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:

U12&13 Abbreviated:

  • Sarah Holcombe – Coaching/Training Experience
    2019 Burnsville High School-9 Black Head Coach
    2017-2018 Shakopee 16-3 Assistant Coach
    2011-2014 Northern Lights 17-3 Assistant Coach & 18-3 Assistant Coach
    2006-2008 Shakopee 14-1 Head Coach & 12-1 Head Coach
    1996-2004 Eagle Ridge Junior High-9 Head Coach

    Coaching Philosophy – I have been teaching / coaching in the Burnsville School District since 1996. I am a teacher and enjoy working with kids and showing them the value of being active and involved in a sport or club.  I emphasize the importance of effort over winning, but I like to be competitive and enjoy a good volleyball match.  I strive for each member to be an important part of the team and for girls to feel empowered and fearless as they work on improving their skills. My favorite quote that I have shared with the girls is: "There’s nothing more beautiful than when you prove to yourself just how strong you are." I want our team to know that working hard and being strong together is the best part of being on a volleyball team.

  • Isabel Kruse – Coaching/Training Experience
    Thunder Gold Assistant Coach 2019
    Additionally, I have been involved with leading or co-leading various young girls groups at church and school. I love the energy, happiness and craziness of youth and find joy in them. It is exciting to encourage their work ethic, discipline and passion in their hobbies!
    High School: 2013-2016 played at Chaska High School

Coaching Philosophy – My coaching philosophy is focused on teamwork and developing individual discipline and work ethic. With cooperation, passion and encouragement from all players and positions - setters, hitters, defense, liberos, substitutions - volleyball is a fun, enjoyable sport for everyone on the team. Teamwork is about communication, sharing, supporting each person’s goals and individuality and picking each other up off the floor - literally! Win or lose, teammates will be there when the game is over to celebrate or support, which is why it is important to learn how to treat each other kindly in good and bad circumstances! Individually, volleyball offers the girls to decide how much effort to give, how to listen to coaches, how to respond to teammates and how to keep working when it isn’t easy. As these skills are developed on the court, they transfer to life off the court at school and at home. It is always exciting to see volleyball teach young girls to grow as confident, kind, passionate people!
 

U14-1

  • Whitney Markson (Sorensen) – Coaching/Training Experience
    2019 Burnsville High School Junior Varsity
    Thunder JO Coach
    13-1: 2015-2016; 2016-2017
    15-1: 2017-2018
    16-1: 2018-2019
    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!
    Club: 2004-2006 BAC In-House Volleyball Team
    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 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
    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.

 

U14-2

  • 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.
    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.

  • 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
    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.

 

U15-1

  • Bailey Juetten – Coaching/Training Experience
    Coaching Philosophy –

  • Alysha Kennedy – Coaching/Training Experience
    Coaching Philosophy –

 

U16-1

  • 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
    Club: 7 years EAA (Eagan's in-house); 2007-2009 Thunder Volleyball Club Teams (15-16s); University of Wisconsin-River Falls Women's Club Team 4 years.
    High School: 2007-2009 Burnsville Senior High School (JV and Varsity).

  • 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
    Club: 2007-2011 Thunder Volleyball Club Teams
    High School: 2009-2011 Played Jr. Varsity and Varsity at Burnsville High School

    Coaching Philosophy –

 

U16-2

  • Sarah Lozano – 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.
    Club: 2006-2008 BAC In-House Team and South Metro Shortened Fall Season; 2006-2013 Thunder Volleyball Club Teams.
    Other Experience: 2009-2010 Played at Burnsville High School *Captain in 2009 and Player's Choice award winner both seasons; 2013-2016 Intramural Volleyball Team Member at Concordia College; various intramural volleyball teams at the adult level.

    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.

  • Michael Nehring – Coaching/Training Experience

    Coaching Philosophy –

 

U17-1

  • Taylor Yost – Coaching/Training Experience

    Coaching Philosophy –

 

  • Autumn Thorsen – Coaching/Training Experience

    Coaching Philosophy –

 

Athletic/Sports Performance Consultant:

  • Jim Inglis – Certifications/Training Experience
    2017-2018 Thunder JO Strength & Conditioning Coach
    NASM Personal Trainer
    ACE Group Fitness Instructor
    NASM Behavioral Change Specialist
    NASM Sports Performance Specialist
    National Sports Performance Certifications:
    Speed and Agility Coach
    Sports Nutrition Coach
    Weight Lifting Coach
    Program Design Specialist
    Complete Youth Training
    Complete Core
    Complete Speed Training
    Complete Olympic Lifting
    Jump Training
    Complete Sports Conditioning
    Other Certifications:
    Precision Nutrition
    Functional Movement Screen
    Head Volleyball Coach

  • Coaching Philosophy – My coaching philosophy is focused around building a team with clarity. Clarity = FOCUS. And with focus, I aim to develop a Team Identity as well as an identity for each individual. I have a PACK mentality. Each of us has our own job and place on a team. No one is better than the other. And together as one team, we can (and will) achieve amazing results.

    My Mission – My mission is the only promise I will make to you. You may not play, or have a number, or win, etc. But I promise I will work for you. I will:

  1. Develop you as a well-rounded young adult. I will use a mind, body, and spirit approach to develop your identity. The number one goal is to develop you as a great woman. You will become a productive member in the community, in school, and a great friend to others. Your identity is not wrapped to what you do, it's who you are.
  2. Develop you as the best player that you can be. If God gave you the ability, I will get it out of you. I will put parameters around you and define your job and role and expect you to do it.
  3. Keep you on track to graduate and do well in school and beyond. It’s like a master key. I will make sure you know how to start and finish something. Know how to open any door, and how to network for the rest of your life.
  4. Win championships together. Winning is a vital part of development as a player, and young adult. This is the last promise because it is temporary. I focus on eternal values. Hard work, dedication, loyalty, and commitment. Seeing things from start to finish. Then focus on the championship wins. What means the most to me is seeing the athletes grow up as young adults, pass their classes, and be successful. The cherry on top is the championship.

Our coaching staff has an average of 4.5 years’ experience of coaching and more than 7 years of playing experience at the club, high school or college level. 

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

  • Ben Wernette

  • Tiffany Gameson