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Coaches & Staff

Our coaching and administration staff consists of volunteers from many different volleyball backgrounds. All Stars coaches support the club's philosophy of building young leaders, encouraging all players positively and working with them to improve both on the court and off. We also support all our coaches in their NCCP (National Coaching Certification Program) advancement and certification. If you are interested in joining the Stars coaching team, please contact us!

 Please note that the coaching positions listed below are subject to change.

Dori Howard
Founder & President

Dori founded the Stars club in 2007 with one U14 team. The club has grown since and provides opportunities for young girls to not only play volleyball, but discover more about themselves as ambassadors for the sport and about themselves as individuals in this community. Dori is NCCP Level 2 certified. She played volleyball since age 12 right up to a championship provincial team level in her younger days. She has coached junior high school teams, Jasper Volleyball Camp many years ago, and Grade 9 and 12 teams at Handsworth High School.

Dori practiced as a nurse, specializing in pediatrics for many years. She has an MA in leadership and is the founder of ensoGroup Coaching and Consulting. She recently moved to Salt Spring Island where she hosts retreats and enjoys peace and ease in life.  She is a Certified Executive Coach, also from Royal Roads University and Kundalini yoga teacher. 
Sandy Hancock
U14 Head Coach

Sandy has been with the Stars from the start, and has coached U14 and U15 as well as the Youth League. She has coached Elementary school grades 6 and 7, and at Handsworth Secondary school, grades 8 through 10. In her younger days, Sandy was an avid volleyball enthusiast playing indoor and outdoor ball, predominantly beach doubles and triples. More recently, she has taken part in outdoor (recreational level) 6s. In her spare time, she enjoys Irish dancing and step dance.
Joe Avotins
U14 Head Coach

Joe’s involvement with Stars began as the father of two volleyball loving daughters; having atleast one of them on a Stars team since 2015. Deciding to get more involved, Joe began coaching volleyball at the U14 level with Stars during the 2017-2018 season as an assistant coach. More recently, during the 2018 High School season, he was the assistant coach for the Handsworth Bantam team. During his college days, Joe played both indoor and outdoor volleyball for several Club and intramural teams in Colorado. Prior to joining Stars as a coach, Joe has over 8 years of experience coaching competitive soccer teams in both the United States and Canada. Joe is an Architect by training, working with JOEY Restaurants as their VP of Design & Construction. He is currently working on completing his NCCP Level 1 Coaching certification.
Karen Martin
U15 Head Coach

Karen has been coaching with the Stars since 2010. She has coached girls' volleyball on the North Shore, both high school teams and club teams, for 13 years. Since 2010 she has coached at Handsworth. Karen played volleyball in high school, for UBC in 1979 to 1984 (mostly Junior Varsity, but also some Varsity) and then women's club volleyball, followed by many years of co-ed rec ball. She is NCCP certified as an Advanced Development Coach (formerly Level 2).

Karen is passionate about the importance of team sport to teenage girls and is thrilled to be able to coach with the wonderful coaching and club admin team at the North Shore Stars. Karen has two grown daughters who also coach with the Stars from time to time. When she is not on the volleyball court, you can find Karen practising construction law as a partner at Dentons Canada LLP.
Sara Freyvogel
U15 Head Coach

From the bantam to senior level in high school, Sara played for the Handsworth volleyball team and the Stars as a Left-side/power hitter. Today, she is actively playing volleyball on the SFU club team as well as in some of the community volleyball leagues that run throughout the year. Sara has been coaching with the Stars and Handsworth since 2016 and has been a referee with the LMVOA since 2015. She is also currently studying Psychology and Humanities at Simon Fraser University.
Laura Pickard
U16 Head Coach

Laura began coaching with the Stars in 2014, but has been coaching volleyball at various levels since she was just 15. During the school season, she helps coach the Senior Girls team at St. Thomas Aquinas. Laura played club and school volleyball on the North Shore until grade 12, and now plays in both co-ed and women's recreational leagues around the Lower Mainland. When not on the court, she is a certified web designer and is currently working in marketing at a local business.
Mark St. Georges
U17/18 Head Coach

Mark played competitive volleyball in London, Ontario on his high school and London All-Star teams. Upon moving to Vancouver he played in a variety of leagues: Mens 6's, Co-ed 4's and the King of the Beach 2's. Mark has coached previously at Canyon Heights, Braemar and Handsworth and has been involved with Stars Volleyball since 2015. He is currently an NCCP Level 1 certified coach and is working towards his Level 2.
Rebecca Oxland
Administration

Rebecca has been involved with coaching volleyball since 2013 at Handsworth Secondary School, Stars Volleyball Club, and Team BC Summer Games. She played volleyball in North Vancouver for her high school team at Handsworth and on club teams. She went on to study Health Science and play volleyball for the varsity team at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. Rebecca is currently a registered nurse at Lions Gate Hospital. Her role is assisting Stars Volleyball Club with administrative duties and coaching development.
Jenica Coombes
Administration

Jenica played for the Handsworth school team and for the Stars from U14 to U17. She is excited to re-join the Stars for the 2019 season as part of the administration. Outside of volleyball, Jenica is currently studying Business at Capilano University in North Vancouver, where she also volunteers as a Peer Helper on campus and is involved with CapU’s Young Women in Business chapter. She strongly believes in the impact that volleyball has on personal growth and development for teenage girls.
Guntis Grikis
U14 Assistant Coach

Guntis played his first volleyball match in the short lived North Shore Secondary Schools Boy's League. Over the next two decades, he played in countless indoor and outdoor leagues and tournaments. This passion for the game was noticed, and sure enough, a co-worker asked Guntis to coach her daughter’s high school team. He was instantly hooked, and coached for the next 11 years in the very competitive North Shore school and club systems. Guntis took a break from coaching when his daughter was born, but after a 7 year break he felt he had waited long enough. The gym was calling.

In the unusual event that Guntis finds some spare time, he enjoys hiking, backcountry skiing, and photography. Guntis is a Certified Level 2 Volleyball Coach with experience at the U14 through U18 levels.
Samantha Mills
U14 Assistant Coach

Samantha began her volleyball career playing for the Stars and Collingwood School during her high school years. She has now transitioned to coaching Stars and local high school teams. Currently she is obtaining her NCCP Level 1 certification. Outside volleyball Samantha is pursuing a career in marketing and sales at a local company. Samantha is very excited to be working with the Stars this season, after benefitting herself from years of coaches volunteering their time and effort to impact lives through the power of sport.
Cristina Botteselle
U16 Assistant Coach

Tina's coaching career began in 2017 at Stars and St. Thomas Aquinas, but has been playing since she was young. She grew up playing club and school on the North Shore as a setter and put away her court shoes in grade 12. Today, she still plays often in beach and indoor recreational leagues around the Lower Mainland with friends. Outside of volleyball, Tina works as an Educational Assistant as well as an early childhood educator, after finishing her BA in Education from SFU. She is currently working on getting her ECCE Certification as well.
Marisa Gour
U16 Assistant Coach

This year, Marisa is joining Stars as a coach for the first time after playing for the club for 4 years. She recently graduated from Handsworth Secondary, playing on the volleyball team throughout. She is now a first year student at SFU studying Kinesiology. Marisa has been coaching volleyball at Canyon Heights Elementary School since 2014 and is excited to progress her coaching experience with more competitive play at Stars.
Natalie Ranspot
U15 Assistant Coach

Natalie grew up on the North Shore and played volleyball through high school and recreationally during her four years at McGill University. She is a NCCP Level 1 certified coach and has been coaching with the Stars since 2013. Natalie also coaches at Handsworth Secondary School.
Abigail Turner
U15 Assistant Coach & Administration

Abigail has been involved with Stars since 2016 after her daughter was first selected for the U14 team. In her high school and university days, Abigail was a volleyball enthusiast and played on numerous teams both at school and in the community. More recently she coached the Windsor High School Girls Bantam Team in 2016 and the Girls Juvenile Team in 2017. Abigail currently sits on the Stars Volleyball Club Board, which she been on since 2018. Abigail is a lawyer by profession, a Partner at Harper Grey LL, working mainly in Health and Insurance Law.
Alyxa Hepting
U15 Assistant Coach

Alyxa grew up on the North Shore playing competitive club and school volleyball (including playing for the Stars in grade 8 and 9), finishing her career on the Handsworth senior team as a libero. After graduation, Alyxa began coaching at Handsworth and Stars in 2013 - she has now coached all levels from Bantam through Senior. Alyxa is also currently in the process of getting her Level 1 and 2 coaching certifications.
Tracey Gardiner
Assistant Coach

Tracey has coached at Montroyal Elementary, Handsworth (Bantam, Juvenile and Junior) as well as club volleyball since 2012. Tracey feels honoured to be involved in volleyball among such amazing coaches and players on the North Shore! She enjoys helping the girls discover a passion they may never have known, the self discipline, progress, positive atmosphere and seeing friendships grow. Most of all, she enjoys having fun and being able to sincerely say “good job” and “smile”!


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