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Club Owner & Technical Director of Academy of Volleyball | Head Coach 15 High Performance

 Coaching Experience

  • Silver Medal at Girls Junior Nationals on the 15 Nationals Division, Academy 14 HP Daniele, Indianapolis 2022
  • Gold Medal at Boys Junior Nationals on the 13's Division, Academy Boys 13 HP , Salt Lake City 2023
  • Gold Medal at PanAm Cup with USA Volleyball National Team Boys U19, Guatemala 2023
  • Bronze Medal Asics Show Me USAV Qualifier 2019 USA Division with Academy 15 Gold 
  • Bronze Medal at JVA West Coast Cup 15 Open Division, Academy 15 HP , Long Beach 2023
  • Qualified at Junior Nationals 2017-2018-2019-2020-2021-2022-2023 with Academy Girls Teams
  • Champion of NCVA President Day Tournament with Academy 16 Gold and Academy 14 HP 
  • Former Stanford Men's Assistant Volleyball Coach
  • Former Palo Alto High School Varsity Volleyball Coach
  • Champion of Spikefest 2017 with Palo Alto HS
  • Champion of Carlmont Invitational 2015 with Palo Alto HS
  • Strong believer on players' individual improvements at the service of the whole team.

Playing Experience

  • 20+ years competing professionally in 7 different Countries
  • MVP of the World Championship in 1997 for the Italian National Team
  • FIVB World Tour Beach Volleyball Player
  • Winner of over 100+ medals over the career for both indoor and outdoor
  • Earned a Green Card for Extraordinary Ability in Athletics in 2015


For more information:

Olta Desiderio

Club Owner & Director of Academy of Volleyball | Head Coach 

 Hello, my name is Olta, and I am the founder, director, and coach at Academy. I started playing volleyball very young in Italy, where I grew up. At only 14 years old, I started practicing with the professional team of my city in Serie A2. I prioritized my education but continued playing amateur indoor and beach volleyball. I studied accounting/business school and sociology in Italy and continue to pursue education in psychology at OSU. I am fluent in 4 languages and have lived, studied, and worked in 8 different countries. 
In 2015 my husband and I moved to the Bay Area and decided to open our volleyball club. Academy Volleyball Club was built from scratch, with only ten athletes as a beach volleyball club. In the first indoor season, the club had six teams. Today after ten years, the club has thirty-three girls' teams, nine boys' teams, and 100 kids in our Future Champions program.
At Academy, I oversee the marketing, new hires, product development such as Future Champions, and other administration work.
I am saddled with the responsibility of making executive and administrative decisions regarding the club's operations and functionality. I oversee and decide what goes on in the business. I aim to help Academy Volleyball achieve its best standard and become people's first choice.
I started coaching ten years ago when I started Academy, mainly the Future Champions Program. Last season, the 2022/23 girls' indoor season, I coached the 11 HP team. We won the NCVA Power League and Gold Medal at USAV Salt Lake City Qualifier and double-qualified at the USAV Junior Nationals. I am excited to coach a team again for the upcoming girls' 2023/24 indoor season. 

For more information:

Emanuele Zanini - "Zan"

Head Coach & Director of Skills Development

Emanuele Zanini is an Italian professional volleyball coach whose expertise and passion have made a profound impact on the sport. Known for his remarkable coaching career spanning several countries, Zanini has consistently pushed boundaries and achieved remarkable success. Currently serving as the head coach for the Belgium national team since 2022, he also holds the position of Technical Director for Youth Formation, where he is fostering young talent and shaping the future of volleyball.


Over the course of his career, Zanini has coached several teams across Italy, Austria, Slovakia, France, and Poland. His expertise and guidance have helped these teams reach new heights and achieve notable success. His ability to foster a culture of excellence and inspire players to reach their full potential is unmatched. His dedication to youth development and his unwavering commitment to the sport has made him a highly respected figure in the volleyball community. As he continues to shape the future of volleyball, Zanini's influence and legacy will surely leave an incredible impact on the players at The Academy!


Ernardo “Harry” Gomez

Head Coach

Hello Academy Family,

I'm very excited to be part of this volleyball community. My name is Ernardo “Harry” Gomez. I was born in Bolivar, Venezuela. I am happily married and a father of two girls, who are 17 and 11.

I'm a proactive, responsible, and competitive person. My goal in this new position is to share my experience, knowledge, and help the athletes so that they can be their best versions, and improve their skills and knowledge of this beautiful sport, and also enjoy the process with confidence and cultivate relationships based on trust and integrity.

I'm the only Venezuelan athlete to be elected 2 times as the best player in the world in the younger categories, the youth world championship in Saudi Arabia 1999, the junior world championship in Poland 2001, and I'm also an Olympic athlete at Beijing 2008. I also have a gold medal and was elected best player of the continent in the Pan American games Santo Domingo 2003, I was also in the Venezuelan national team for 16 years, and three of those I spent as Capitan.

I've played at the top professional volleyball leagues overseas where I won more than 15 titles in Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, UAE, and Venezuela.

In the last 3 years, after being a professional volleyball player for more than 20 years, I dedicated myself to studying to get my MBA in sports management and MBA executive in sports coaching and high performance Psychology at the Unisport Management School in Barcelona, Spain. Afterwards, I completed the international course FIVB Coach Level II.

My Experience as Head Coach has been in Miami Select volleyball club for the U12 team where we finished at 4th place at the 2018 AAU, and also at PAOK Thessaloniki Volleyball Club as Assistant Coach, in the Greek volleyball league 2018 where we placed 1st. I look forward to meeting you all and for a fantastic season ahead!



Kyle Mashima

Technical Director of Academy Volleyball Club | 

Hello, Academy Parents and Players,

My name is Kyle Mashima, and I am the Technical Director for Academy Volleyball Club.   I have coached girls from 13 to 18 years old.   This season I assisted on 18HP Chris.  Many of the girls started playing for me in 14s and this was their final season.  They earned a bid in both USA and in the Regionals.  

In 2019 my 14 Gold team earned an American bid to the Nationals and won a Bronze medal in 14 American.  At Red Rock in 2017, my 14 Showcase team earned a USA bid to the Nationals.  My teams have qualified for the USAV Nationals 8 times.  

I have been coaching club for 17 years and coached high school JV and varsity for 7 years.  At Woodside High School, we won the league championship in 2012 and 2013.  I have also coached 3 years of men’s volleyball at Stanford and Menlo College.  

As Technical Director, I handle coach training using stats to drive our practices and match decisions.   I have provided a training process to help drive a consistent way to train and play the sport.  

I am the founder of Rotate123 , and our SoloStats app is the leading app for recording volleyball stats.  I am an expert in junior’s volleyball stats and am the stats partner for the Art of Coaching Volleyball.  They are the largest independent volleyball coach training company in the US,  founded by John Dunning, Russ Rose, and Terry Liskevych.   We've worked together to create the Stats Wizard and Driveway Drills.  

I have taught over 700 coaches how to use stats to improve their teams’ performance at seminars sponsored by USAV, JVA, AVCA, and AOC.  

I am USAV Impact, CAP 1, CAP 2, and GMS certified. 

I look forward to seeing you at the Academy.


Mark Piorkowski

Head Coach

Hi everyone!

My name is Mark Piorkowski and I am so excited to be joining the coaching team at Academy for the upcoming season!

I grew up in New Jersey, where I first started playing volleyball in high school and quickly developed a passion for the sport. I progressed to playing club volleyball, which allowed me to be recruited to play for D-III Emerson College in Boston. While at Emerson, I was a 4 year starter, team captain, and reached the 1000 kill milestone.

More recently, I have been a player and coach for a club in Copenhagen, Denmark. I spent two seasons both playing and coaching for the men’s team, guiding them to back-to-back promotions from the 4th to the 2nd tier of Danish volleyball. I also spent one and a half seasons as the women’s coach, who earned a promotion in my first season.

I have also received my Master's in Sports Management from Bournemouth University in the UK and have experience coaching club volleyball while living in Memphis, TN.

I am very grateful for the opportunities volleyball has provided me already in my young career: being able to travel, live in new places, and push my boundaries. I love the sport and can't wait to share my passion with the athletes at Academy Volleyball during this upcoming season. Looking forward to meeting you all soon!




Head Coach | 

Hello, Academy Parents and Players,

My name is Denny Falls, and I am Head Coach and Boys Assistant Director for six seasons at Academy.

I played Men’s Volleyball at Stanford University, USA Volleyball, and Ultimate Volleyball Club, where I grew up in Orland Park, Illinois. I currently coach Woodside High School Girls Volleyball program and play for San Francisco Sportconx.

My favorite memories with Academy have been made helping my teams qualify for Junior Nationals five times now and winning a USAV qualifier- I can’t wait for many more!



Head Coach Indoor & Beach Volleyball 

Olá galera! I’m Harley Marques, a Brazilian professional beach volleyball player.  I’m playing over 25 years professionally. During that time, I won some important titles, twice MVP of FIVB and the World Champion, also 11 times the best server in Brazil. 
To compete against the best teams in the world and be one is an incredible feeling, but you need to work hard. My goal is to share with you my experience, and that’s why I started coaching about four years ago in summer camps and clinics around the world, also coaching professional players. If you are going to win the game, you need preparation. I made my dreams come true, and now together with Academy, we want to help you with yours!


Tyler Scheerhoorn

Head Coach 

Hello, Academy Parents and Players, My name is Tyler Scheerhoorn, and I am joining the Academy of Volleyball Club's staff in August 2021. Before signing with the Academy, I was the co-Head Coach at Trent University in 2019-2021 and the Technical Coach at the Academy of Student-Athlete Development in Canada. I also played professional volleyball overseas in Austria and Luxembourg, which led to a National Championship in my final year. During that time, I coached many youth teams in Europe. I'm excited to be a part of the Academy coaching staff. I look forward to bringing my optimism and charisma to the California courts to inspire and coach youth athletes!

Gabriel Mota

Head Coach Indoor & Beach Volleyball 

My name is Gabriel, and I'm originally from Brazil. I played volleyball for over 17 years. I started playing when I was six years old because my father was a volleyball coach. I played indoor volleyball for my state team as a setter. I won the Silver medal at the U19 and U21 Beach Volleyball Brazilian Championship, where I was considered the best defender in the Tournament.

I have an ideology that volleyball athletes have to work as a team/family, and it is not enough to be a good athlete but also need to be a good citizen/human.

I'm so excited to be part of the Academy Volleyball. I look forward to sharing my knowledge and experience, helping the athletes become winners, and being happy with their improvements.

"If you need to, go ahead and dedicate yourself. If you like it, love what you do, you will always want to improve." (Bernardinho)

Shane Stent

Head Coach - Conditioning & Strength Coach Academy Performance Lab 

As a volleyball coach, Coach Shane draws inspiration from the epic soccer coach, Ted Lasso. Like Coach Lasso, Coach Shane believes in coaching from the heart and leading with unwavering positivity. As he once said, "Believe in yourself, and if you're going to fall, fall forward." Coach Shane empowers his players to embrace challenges, take risks, and use setbacks as stepping stones towards improvement. With a focus on building confidence, resilience, and a growth mindset, he aspires to help players learn the value of self-belief and the importance of giving their best efforts in every game and practice. 

Entering his sixth season at Academy, Coach Shane will be coaching 18 HP National for the 2023-2024 season.  Last season, he coached the 18’s team a successful power league and Nationals bid. Coach Shane was also part of the coaching staff for the 2022 silver medal winning Academy 14 HP Daniele team which, as 15’s, qualified in the open division at the USAV Nationals this year.

Léo Pasquali De Pra

Head Coach 

Hello, Academy Parents and Players, My name is Léo. I am an Olympic volleyball player & coach, a paralympic coach, and I have played as a professional for 20 years.

I have a bachelor's in physical education and a master's in Sports Management. I was Supervisor of the Women's Senior National Team and Under 19, 21, and 23 Brazilian National Men's Team.

I am married to Coach Luciana, and we have two daughters, a setter and an outside hitter who are currently playing in a USA College.

We are so happy to being part of the Academy Family, and we are here and always available to teach, support, and help our players.

Luciana De Pra

Head Coach 

Hello, Academy Parents and Players.

My name is Luciana, and I am from Brazil. I'm married to coach Leo, and we have two daughters, Laura and Lívia. Both are playing in college, and Laura was named All American Team the best Setter in the USA 2019 Junior College National Championship.

I was a professional indoor and beach volleyball player from 1987 to 2000. I have competed and won international pro tournaments such as the South American Beach Volleyball Circuit, São Paulo State's and Brazilian Beach Volleyball Tournament, FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship, and many more.

We are so happy to being part of the Academy Family, and we are here and always available to teach, support, and help our players.


Head Coach 

Hello, My name is Filip Kaminski. I am ecstatic to be a part of the Academy Family in the coming season. After eight years of coaching youth, top professional league, and national teams in Poland, I decided to gather and share my experience in California.
I started volleyball as a player when I was nine years old. I have achieved 8 medals in Polish Championships during my coaching career. In 2016 I was a coaching staff member for the U16 and U18 Polish Woman's National Team.
My philosophy of coaching kids mainly focuses on cultivating joy for the sport and teaching them the right fundamentals. I aim to find the right way and approach every player so they would come to every practice session with a huge smile. Mutual support, trust, healthy relations, solving conflicts, and cultivating joy are what I find the most essential in a successful team.
I am beyond grateful for this awesome opportunity! See you soon on the court.

Winder Montano

Head Coach 

Hello, Academy Parents and Players.

My name is Winder, and I am originally from Venezuela. I was a member of the Venezuelan National Team from 1992. to 1998. I was blessed to travel the world playing volleyball at the highest level, competing in the South American Cup, Pan-American Games, World Cup Championships, and Olympics Qualifiers.

I retired from the Venezuelan National Team in 1998 to pursue a college degree. I attended Columbia College in Columbia, Missouri, where we were the NAIA national champions in 2000 and MVP of the tournament.

It was in Columbia where I met my wife, Trina. After obtaining my degree in business, I moved to Monterey, California. We have two children, Kianno and Keilanni, who both play at Academy.

Academy has offered me the opportunity to work with good friends and highly professional individuals. I am pleased with the work they have done with the club, and I am proud to be part of the development of young athletes. My goal is to ensure that your children have the best possible experience with the sport by instilling in them a solid technical foundation and pursuing continual development.

Chris Crader

Head Coach 

Hello! I am Chris Crader, and I’m excited to join Academy for the 2021-22 season! I am a Local – I graduated from Santa Clara HS, then from Stanford, where I helped with the men’s volleyball team for a couple of seasons. I’ve been working a full-time (non-volleyball) job at Stanford ever since, and coaching high school and club on top of that. My last nine years were at MVVC, and I coached for 17 years at City Beach before that. I have been coaching high school girls teams since I was 19, and am going into my fourth season as the varsity head coach at Palo Alto HS. Some specific moments I recall fondly (aside from watching 17 HP Kyle win the Gold division at Power League #2 this year!!!) are: being the power-league year-end champions three times, earning four medals at Junior Nationals, and winning 17-Open at the Las Vegas President’s Day Invitational. Cool high school moments include winning seven CCS titles, reaching the NorCal semis (or beyond) 11 different times, and coaching the opposing team the only two times Mitty has lost to a CCS public school in the last decade (Carlmont in ‘17; Paly in ’19). I’ve been fortunate enough to coach over 150 girls who have gone on to play in college, 19 future college All-Americans, and 1 future Olympic medalist. But mostly, I’m thankful that coaching has helped me get to know so many wonderful people over the years. I’m looking forward to getting to know even more wonderful people at Academy, and helping more players learn and grow, and have a great volleyball experience. Thank you for inviting me aboard!



Lukasz Sasnal

Head Coach 

Hello, Academy!

My name is Łukasz Sasnal, and I will be part of the coaching staff of the Academy in season 2021/2022. I've spent the last years coaching for one of the top clubs in the Poland Superliga, which is one the best league in the world, caring for the improvement of junior girls and boys who play volleyball. We won the prestigious Polish Championship twice. I am incredibly happy to be part of the Academy Volleyball! I can't wait to see you soon at Academy!


Thomas Feng

Head Coach 

Hello, Academy players and parents, my name is Thomas Feng, and I will be a part of the Academy's coaching staff for the upcoming Fall 2021 season! I played for Academy's very first team and have now returned as a coach to help develop the next generation of volleyball players. Before coming to Academy, I coached at Hyde Middle School in August of 2019, finishing 3rd in my first season. In my first tournament with Academy, I helped lead the 14HP team to a 3rd place finish at NCVA's Spring Classic this past March. As a player, I received 13+ offers to play Division 3/NAIA volleyball, started on Varsity for 3 Years at American High School, and received MVAL First Team All-League Honors as an Outside Hitter and a Middle Blocker, and have won a silver medal in the U16 USAV Junior Beach Tour. I am truly so excited to share my love and passion for volleyball with the upcoming generation of athletes! I look forward to working with the rest of the amazing staff to ensure the best possible experience for you and your parents!



Head Coach 

After two years of completing my Master’s in Rome, I am returning to Academy and to the Bay Area. I was born in Hawaii and raised as a Bay Area local. I attended Saint Joseph Elementary and St. Francis High School, Mountain View. I then attended Foothill College, where I had the opportunity to assist Katy Ripp during her first year coaching the volleyball team. I continued my education at UC San Diego, where beach volleyball became the dominant sport in my life. After a couple of years playing indoors and beach in Berlin and Sweden, I returned to California to coach at Wornick Jewish Day School, Summit Preparatory, and Carlmont High School under Chris Crader. My club experience includes seasons at Eclipse VBC, Payes Performance/Red Rock, Elite VBC, City Beach, and Academy. My coaching accolades include a bronze medal at Far Westerns with Elite 14-1 and a Spikefest 1 Gold Division Champions with Carlmont High. 
   Behind the scenes, I have given private lessons to hundreds of kids as early as seven to college. I coached many kids from grade school through to high school. Fundamentals, development, and team play are my core strengths as a coach. Short, small, tall, I can coach them all; if any kid dreams of playing in college, they truly can.
     I am happy to return to coach for Academy and my favorite Italians, Daniele and Olta. It’s great to be coaching another season with the best club in the Bay. 


Brendan Wang

Head Coach 

Hi Academy families! My name is Brendan, and I will be part of the Academy coaching team in the 2021-2022 season. I have been coaching at Academy since the beginning of 2021. Prior to coaching academy, I coached Saratoga High school for three years and coached at various volleyball clinics for 4 years. My passion for volleyball and coaching stems from watching young players grow and develop skills and their joy for this exhilarating sport. I hope to meet you all soon at Academy!  


BJ Hathaway

Assistant Coach Academy 16 Gold Girls Assistant Coach Academy 16 Black Boys    

  • 2nd year coaching at Academy
  • Former volleyball player
  • Middle school history teacher