marshfield High School’s Assistant Varsity Coach for three consecutive seasons. She led her Junior Varsity teams to high winning records as well as a handful of tournament championship wins each season. Last year Coach Pratt was the assistant to the 14's National Red team and will be taking the head coaching role for that team this season.
Favorite Quote: "The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” -Nelson Mandela
Bayli grew up in Springfield, MO where she attended Park Ave Christian School. She was an OH/DS for her school team where she earned multiple honors including All-American all four seasons, All-Conference her last two seasons, All-Region First Team all four years, and Nationals MVP her senior year. She went on to play at John Brown University as an OH/DS. She graduated from John Brown University with an B.S. in Kinesiology. Coach Duran is IMPACT certified. Last year Bayli coached the 14 Regional Navy team. This year Coach Duran is having her first child and therefore will be taking on a limited coaching role. We are excited to have her in any capacity that allows.
Favorite Quote: "Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NLT
14'S NATIONAL RED
Kara attended Willard High School and played varsity volleyball all four years. Kara earned all-state honors while playing six rotations at Willard HS. She then went on to play volleyball at the college level at Evangel University for one year as an outside hitter. She now attends Missouri State University and is working towards getting her Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education. She was a part of Club Bear as a player for 9 years and is now giving back to the club as a coach. Coach Finkbiner will be entering her third year of coaching at Apex/Club Bear.
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.
14's & 16's National Navy Team
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.
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.
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.”"
Hailey attended Republic High School and played volleyball all four years as a defensive specialist. During the Grin Action Senior All-Star tournament she was awarded MVP for her district that she represented. After high school, Hailey went on to attend Evangel University where she was a started for the Evangel volleyball team as a freshman. She gained valuable experience during her two years at Evangel as a DS/L. Hailey also played club volleyball for 13 years. During this time her love for the game continued to grow. She decided she wanted to continue her passion with volleyball, but this time, as a coach instead of a player. She has coached club for three years and this will be her first year with Apex. Coach Noblitt is currently in the nursing program at Cox College where she is working towards a goal of becoming a nurse practitioner.
11 National Navy
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”
15's National Blue Assistant
Coach Routh comes from a competitive, athletic background playing football in high school and then going on to play in college at Pittsburgh State University. His passion for volleyball started when he had three daughters who showed an interest in the game. Coach Routh has coached club volleyball since 2012 for the club Serv-ivors. At his club his success was based upon teaching the girls proper skills, being competitive, and building each other up in a positive manner. He is excited to be involved with Apex and looks forward to seeing what his team can accomplish this year. Denny is also Safe Sport and IMPACT certified. He is happily married to his wife of 23 years and have three beautiful daughters. Professionally, Denny has been involved in
the flooring industry for the past 24 years and is currently in sales. He resides south of Springfield and enjoys spending time with his family.
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!
Kayla has been playing volleyball since I was 11 and played for Club Bear while she was in high school. Last season she gained her first coaching experience as the assistant coach of the 13's team. She currently attends school at Missouri State University where she is finishing her prerequisites to be able to apply to Pharmacy school next year. She can’t wait to get the new club season started and to see improvement in my players!
Rebecca is originally from St. Louis, MO where she played club volleyball for 8 years along with 4 years at Lindbergh High School. She made her way to Springfield, MO to attend MSU to study nutrition and dietetics. After graduating this past spring, she plans on working as a dietetic intern at Cox Hospital as the next step to becoming a registered dietitian. She is excited about being apart of the Apex volleyball family and looks forward to meeting the girls and watch them grow into well-rounded volleyball players.
12'S NATIONAL NAVY COACH
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.
18's NATIONAL NAVY COACH and
Director of Coach & 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).