MEET OUR COACHING STAFF
Stephanie Holthus - Co-Owner, Director, Lead Trainer, Head Coach, 16 Nike & 14 Black
Playing Experience: Stephanie began playing volleyball competitively at the age of 11 for Club Fusion-Marengo, where she was known as the club's "gym rat". Driven by her passion for the game, competitive attitude, and work ethic, Stephanie spent every day in the gym, joining other teams practices and getting private lessons on her teams' "off days". Over time, Stephanie's club team rose through the ranks of club volleyball and won numerous national tournaments. Her team finished fifth in the "open" level at nationals as 15s, 17s, and 18s, and won a National Championship as 16s, where Stephanie was named the tournament MVP.
Stephanie attended Burlington Central High School, where she was a four year Varsity starter and helped lead her team to a 3A State Runner Up finish her junior season. Stephanie still holds the 3A state tournament record for number of kills in a semi-final match. Her senior season, Stephanie was one of 24 high school seniors named an Under Armour All-American and was flown to the final four to compete in the High School All-American Match and attend the NCAA Division I National Championship semis and finals. In the Under Armour All-American game, Stephanie was named the "Most Undeniable Player" (MVP). In 2016 Stephanie was inducted into Burlington Central's Athletic Hall of Fame.
At the age of 15 Stephanie verbally committed to play her collegiate career at Northwestern University, where she was a four year starter at outside hitter. After being named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team in 2010, Stephanie went on to be a 3x All Big Ten performer and a 2x AVCA All-American in the country’s toughest volleyball conference. Racking up numerous Freshman of the week and Big Ten Player of the week honors during her career, she was also named the Sports Imports / AVCA Division I National Player of the Week (9/24) after averaging 6.18 kills and 4.1 digs per set in three wins. She was also named a Senior CLASS award candidate, an annual award given to a student-athlete who most embodies community, classroom, character, and competition. Stephanie still holds Northwestern's All Time Kill Record with 1,797 career kills.
Immediately after completing her collegiate eligibility in December of 2013, Stephanie left to begin her professional career overseas. She played one season with Lancheras de Catano in Puerto Rico, one with Club Regatas in Peru, and then finished her professional career in England, winning a National Championship with Team Durham.
Coaching Experience: Stephanie began her coaching career her freshman year at Northwestern. Balancing her academic course load with her athletic commitments, Stephanie set aside time to coach for Wildcat Junior Volleyball Club, where she was an assistant coach. She spent four years at "Wildcats" before taking time out of coaching club to play professionally overseas.
In 2017 Stephanie accepted a coaching position with Schaumburg High School as the Junior Varsity Head Coach and Varsity Assistant.
Personal Information: At Northwestern, Stephanie studied Secondary Education and graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Education and Social Policy. In 2018 she graduated from University of Durham (England) with her Master of Arts in Education. She currently holds her Illinois teaching license in High School Social Sciences.
Lauren Hanson, Recruiting Coordinator
Coaching Experience: Lauren coached for 12 years at the highly touted Iowa Rockets Volleyball Club. She has led her teams to top finishes in the Iowa Region Tournament and has twice finished third place at the highly competitive Great Lakes Power League. Additionally, Lauren has guided multiple teams to top 3 finishes at USAV Qualifiers and medaled at USAV Junior Nationals in 2011 (3rd place), 2014 (2nd place), and 2018 (3rd place).
Recruiting Experience: Lauren Hansen (Brauneis) has over 10 years of experience as a recruiting coordinator. Lauren started at Iowa Rockets Volleyball Club, where Lauren was the first recruiting coordinator in the state of Iowa. Iowa Rockets was not on the map in terms of recruiting when Lauren took over, within a few years Iowa Rockets was in the top 10 in the nation according to Rich Kern for placing girls collegiately. From Iowa Rockets, Lauren then started to branch out to other clubs and has helped over 100 players find their collegiate home!
As Pipeline's recruiting coordinator, Lauren will be each player's primary point of contact in navigating the recruiting process. Lauren will conduct recruiting seminars and provide consultations with each player and family to discuss the players goal, and assist each player in understanding each step of the process.
Personal Information: In addition to Lauren’s responsibilities as our Recruiting Director, she also works at the Mercy Medical Center (IA) in the cancer research department. Lauren and husband Will have two children, Caroline (6) and Joseph (3).
Coach Lauren: "I am very excited about the opportunity to work with Pipeline Girls and Director / Co-Owner, Stephanie Holthus. Stephanie is a phenomenal director and coach. I know that this club will continue to grow into something big and I am thrilled to be part of that process. There is so much talent and energy in the Pipeline gym and I am eager to start working with the athletes at Pipeline to find the right University for them!"
Vania Acic - Head Coach, 13 Black
Playing Experience: Vania’s love for the game of volleyball started at age 14 when he first went to a summer camp leading into his Freshman year of high school (there were no boys programs in middle school). Vania attended Palatine High School where he also played alongside Co-Owner and Director of Pipeline, BJ Boldog. Vania was the starting middle hitter on varsity his senior year, and earned All -Tournament Team honors at the Palatine Invite. After high school Vania played in rec leagues at the University of Illinois, and still continues to play in various beach and hard court leagues around the Chicagoland area.
Coaching Experience: Vania has been coaching at the high school level for the past 4 years. His first two years coaching were at Antioch Community High School where he was in charge of the Freshman Boys and JV Girls volleyball teams. In addition to his role with Pipeline, Coach Vania is the assistant Boys JV Volleyball Coach and Girls Freshman B Coach at Fremd High School.
Personal Information: An interesting fact about Coach Vania is that he was actually born in Bosnia! He and his family moved to the US in 1996 when he was just 5 years old. Vania grew up in Palatine, IL, and after graduating from Palatine High School he attended Harper College for 2 years. After Harper College, Vania transferred to the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, where he majored in Physics and minored in Secondary Education. After college, Vania spent two years at Antioch Community High School where he taught AP and Honors Physics, along with coaching volleyball. Currently Vania lives in Barrington, and is a science teacher and volleyball coach at Fremd High School in Palatine. He could not feel more fortunate to be able to teach and give back to the same community that helped raise him.
Coach Acic: “I’m so proud to be a part of a program that includes such incredibly experienced and passionate coaches. We have coaches at every level that not only love and respect the game of volleyball, but more importantly, they love teaching the game to these wonderfully talented players. What sets our program apart is that we coach with high expectations for not just how to play the game, but also we coach these girls about what it means to be a top-level athlete. We stress what it means to be a part of a team; having respect for each other and themselves, having a high work ethic and attitude to get better, paying attention to detail, and how doing the little things right will set us up for long term success.”
Monica Sanchez - Head Coach, 16-2
Playing Experience: Monica started playing volleyball at the age of 11 and played eight years of club. She was an All-American setter at Kishwaukee Community College, where she competed for two years, before transferring to Division I Mercer University to conclude her collegiate career. At MU Monica played both indoor and sand volleyball.
Coaching Experience: In 2017 Monica joined the Larkin High School coaching staff as the Assistant Varsity coach, where she has been the last two season. She has also coached at Club Fusion-Marengo, has led position training camps, and has worked in various Volleykidz programs throughout the state. Coach Monica, a Schaumburg High School graduate, joined the Pipeline coaching staff in 2017.
Personal Information: Monica double majored in Sociology and Psychology at Mercer University. She is currently teaching Special Education at Kirk School and working on her career in theatre. Monica continues to play volleyball, both indoor and on the beach.
Coach Sanchez: "I chose to coach at Pipeline because of the amazing coaching staff that was brought together. Every coach has a deep understanding, knowledge, and passion of the game."
Laurenn Campos - Head Coach, 12 Black
Playing Experience: Laurenn started playing volleyball in sixth grade after attending park district summer camps. She started playing club in eighth grade and quickly found her spot on the court as a setter. She played year round through high school and played 2 seasons at Harper College. Her second season, the team made it to NJCAA nationals and placed third. Laurenn was named an All American Honorable Mention.
Coaching Experience: This is Laurenn’s second year as a head coach at Pipeline. Her coaching history includes coaching kids volleyball in camps both indoor and beach.
Personal Information: Laurenn is a registered dental hygienist who practices in Barrington. She lives in Schaumburg with her husband and two kids. Besides playing volleyball, Laurenn loves to travel, hike, photography and Pilates.
Coach Campos: “I set aside time in my life after having kids to care and nourish my own children. Now my kids are old enough to allow me to leave the house and do something for me. Volleyball is my me time. I play in a league, but teaching and helping kids grow their volleyball game is what really brings happiness to my heart.”
Andrea Okransinski - Head Coach, 16 Blue
Playing Experience: Andrea played volleyball for Bartlett High School and First Kill Volleyball Club before a shoulder injury sidelined her volleyball career. After surgery and rehab, Andrea began playing Rugby, where she was a 2x team captain, and led her team to a 2nd place finish in state.
Coaching Experience: In 2014 Andrea started a high school girls rugby club in Elgin, Illinois where she was the head coach for two years before she was called up to go on her second deployment. During her time in Elgin, Coach Andrea also coached volleyball at Legal Prep Charter Academy High School. Andrea taught snowboarding for six years - two at Alpine Valley in Wisconsin and four at Winter Park Resort in Colorado. This is Andrea’s second season as a head coach with Pipeline!
Personal Information: After graduating from Bartlett High School, Andrea joined the the Army Reserves and completed two tours in the Middle East. She is currently on her 12th year and plans to stay in the reserves until retirement age. Currently, Coach Andrea teaches Freshman Study Hall at Hoffman Estates High School and is completing an online degree in "University Studies" from Southern Illinois University. She plans to apply to SIU's Behavior Analysis and Therapy program after graduation in December. Coach Andrea is deathly afraid of lady bugs and she grew up riding horses competitively for fifteen years in “Eventing” and hopes to one day get back in the saddle to compete again.
Coach Okransinski: "One of my favorite quotes about dedication and hard work is, 'I'm not saying it's going to be easy, I'm saying it's going to be worth it.' I chose to coach at Pipeline Volleyball Club because I feel the club embodies this mentality. As a program, we hold our players accountable to not only give 100% on the court, but off of it as well, which speaks volumes to our character and integrity as a club and the life-lessons we are trying to teach our young athletes."
Hayley Brake - Head Coach, 14 Blue
Playing Experience: Hayley played numerous sports as a child, but truly fell in love with volleyball at the age of 14. She competed for Burlington Central High School, Club Fusion, and Sky High volleyball clubs before going on to play for North Park University in Chicago. Hayley was a four year starting middle and was awarded numerous All-Tournament Team selections during her collegiate career.
Coaching Experience: Hayley started coaching club during her collegiate off-season with Energy Volleyball Club in Niles. At Energy, she worked with the middle school age levels. The 2018-19 season will be her first with Pipeline!
Personal Information: Hayley graduated from North Park University in 2016 with a degree in Exercise Science. With an intense passion for children and fitness, she decided to pursue a career that involved both. She is currently working at The little Gym of Glenview as the Director Of Operations teaching children ages 4 months to 13 years old fitness classes. Hayley continues to play volleyball in her spare time indoors and in the sand.
Coach Brake: “I am very excited to start coaching at Pipeline! I look forward to helping all the athletes become stronger and more confident in their playing abilities.”
Danielle Zaccariello - Head Coach, 17 Black
Playing experience: Danielle started playing volleyball when she was in fourth grade, competing for Leyden High School, Intensity, and F.O.C.U.S. volleyball clubs. Danielle had aspirations of playing in college, but was sidelined with a torn MCL late in her high school career. After surgery and rehab, she played inter murals at Illinois State University.
Coaching experience: Danielle has helped coach at various camps, clinics, and park districts over the last few years. This will be her first full season coaching club volleyball.
Personal information: Danielle graduated from Illinois State University with a degree in Education in 2016 and is certified to teach grades K-9, with specialties in Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies. Currently Danielle is an eighth grade teacher at Indian Trails Junior High and lives in Chicago. In her spare time she like to travel, write, and go on walks!
Coach Zaccariello: “I am so honored to be part of a program that seems so passionate about the sport I love and I couldn’t be happier to work with such an incredible, experienced coaching staff. The talent I have seen so far is remarkable and I can’t wait to help each and every player grow!”
Tara Braceros - Head Coach, 15 Nike
Playing Experience: Tara grew up in Des Plaines and started playing volleyball at a young age. She attended Elk Grove High School where she as a libero, then moved to outside hitter her senior season.
Coaching Experience: Tara knew that she wanted to be a coach the moment she retired. She started her coaching experience back at her alma mater after she graduated from college. She was the Sophomore Head Coach at Elk Grove High School for four years and coached one year of club at Rolling Thunder, where she coached a 15s regional team and a 15s national team. She is currently the Freshmen A volleyball coach at Buffalo Grove High School.
Personal Information: Tara grew up in a volleyball family. She has two younger brothers that both played Division III volleyball at North Central College. Tara graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Kinesiology. She then earned her Masters in Secondary Education from National Louis University. She now works at Buffalo Grove High School as a Biology and Chemistry teacher.
Coach Braceros: I am so thrilled to be coaching club again, and I wouldn’t want to do it anywhere else! Pipeline is a club full of energy, passion, and talent, and it will only continue to get stronger. I cannot wait to share in the process and work with some amazingly talented young women!”
Jake Braceros - Head Coach, 14 Nike
Playing Experience: Jake was surrounded by volleyball growing up. His mother played volleyball in the Philippines and his older sister began playing at a young age. Jake officially started playing in 7th grade and continued playing through high school. Upon graduation, Jake attended Harper College and spent his free time coaching and playing in various leagues. From Harper, Jake transferred to North Central College and joined their newly formed DIII Men’s Volleyball Team, where he was a three-year starting outside for the Cardinals. In his senior season, Jake helped his team to an undefeated conference season and earned First Team All-Conference honor.
Along with playing indoor, Jake enjoys playing grass tournaments and has won multiple A/AA grass tournaments with his triples / coed quad teams.
Coaching Experience: Jake coached with Rolling Thunder and Hitmen VBC before officially accepting a spot in Pipeline’s coaching staff. In addition to his club experience, Jake was the Varsity Assistant at Elk Grove High School for two season and just completed his first season as the Freshman coach at Rolling Meadows High School.
Personal Information: At North Central Jake earned his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and is currently teaching Special Education at Greenbrier Elementary in a preschool classroom. Jake is now working towards his Masters in Education at National Louis University and plans to teach elementary education upon graduation.
Coach Braceros: “I coach because I have a love for the game that has been with me since the beginning. I strive to transfer this love to my players so they can appreciate how great this sport is. I am ecstatic to coach at Pipeline because all of the coaches have this same, strong passion for the game.”
Tori Klaft - Head Coach
Playing Experience: Tori started playing volleyball on her dad’s rec league team when she was in fourth grade. What started out as a way to hang out with her dad quickly grew into an intense love for the sport. She then went on to join a club team starting in her 8th grade year and loved every minute of it. She played throughout high school up until her junior year when she injured her back and was out of the sport for 18 weeks. After completing rehab, she was back in the gym immediately, played club for two seasons more and went on to recruited to play at the collegiate level at Judson University in Elgin, Illinois as a DS/libero and she finished her collegiate volleyball career this season as a senior!
Coaching Experience: Tori started coaching at the YMCA rec league in her home town as a sophomore in high school. During the summers in high school she coached at Mettle Volleyball Academy and ran the summer camps for players in 5th grade through 9th grade. She fell in love with coaching and the role that being a coach played in her players lives. Once she reached college she knew that coaching club would be a perfect fit. During her freshman year she started coaching at Club Fusion in Batavia at the 13’s level and loved the club atmosphere. Tori is now incredibly excited to start coaching at Pipeline this season and can’t wait to get started!
Personal Information: Tori is currently finishing up her last year at Judson University. She is majoring in Pre-Occupational Therapy and minoring in psychology with hopes of continuing her education next year in a graduate school setting for Occupation Therapy! A fun fact about Tori is that she is really only a junior in college but put in a lot of extra work and is graduating a full year early!! In addition to belonging to a great school family at Judson, Tori comes from a huge family with 5 uncles and aunts, 24 cousins, 3 second cousins, mom and dad and two siblings of her own and is super excited to start her own family next September when she gets married!
Coach Klaft: “I am so excited to coach at Pipeline this season! I am looking forward to learning with the girls as well as coaching them and leading them. I coach because I love everything the sport has to offer and I am excited to show that to my team!”
Enola Varga - Head Coach
Playing Experience: Enola has been playing volleyball since age 14, where she began her journey at Wildcat Juniors Volleyball Club and later finished her club career with First Alliance Volleyball Club. She competed at Glenbrook South High School, where she was a 2x All-Conference performer and now plays at Judson University.
Coaching Experience: This will be Enola’s first season coaching a full club season, but she has worked numerous clinics, camps, and one on one training sessions in the previous years.
Personal Information: Enola is a freshman at Judson University where she is working towards her degree in Education, with an endorsement of ESL and bilingual. In her free time, she loves to compete in grass/ beach volleyball tournaments, paint, and travel.
Coach Varga: “I am very excited to begin my coaching experience at Pipeline and to share my passion and love for this game. The coaching staff is remarkable and I cannot wait to grow and learn alongside the talented volleyball players.”