Staff

Genny Volpe 1

Camp Staff

Rice University head coach Genny Volpe and assistant coaches John Klanac and Zheng Xiang set the curriculum for training. Rice Volleyball Camp Staff also includes college, club, and high school coaches from around the country. We also are proud to have many of our current student-athletes actively involved in coaching the camps.


 

  Genny Volpe Headshot

GENNY VOLPE - HEAD VOLLEYBALL COACH

Simply put, Genny Volpe is the most successful coach in Rice volleyball history.
Entering 2017, her 14th season at Rice, Genny Volpe has established the Owl volleyball program as a power in the Southwest. The Owls, with Volpe as head coach, have now been to three NCAA championships (2004, 2008, and 2009), the only three appearances in Rice's history. Volpe, the sixth head coach in Rice history, has the highest winning percentage (.588) in school history.

Volpe, the 2008 Conference USA Coach of the Year, coached teams that earned at-large berths to the NCAA Tournament in 2004 and 2008, and a team that won an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by winning the 2009 C-USA Tournament Championship. Under Volpe, the Owls have compiled a 200-140 (.588) record, finishing in the top four of their conference six times, including three second-place finishes (2004, 2011 and 2012).

While at the helm for the Owls, she has coached nine All-Americans, and 33 all-conference selections. Under Volpe, Rice players have received a C-USA Player of the Week award 48 times since joining the league in 2005

In her first season at Rice in 2004, Volpe coached the Owls to a 25-5 overall record and the team's first ever NCAA tournament appearance. Volpe's squad finished the season with marks in the top 30 nationally in assists per game, blocks per game, kills per game, and hitting percentage. The Owls were ranked 15th in the nation in assists and kills, recording 15.54 assists per game and 16.9 kills per game. Even more impressive is the fact that the Owls were competitive with the very best teams in the nation, taking then third-ranked Hawaii to four games on the Wahine's home court and forcing a fifth game against then top-ranked Minnesota.

A graduate of Texas A&M, Coach Volpe was also an assistant coach for the Aggies from 2001 to 2003, where they made it to the NCAA tournament each season, advancing to the Sweet 16 twice as well as the Elite 8. She was a four year letterwinner as a setter and outside hitter at Texas A&M from 1990-93. 

 


 

 
Klanac

JOHN KLANAC - ASSISTANT VOLLEYBALL COACH

John Klanac joined the Rice University volleyball program as assistant coach on Apr.16, 2018. Klanac previously served as the volleyball director of operations at the University of Houston in 2017.

Prior to his time at Houston, Klanac was the volunteer assistant coach at Buffalo (2015-16). With the Bulls, Klanac worked primarily with the outside hitters and was in charge of charting offensive attacks. He also assisted the full-time staff with practice scheduling and day-to-day operations.

Klanac played collegiately at Ohio State from 2008-11, where he was a member of the 2011 National Championship team his senior season. He helped lead the Buckeyes to four Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association titles and four berths in the NCAA postseason, with one semifinal appearance and three championship game appearances.

He was a three-time MIVA All-Conference honoree, garnering Second Team honors in 2009 and First Team laurels in 2010 and 2011. For his play during the Buckeyes’ 2011 National Championship run, Klanac was named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team.

At the end of his Buckeye career, he ranked in the top 12 kills (1,048), service aces (70) and points (1,217.5). Klanac graduated from Ohio State in 2011 with a degree in history.

Following Ohio State, Klanac played professionally overseas for five years. He played for Patriotas de Lares (Lares, Puerto Rico; 2014-15), Stiina Explorari Baia Mare (Baia Mare, Romania; 2014-15), Al Nasser Sports Club (Juffair, Bahrain; 2014), Waremme VBC (Waremme, Belguim; 2013-14), Kokkolan Tiikerit (Kokkola, Finland; 2012-13) and RWE Bottrop (Bottrop, Germany; 2011-12). With Kokkolan Tiikerit, he helped the team win the Mestaruusliiga (Finnish Championship).

 


 

ZHENG XIANG - ASSISTANT VOLLEYBALL COACHZheng Xiang Headshot

Zheng Xiang begins his fifth season (2018) with the Rice volleyball program. During his tenure, the Owls have achieved a 85-41 record (.674 winning percentage) and advanced to two C-USA Championships while winning 20 or more matches in all four seasons.

In 2017, the Owls advanced to the postseason (NIVC) for the first time since 2009. 

In his first year with the Owls, Xiang helped oversee a Rice squad that advanced to the C-USA Championship game and won 23 games, the fifth-most in school history. 

He was previously a volunteer assistant at Texas A&M (2013) after spending five years (2008-12) on the UTSA Roadrunners staff as an assistant coach.

While at Texas A&M the Aggies went 19-12 in 2013 and 10-8 in the SEC, before falling to No. 1 seed Texas in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Xiang coached three Aggies to SEC honors.

Xiang was hired by UTSA in August 2008 as an interim assistant coach before being promoted to a full-time assistant four months later.

Xiang helped guide the Roadrunners to a 21-9 record in his final season at UTSA, the team's first season in the WAC. That season McKenzie Adams was named the WAC Player of the Year. Adams was one of five players to earn postseason accolades.Freshman Annie Kunes was tabbed WAC Libero of the Year and was joined on the second team by senior Whitney Walls and junior Brandy Huskey, while Kunes and Kylie Schott were selected to the All-Freshman Team.

Through Xiang's first four years at UTSA he oversaw 17 players earn All-Southland Conference accolades, including 11 first-teamers and two-time Libero of the Year Kelsey Jewasko (2008 & '10), 2011 Newcomer of the Year McKenzie Adams, 2011 Setter of the Year Kelsey Schwirtlich and 2010 Tournament Most Valuable Player Kendra Rowland.

In 2011 the Roadrunners won 22 matches for a second-straight season and advanced to the Southland Tournament Championship Match for the second consecutive season. During the campaign, UTSA swept a program-record 12 consecutive opponents. The Roadrunners also boasted a league-high four first-team All-Southland selections, while Jewasko earned a pair of Academic All-America honors and became the program's all-time leader in digs.

In 2010, UTSA posted 22 victories, won the Southland Tournament Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in program history. Five players garnered all-conference laurels, including Jewasko, Rowland and Schwirtlich, who all were first-team honorees.

Playing arguably the most difficult schedule in program history, UTSA won a dozen matches in 2009 and three players -- Whitney Walls (second team), Jewasko (honorable mention) and Rowland (honorable mention) -- earned All-Southland accolades.

Xiang helped lead the Roadrunners to a 19-12 overall record and 11-5 mark in league play in his first season. Stefanie Robbins and Jewasko were named Southland Newcomer and Libero of the Year, respectively. Meanwhile, Rowland and Jewasko were named to the conference's first team and Amber Brooks joined Robbins as an honorable mention selection.

The Chicago native came to UTSA from St. Edward's University in Austin, where he spent the previous two seasons as an assistant. He mentored the Hilltoppers' outside hitters and liberos and also was the program's recruiting, travel and academic coordinator.

Xiang earned his bachelor's degree in business from Indiana in 2000 and a MBA in marketing from Texas' McCombs School of Business in 2006.

He has six years of playing experience at the outside hitter and libero positions. Xiang was a member of Indiana's club team from 1997-2000 and was the squad's captain his final season. He also played for two years at Texas, where he earned first-team All-Southern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association honors in 2006.