Rice University head coach Genny Volpe and assistant coaches Ariel Apolinario 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 - 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.
ARIEL APOLINARIO - ASSISTANT VOLLEYBALL COACH
Apolinario joined the Owls as an assistant coach in 2016 after spending the previous two seasons (2014-15) as an assistant coach at Ohio University.
During his two years with the Bobcats, Apolinario assisted as defensive coordinator while also assisting in recruiting, scouting, in-season and out-of-season scheduling, and working specifically with setters and middles. Apolinario helped guide Ohio to a combined 48-14 record in his two seasons, which included a stellar 29-3 mark in the Mid-American Conference. In his tenure the Bobcats produced eight all-conference selections and 12 academic all-conference members.
In 2015, the Bobcats went 25-8 (13-3) and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history before falling to BYU in the opening round.
In his first season with the Bobcats, Apolinario was a part of an Ohio team that went 23-6 overall and helped direct the program to its first 16-0 undefeated MAC season since 2006. The 2014 squad, who climbed as high as No. 24 in the nation in week 12, placed among the top 10 in seven program rally scoring era statistical categories.
Before Ohio, Apolinario spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee.
ZHENG XIANG - ASSISTANT VOLLEYBALL COACH
Zheng Xiang joined the Owls as an assistant coach in 2014 after spending the 2013 season as the volunteer assistant at Texas A&M.
While at Texas A&M the Aggies went 19-12 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.
Prior to A&M, Xiang spent five seasons (2008-2012) as an assistant volleyball coach at UTSA. Xiang helped guide the Roadrunners to a 21-9 record in his final season at UTSA, the team's first season in the WAC. During his tenure at UTSA, the Roadrunners were 96-63 overall and returned to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in program history in 2010.
Before UTSA, the Chicago native spent two seasons as an assistant coach at St. Edward's University.