Thunder JO Volleyball is located in Burnsville, Minnesota. A Twin Cities club volleyball organization that takes pride in developing well-rounded athletes.

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Coaching Staff

The following coaches have been identified for the upcoming season:‚Äč

Thunder 14-1s

Makena Wiescamp

Coaching/Training Experience

  • 2014:Jordan 12’s JO
  • 2017:Chicago Skyline Club 15’s and 16’s 
  • 2020-Current: Burnsville HS B-Squad
  • 2020-Current: Thunder 14-1’s

In addition to my volleyball coaching & playing experience, I have volunteered in a local Youth Group and Sunday School for several years during high school and college. I have a degree in Elementary Education and I also coach Junior High/Varsity Pole Vault for Jordan Track and Field. 

Playing Experience

Club: 2010-2014 Jordan JO Volleyball

High School: 2010-2014 Jordan High School

College: 2014-2018 Moody Bible Institute

Coaching Philosophy

My coaching philosophy stems from being a multi-sport athlete in High School and currently working in Corporate America at a very young age. My sole focus being a coach to young athletes is to ensure they are learning and practicing life skills through the avenue of sport. Not only to develop their skills for the next level of competition but also to become a better teammate and person. Mental toughness and working through adversity is my top priority. I believe the mental part of overcoming mistakes and looking forward to the next play is just as important as the volleyball skills themselves. Volleyball is by far one of the most challenging team sports; due to the nature of each player's role and responsibility being crucial to the success of the team. Team chemistry is important to the outcome of the game and how the team interacts with others around them, on and off of the court. Winning together and striving to become better teammates is far more important than winning games. I ask all of my players to leave it all out on the court and to love the sport of volleyball.

 

Amelia Wernette

Coaching/Training Experience

Thunder JO Coach

  • 2020-2021: 14-1

Playing Experience

In-House: 2012-2015 BAC Volleyball In-House Team

Club: 2015-2020 Thunder JO Volleyball Club

High School: 2018-2020 Burnsville High School (9A, B-Squad, & Junior Varisty)

Coaching Philosophy

This will be my first year coaching, so the only experience I have to go off of is what I've picked up on as a player. Volleyball is a team sport, and it's very clear when you see a team playing together versus when they are playing as individuals. So with that, I want to foster an environment where the girls can become friends, like a family on and off the court. The teams that are basically like a big group of friends not only play better together, but they have more fun, they play with more confidence and they want to go to practices and tournaments. They also put in a lot of effort to not let themselves or their teammates down. I'm really looking forward to seeing these girls grow their friendships and playing skills.


Thunder 14-2s

Jeri Johnson

Coaching/Training Experience

  • 2017 – Burnsville High School 9B volunteer
  • 2007, 2008, 2009 – Moorhead volleyball summer camp coach
  • 2009 – Personal trainer with Athletic Republic
  • 2007-2008 – Training/condition with Athletic Republic as an athlete (Acceleration Minnesota)

College: 2008-2013 University of Minnesota Women’s Track and Field athlete - Hammer thrower

In my collegiate career I learned the importance of individual growth and development (as throwing is an individualized sport). However, I also learned that individual growth is meaningless without support from teammates.  I have extensive knowledge on strength and conditioning for all ages through experience and study. I majored in Kinesiology and Applied Kinesiology in college.

Playing Experience

Club: 2002-2007 – Played for Moorhead JO Volleyball

High School: 2006-2007 – Played Varsity at Moorhead High School

Coaching Philosophy

My introduction to volleyball occurred when I was 11 years old and it enriched my life. My experiences fueled my passion to continue with the sport by playing and coaching. I believe learning and playing volleyball is all about trust. I think it is important to focus on building more than just a team; it is about building a family. Being able to feel comfortable with your family, being able to grow with them, and support them on and off the court is an important quality to have in a team. Volleyball families learn to communicate, work together, and accept each other. I believe these core concepts are not only needed for this sport, but also in life. Winning together and striving to become better teammates is far more important than winning games. I ask all of my players to leave it all out on the court and to love the sport of volleyball.

 

Ali Drutowski

Coaching/Training Experience

 

Playing Experience

 

Coaching Philosophy

 

Thunder 15-1s

Whitney Markson (Sorensen)

Coaching/Training Experience

  • Thunder JO Coach
    • 13-1: 2015-2016; 2016-2017
    • 14-1: 2019-2020
    • 15-1: 2017-2018; 2020-2021
    • 16-1: 2018-2019
  • 2019 Burnsville High School Junior Varsity

In addition to my volleyball coaching & playing experience, I have spent many hours working with youth. I worked as a counselor and summer program director at a summer bible camp for four summers. In addition, I have volunteered in the youth group at my church for two years with middle school and high school kids. I have always loved working with youth and getting to help them learn brings me lots of joy!

Playing Experience

In-House: 2004-2006 BAC In-House Volleyball Team

Club: 2006-2012 Thunder Volleyball Club Teams (Captain of the team for 5 years)

High School: 2009-2011 Played Jr. Varsity and Varsity at Burnsville High School

Coaching Philosophy

My coaching philosophy is focused on being a team and always giving it your all. Throughout my years of playing, especially as a captain, the one thing I experienced is how influential the team dynamics are on the way you play and how well you compete. It is so important to be able to come together as a team, winning or losing, inside or outside of volleyball, to support each other and figure out how to work together. This togetherness comes from practicing together, pushing each other, encouraging each other, and having fun together. Because volleyball is a team sport, it is also extremely important to always be working your hardest because you have teammates that are counting on you. Therefore, I believe it is essential to the team that no matter if you’re having a good day or a bad day that you are still giving it all. It is important to understand and believe that others are counting on you so that you come to practice scrimmages, or tournaments all with the same tenacity and desire to do well for your team. I believe these concepts are also extremely important for being successful in life. It is why I am so passionate about coaching these girls in how to do these things well on the court and off the court.

 

Jim Sorensen

Coaching/Training Experience

  • Thunder JO Coach
    • 13-1: 2006-07; 2012-13; 2013-14; 2014-15; 2015-16
    • 14-1: 2007-08; 2019-20
    • 15-1: 2008-09; 2017-18
    • 16-1: 2009-10; 2018-19
    • 17-1: 2010-11; 2011-12

In addition to my volleyball coaching experience I have been coaching youth sports with BAC for over 23 years. I started coaching boy's baseball and basketball for 8 years for both of my sons. I also coached girls basketball for 5 years and was the grade level coordinator for 4 years for my daughter. I have attended Midwest Volleyball Instructors clinics for multiple years and continue to gain knowledge on all aspects of Volleyball. I serve on the Thunder Board of Directors providing assistance where needed.

Coaching Philosophy

My coaching philosophy is focused around the team and sportsmanship.  Volleyball is truly a team sport and to be successful you need to have a group of girls that get along well, have fun and are dedicated to learning and improving.  The team concept of being there for one another through the good times and the bad, supporting, encouraging and pushing each other is critical if you are going to be successful on the volleyball court.  I believe that these concepts are also needed to be successful in life as well. Sportsmanship is the other focal point that is a must.  I've been involved in the Positive Coaching Alliance for over 10 years now and their motto of "Transforming Youth Sports so Sports can Transform Youth" sums up why I continue to be involved in coaching.


Thunder 15-2s

Sarah Lozano (Codner)

Coaching/Training Experience

  • Thunder JO Coach:
    • 16-2: 2019-2020
    • 14-1: 2012-2013

In addition to my coaching experience, I have spent many hours working with youth. My day job is a school counselor, so I take extra care to work with my players to support them in all areas of their lives. I also have experience working with athletes through summer camps and supported youth soccer camp as a part of my summer position in 2019.

Playing Experience

In-House: 2006-2008 BAC In-House Team and South Metro Shortened Fall Season

Club: 2006-2013 Thunder Volleyball Club Teams

High School: 2009-2010 Played at Burnsville High School (Captain in 2009 and Player's Choice award winner both seasons)

Other: 2013-2016 Intramural Volleyball Team Member at Concordia College; various adult intramural volleyball teams

Coaching Philosophy

I believe in cultivating a team where relationships and love for the game are the most important aspects. Playing volleyball is about a love for a sport that allows you to both shine as an individual and work with your teammates to achieve success. I believe that games are won by a team that is driven to play their hardest and has the technique to support their goals. Teammates push each other to play harder, improve skills, and build relationships that can last a lifetime. As a coach, I love to cultivate the relationships that are the basis for the team and I believe in focusing on the basic skill set each player has, so that her goals can be achieved through hard work and determination.

 

Kevin Codner

Coaching/Training Experience

  • EAA In-house coach 2004-2006
  • BAC In-house coach 2005-2008
    • BAC 7-9th Grade Age Group Director 2007-2009, 2013
  • Burnsville Storm South Metro League coach 2006, 2014
  • Burnsville Fury Fall Middle School League coach 2007-2009, 2013
  • Thunder JO Coach:
    • 13-2: 2006-2007
    • 14-2: 2007-2008; 2019-2020
    • 14-1: 2008-2009
    • 15-1: 2009-2010
    • 13-1/12-1: 2010-2011
    • 15-1/13/1/12-2: 2011-2012
    • 15-1: 2012-2013
    • 12-1: 2013-2014
  • Faithful Shepherd Junior High 2014
  • USAV CAP 1 Certification

Playing Experience

Various City Park & Rec League teams; Gustavus Adolphus College Men's Volleyball Club (DS and Right Side Hitter)

Coaching Philosophy

Volleyball is a lifetime sport. I want to help girls improve their skills and love of the game.


Thunder 16-1s

Autumn Thorsen

Coaching/Training Experience

 

Playing Experience

 

Coaching Philosophy

 

 

Taylor Yost

Coaching/Training Experience

 

Playing Experience

 

Coaching Philosophy

 


Thunder 16-2s

Liz Edd

Coaching/Training Experience

  • 2013-2015 Assistant coach for Rage 14s and 16s (two years)
  • 2015 9B coach East Ridge (one season)
  • Thunder JO Coach:
    • 12-1: 2015-2016; 2016-2017
    • 13-1: 2017-2018
    • 15-1: 2018-2019
    • 16-1: 2019-2020

Playing Experience

Club: 7 years EAA (Eagan's in-house); 2007-2009 Thunder Volleyball Club Teams

High School: 2007-2009 Burnsville Senior High School (JV and Varsity).

College: 2010-2014 University of Wisconsin-River Falls Women's Club Team

Coaching Philosophy

 I am a firm believer that playing sports as a child not only builds character and confidence but also gives a sense of accomplishment. To do that I want to create a positive learning environment where athletes can develop their skills. I hold each athlete to a high standard and expect them to work hard at each and every practice. Don't get me wrong though, I love having fun and even making up my own dance move which is now dubbed "The Liz". (Best ace cheer ever) Mixing together laughter and hard work creates lasting memories and good well-rounded athletes.

 

Krista Lorang

Coaching/Training Experience

  • Thunder JO Coach:
    • 13-1: 2011-2012
    • 15-1: 2018-2019
    • 16-1: 2019-2020

Playing Experience

Club: 2007-2011 Thunder Volleyball Club Teams

High School: 2009-2011 Played Jr. Varsity and Varsity at Burnsville High School

Coaching Philosophy

 

Thunder 17-1s

Michael Nehring

Coaching/Training Experience

 

Playing Experience

 

Coaching Philosophy

 

 

Alysha Kennedy

Coaching/Training Experience

 

Playing Experience

 

Coaching Philosophy

 


Positive Coaching Alliance

Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) is transforming youth sports so sports can transform youth. Through partnership with more than 1,100 youth sports organizations, leagues, schools and cities nationwide, PCA has conducted 6,000-plus workshops for youth sports coaches, parents, organizational leaders and athletes.

Since Executive Director Jim Thompson founded PCA as a non-profit within the Stanford University Athletic Department in 1998, we have helped create a positive, character-building youth sports environment for more than 3 million youth athletes.

Thunder Volleyball club has been a proud member of the Positive Coaching Alliance since 2007. Our coaches strive to meet all aspects of the "PCA Way" that focuses on developing "Better Athletes, Better People." Go to the Positive Coaching Alliance website to learn more about this organization https://positivecoach.org/ 

Parent Tips & Tools

Player Tips & Tools


Board of Directors

  • Laurie Grover

  • Nathan Rood

  • Carrie Rood

  • Bob Herman

  • Jessica Nehring

  • Susie Chadwell