The Recognition Award is presented annually to an individual who has been involved in the development of volleyball at the club, regional or provincial level as an administrator (OVA committee work, referee, coach development, etc.) for five years or more.
We are pleased to announce the following for their outstanding service to volleyball in our province:
Alvisia Maga was a successful volleyball player in her own right before moving over to coaching. A varsity athlete with McMaster University, she knows what it takes to move on to the next level. With her OUA days behind her, Alvisia started her coaching career at the secondary school level with a successful stint at Bishop Tonnos. Leading a successful Titans team and having some of her players go on to the OUA, NCAA and even as far as the National Excellence Program. Maga was also one of the coaches for the Hamilton Catholic School Board All-Star Team. A knowledgeable coach and mentor to her players she is respected by athletes and her coaching peers. Currently coaching the 16U girls’ team at Mountain Volleyball Club in Hamilton, Alvisia has been instrumental in the development of not only the players on-court game, but their growth as young athletes as well. Congratulations Alvisia on your Recognition Award!
Chris Goetz has been in the volleyball family since he started playing as an under-ager at the 14U level in Waterloo. A member of the Tigers at 14U, 15U, 17U and 18U and the Oakville Titans at 16U. He didn’t just stick to court, as he would also play OVA Beach from 15U through 18U. Chris would take his talents to the bench with the Cambridge Hawks, leading their 15U, 16U and 17U teams from 2005 to 2007. From there he would head back to where it began, taking the Head Coaching job with his Waterloo Tigers. From 2008 to 2021 Goetz would coach teams ranging from 13U to 18U, eventually moving up to the Vice President of the club in 2020. While holding his coaching responsibilities, Chris would be working towards the officials stand as well. Becoming a local Official in 2005, Provincial in 2008, Regional in 2014 and National in 2019, Chris has been on the stand for the highest-level games in the province. OUA Bronze medal matches, OCAA Gold Matches and Referee 2 at National Championships are just a sample of how far he has come in the officiating world. He also gives back to the next generation of officials as he runs clinics, is part of the mentorship program, has been the Regional Upgrade Program Chair since 2020, and holds a seat on the Provincial Officials Committee. He is also trusted to lead the referee pool at major tournaments as he has been the assignor four times and the supervisor five times at the Ontario Championship. From player, to coach, to referee, there is not much that Chris hasn’t done for volleyball in Ontario, and for that he is receiving the Recognition Award. Congratulations Chris!
Christine Chang is the heart that keeps Scarborough Synergy Volleyball Club pumping along. As the club manager she is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the club that people outside of it might not notice. Within the club however, everyone knows how much effort she puts forward to keep Synergy running. Registration, finance, equipment, camps, strength and conditioning, development programs and even online video chats with the team during the pandemic are just a few of the roles she has taken on. Providing constant communication that bridges the gap between athletes and their parents, with coaches and management, Christine makes sure that everyone is informed with the goings-on of the club. A major part of their development coaching staff, she has even taken on assistant coaching duties where needed across all age groups. When court season is done, Christine continues her work as she fills all these roles with Synergy beach program and their development with Spikes Academy and summer indoor camp programs. Christine is a major factor in the success of Synergy Volleyball club and has provided outstanding services to her club and community over the past years. Congratulations Christine on your Award!
Craig Ryan has been with Scarborough Synergy Volleyball Club for the past two seasons, most recently as the 16U coach. Before this he was a head coach with Durham Attack. A well organized and thoughtful coach, he is known for his carefully planned out practices that are designed to get the best out of his athletes. He also emphasizes strength and conditioning and customizes workouts for his athletes to improve on their areas of need. A coach that really has his athletes’ best interest at heart, his positivity and encouraging nature is felt amongst the staff and athletes at Synergy. Congratulations Craig on this Award!
Gary Huang has been a mainstay with Scarborough Synergy Volleyball club over the past number of seasons. As both an assistant coach and a head coach, Gary has dedicated himself to his athletes. His time with the club has been spent at multiple different age groups with Titanium, Dynamite and Nitro. Always willing to help the club grow, he has stepped into whatever coaching role is needed. Not a loud coach, his quiet confidence is not lost on the people around him as his positive energy and sound advice leads to a solid rapport with the team. Not only does Gary focus on building a better athlete, but he also makes sure that they learn life lessons so when they leave the club, they are better people. Congratulations on your Award Gary.
Jason Kerr began his coaching career with multiple stints as an assistant with Durham Attack Volleyball Club. When a head coaching job opened up with Scarborough Synergy Volleyball Club, he jumped at the chance and has spent the last three years in that position with TNT, Kryptonite and Hydra. Known for going out of his way for his players, he will do anything in his power to provide an opportunity for athletes to participate in OVA competitions. Most likely if you were to look for him, you would find Jason in the gym, working with the athletes. Enthusiastic, dedicated and affirming, Jason is exactly what a young developing player needs. Congratulations Jason!
Lauren Wong began playing volleyball as a youth on traditional concrete and asphalt of the Nine-man game. A game she still plays, it would help develop her skills and love for the game of volleyball that she is now making a career out of. Lauren was an OVA athlete from 2012-2018 with the Scarborough Titans and moved on to be a Ryerson Ram from 2018-2022. Lauren would have an outstanding 2018 as she garnered the Evelyn Holick award for her indoor season, the Jason Senechal Memorial Award for beach, OUA Rookie of the Year and named to the National All-Rookie Team. Wong would go on to an OUA Second Team All-Star season with the Rams in the following season and finish the year off playing some semi-pro volleyball with One Volleyball. While she was still playing, Lauren already had her eye on other aspects of the game. Already a Local Level Referee she would begin coaching career in 2015 as an assistant. She now holds a Head Coaching role with Scarborough Synergy Volleyball Club. Congratulations Lauren on your continued success and this Award!
Mark Adamo has been a club coach for six years, with his past four coming at Mountain Volleyball Club. Their current 14U Head Coach and 17U Assistant Coach, Mark is known for his dedication to the sport and the athletes who play. Not only does he teach the athletes to be sound technically and how to be leaders, Mark also is responsible for the uniforms and merchandise of the club. A trained Developmental Coach who is working towards his certification, Mark is deserving of this Award for the impact he has on the athletes and the club itself. Congratulations Mark on you well deserved Award!
Michelle Lange has been in the volleyball world for over 30 years. She started her playing career with Belleville Volleyball Club and with Centennial Secondary School, where she would get to the OFSAA tournament twice. A short stint with the Ottawa Kangaroos and she was ready for varsity where she would spend four years playing middle and right-side hitter with Western University. It was here where she began coaching as she would take on a role of Graduate Assistant Coach. She would take a similar role in Southwest Missouri State University as well before heading to New Zealand were she would coach the Papakura High-School Team in Auckland from 2001-2002. When she returned home to Canada, Michelle would take a job at Westminster Secondary School in London. This gave her the opportunity to coach both the girls and boys’ teams at a smaller school where she would have full reign on the program. Her success as a coach allowed Westminster to reach OFSAA three times; girls in 2005 and boys in 2013 and 2017, with no OVA club athletes on any of the rosters. Michelle has also coached at the club level with Forest City Volleyball Club as an Assistant with the 18U team in 2000-2001 before returning as a head coach of 14U in 2005 to 2007. Since 2018 She has been coaching 12U and 13U, first with their boys’ team in 2018-2020 and the girls since 2020. She continues to live an exciting volleyball journey that has led he around the world and back to Ontario where she continues to develop the game within young athletes. Congratulations Michelle on this Award.
Mike Trotter has been a certified referee since 1982. With over 4 decades of experience, he has moved up the ranks and earned his Level 3 Regional badge. Not only does he climb the stand for high school, OVA, OUA and OCAA matches, he has spent some time crossing the border to work NCAA games. In recent years, Mike has moved into a leadership role and in 2013 as he took on the role of Assignor in the Windsor area. Ove the years Mike has also taken on assigning positions with the OVA, OUA and OCAA in which he has assigned 6 OFSAA Championships and multiple Ontario Championship events. A certified mentor and clinician, Mike is dedicated to teaching the next generation of referees and has worked as an Area Supervisor at Ontario Championships and has and mentored countless officials in southwestern Ontario. Mike also dabbled in coaching, leading the 16U Sky Volleyball team in Windsor for the 2016 season. For all your dedication to the sport of volleyball in Ontario, OVA presents you with this Recognition Award. Congratulations Mike!
Nancy Dool-Kontio was a decorated youth athlete at Oakridge Secondary School from 1983-1988. She was their MVP in her senior year and helped lead the Region 3 Team to a Gold Medal. Nancy also played at the club level with Kineldiego Volleyball Club from 1984-1988. After years away from the game, Nancy came back as a coach in 2017 with Forest Hill Volleyball Club. Since then, she has been a mainstay, leading 13U-15U Girls teams, adding great value to the club and being an asset to the athletes under her direction. Her experience and success at the club level has earned her invites to Team Ontario Academy in 2021 and Tall Maples in 2022. For her continued success in advancing the game in Ontario, Nancy deserves this recognition. Congratulations Nancy.
For the past five years, Pete Wehmeyer has been an asset to the Mountain Volleyball Club. Having a lot of experience as a player, he can bring his knowledge of the game to his assistant coaching role and the mentorship program that MVC runs. This program pairs older athletes with younger ones to help them through the off-court adjustments that they need to make as a high-performance athlete. This program and his role were even more important over the past couple years as it gave an outlet to the younger athletes at MVC to get advice while most of their programming was shut down due to the ongoing pandemic. His sound technical skills and leadership are an asset in his current role as assistant to the 16U and 18U programs. Congratulations Peter on your Award.
As an athlete, Sergio Chuy was a late bloomer to volleyball. Starting at grade 11 Sergio would compete in the Super League at University of Western Ontario and continued in A level leagues ever since. It was there that he would be exposed to former university and professional athletes who helped raise the level of his game. In 1989, Sergio earned his Level 1 Local Referee badge while still in grade 12. He has since received his Level 2 Provincial badge and continues to take the stand for leagues and OVA events to this day. In 2014 Sergio jumped into OVA club coaching when he led the 13U girls’ team for the London Sharks Volleyball Club. In his time with the Sharks, Sergio was paramount in helping expand the club, recruiting players and coaches as they grew from 2 teams to 21 in just three seasons. In 2018 Sergio would move onto Forest City Volleyball Club where he currently coaches both 13U and 16U girls’ teams. A Level 1 Development coach since 2015, he recently achieved a level 2 Advanced Development Coach status. Outside of Club volleyball, Sergio has been brought in at the provincial level as an assistant coach to Team Ontario White and in 2022 moved into a Head Coach role for Team Ontario Red. At the non-youth level, Sergio also started Crosscourt Volleyball in the London area as a competitive league for adults. Sergio is a strong and dedicated force in the London volleyball community, his training programs and camps help the next generation of athletes and helps grow the game in his area. Congratulations Sergio on your Award.
Shana Baptista started her volleyball journey where a lot of people who didn’t play as a youth do, as a parent of a player. Cheering, driving, snacks and pep talks, she was there for her family. As her kids grew, so did her involvement with her daughter’s teams. First it was fundraising, then apparel organizing and quickly Parent Team Manager and recruiter. Shana quickly made herself invaluable to Caspian Volleyball Club. Now as the Club Administrator, Shana has helped shape Caspian from a small club to one with several rep teams, development programs, training camps and house leagues. Through COVID she was the glue, organizing virtual bonding sessions with games and baking lessons. The introduction of league play tournament model has allowed Shana to really flourish as she flexed her communications skills and ability to easily develop relationships as teams were forced to connect with other clubs. This past season Caspian had their most decorated season ever, fielding 10 teams who received 14 OVA medals and a National Title. None of this would have been possible without the hard work and dedication of Shana behind the scenes. Shana often jokes that everyone is simply benefiting from her working so hard so her family will have a good volleyball experience. Congratulations Shana on this Award!
Steve Simone fell in love with volleyball during his time at General Amherst High-School in Amherstburg, Ontario. Those years in the early 1980s led to recreational volleyball as he became an adult. When his sons became club age, Steve was ready to help out in any way was need. From 2005 to 2011 he took the role of Parent Team Manager at Forest City Volleyball Club and assistant coach since 2012 with both girls and boys’ teams. With his Level 1 Coaching Certificate, Steve could easily move into a head coach role, however his job as a police officer restricts him to assistant at this time. After playing at FCVC both of Steve’s sons went on to play OUA, one with University of Windsor and the other at University of Waterloo. A steady presence on the bench, FCVC has been very appreciative of the time Steve has given to the club. Congratulations on the Award Steve!