Jenni Soehn, or as the kids call her, “Coach Jenni”, has always been known as a passionate coach with exuberant energy. Her heart is working with kids/teens and helping them find their gold inside on and off the court so they can grow and help others grow around them! Coach Jenni was raised in a coach’s home and involved in multi-sports at a young age. She started playing volleyball in elementary school and never wanted to stop playing… she was the kid who always had to have a volleyball in her hand. Through her high school years, she received several all-conference trophies and was recognized as MVP her junior year. Coach Jenni went on to study music in college and Counseling/Biblical Studies in Graduate School. If you asked her one of her favorite memories from high school and college, she would tell you that “she loved the friendships she made through sports.” Coach Jenni still loves meeting new teams from all over the world and just last year her team battled hard against a team from Puerto Rico. Afterwards, they all got together and hung out for hours singing, laughing, sharing, and building friendships that will last a lifetime. Her passion is “ugly training” and multi-ball training in a fast tempo setting, while helping push kids toward excellence. She loves encouraging and pouring herself into athletes in their journey! In the last couple of years, Coach Jenni has had the privilege to travel to a couple states as a “guest coach” and help mentor volleyball coaches and come alongside various volleyball programs. She had the wonderful opportunity to coach club volleyball in the Upstate for several years, train coaches and teach them how to “win a practice,” lead a youth volleyball program with over 90 athletes, start a volleyball program in New York, run satellite volleyball camps and team camps in different states, and build relationships with many athletes and their families! As God began to cement the vision of starting a volleyball club in her heart, Coach Jenni began to pray specifically that God would provide a special staff family of coaches who love Jesus and also will share the heart, vision, and mission of FCA Volleyball Club! One day as Jenni was sharing her heart with her boss (Coach Kim Williams) whom she loves and respects, she received clear confirmation in a way she never expected! Coach Kim told her that, although she wanted to start a club years ago, she wasn’t the one called to do it. She then looked at Coach Jenni and said, “You are the one to lead this out.”
Coach Jenni began studying the book of Joshua and through that book, God began to show her that prayer would be the foundation of this club. Within 2 months of praying, it became very apparent the Lord was already providing, directing, and giving wisdom in the launching of this club.
Coach Jenni would love to acknowledge and publicly thank our assistant director Coach Joni who has spent countless hours behind the scenes helping grow the club after they both first shared their vision of a club together! Coach Joni brings such fresh energy, creativity, spiritual encouragement, organization, and so many personal relationships. Jenni has met several wonderful families, coaches, and athletes through her impact! By God’s grace, Jenni is so excited to come alongside the FCA coaching family and help coach the heart behind the jersey, while teaching volleyball athletes how to use integrity, teamwork, service, and excellence as a platform to impact others on and off the court!
I believe that coaching is a calling and I have had the opportunity to coach for several years in both club and high school settings. I believe that the passion we have for a sport is often the best tool we have to share our passion for Jesus. Coaching allows us to breach the awkwardness of communication with our players. Coaching is a platform where no matter our age, we share a common purpose. Long before now, God has been preparing my heart for this ministry even though I didn’t know it until recently. He specifically has orchestrated each detail and I am humbled as I stand back and see all the pieces fit together. When I first met Coach Jenni this summer, I laughed because outwardly our personalities couldn’t be more different, but we learned very quickly that inwardly our hearts and our Jesus are the same. It was not long after spending time together that we learned we also shared something else, a vision! We both have a vision of a volleyball club where girls are given role models and mentors for life, while teaching them the game they love. Our passion is to be a volleyball club that teaches girls to become young women and young women to become strong athletes from the inside out! A place that is safe to make mistakes because mistakes are how we grow. A club that will help build self-confidence into the lives of athletes on and off the court. Finally, a club filled with a staff family that cares about building relationships not only with players, but also with families… a club with a heart desire to compete with excellence and make much of Jesus!
Just two girls with a shared vision, we now know that this was God’s plan all along. We know that He does big things with small people. I am so excited to have the opportunity to be a part of this journey and I am forever grateful to my friend and mentor Kim Williams who invested in me as a coach for years, encouraged me, and taught me what leadership looks like by serving others.
Kim Hudson Williams
Club Advisor/ Specialty Trainer
Kim Hudson Williams has spent most of her life as either an athlete or a coach. Growing up in Amarillo, Texas, Kim played volleyball for both her middle school and high school, and then for the University of Texas at Arlington where she became team captain and was named most valuable player her senior season.
Following her graduation, Kim returned to her hometown and began her volleyball coaching career at the middle and high school levels, then quickly moved on to college as head coach at West Texas A&M, winning a National Championship there in 1990. Kim accepted the head coaching position at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona, but after only 2 years, Kim left the west and took over the volleyball program at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC in 1993. In 2005 after 13 seasons, Kim resigned from coaching as the winningest volleyball coach in the school’s history. “While I loved coaching, I was conflicted with where sports were going in the area of recruiting and the pressure put on very young athletes and families to commit to one sport.”
After coaching, Kim pursued a successful career in marketing, first with a regional real estate firm and then in the healthcare industry. In 2013, while serving on the Midlands (Columbia area), SC Board for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, she heard Shane Williamson, the current National President of FCA, give his vision of FCA’s future in the Carolinas. “I wasn’t truly saved until 2008, after I had left coaching, so when Shane spoke about how God was using FCA in the lives of coaches and athletes, the Lord inspired me to go back into athletics, but this time with a different mission in mind.”
In Matthew 28:17, Jesus tells us to go out and make disciples. By His grace, He has given us our instructions of what to do with our life. In our faith, we are challenged to use our experience and gifts to share God’s story with others. Through FCA, sports provide a platform to share the grace and love we know as Christians to be the Truth.
In 2014, Kim started FCA Volleyball & Women’s Ministry and in January 2018, she became the Multi-Area Director for the Midlands of South Carolina.
NCSA Director of Regional Recruiting/ specialty Trainer
College athletic recruiting expert with NCSA (Next College Student Athlete), Lindsay Milo was a dual sport athlete playing basketball and volleyball at Clemson University. After college, she went on to coach volleyball at the club and high school level as well as having the opportunity to lead as a Club Director and High School Athletic Director. For over 17 years, Lindsay has been highly involved in the recruiting process and educating families on their next steps for the future. FCA Volleyball has been a passion of Coach Lindsay as well as the mission behind this organization that reaches young athlete’s hearts. Training the heart behind the jersey and giving athletes the opportunity to learn about the Lord while playing sports is a passion of Coach Lindsay and she is excited to be a part of FCA Volleyball Club as it starts in the fall of 2018.
Coach Robarge-Esposito has been coaching volleyball for the past 16 years- 12 years in high school, 3 years in College, NCAA Division II, Coker College, and 8 years of club as a director and coach. Coach Robarge-Esposito is currently the Head Volleyball coach at Dutch Fork High School. She was named the SC CAWS All Star Coach in 2015, Region Coach of the year twice, and her previous volleyball team was Region Champions in 2014 and 2015. During those four years, the team made it deep into the playoffs- three years in the Final eight and one year into the final four.
Before coaching, Coach Robarge-Esposito had a successful playing career! She grew up in Columbia, SC where she played at Spring Valley High School and was a two-time All-State selection, three- time All-Region player, CAWS All-Star selection, two-time All-Area and Region Player of the Year. Coach Robarge-Esposito went on a full Scholarship to the University of South Carolina to play volleyball and was the first Columbia native to play at USC Volleyball on a scholarship. Coach Cindy was selected ALL – SEC, All-SEC All-Tournament team, five All-Tournament teams, and selected to SEC Player of the week a few times. Robarge-Esposito tried out for the National team as well as the very first US Professional team and Robarge-Esposito was offered to play professional volleyball in France before deciding to retire from playing volleyball in 1999.
Coach Cindy is married to Scott Esposito and has two children, Vincent and Gabrielle, and one dog, Bella. The family loves spending time together on the lake or going to the beach.
What Coach Robarge-Esposito says about coaching with FCA Volleyball…
“I have been looking for something wonderful to be a part of and FCA Volleyball is it! I love Coach Kim as she has been a part of my life for so many years. She was my former coach at USC and she is my mentor and friend. I love being around her and learning and growing from her in volleyball, life, and lessons about God and His plans for me.
Coach Jenni has so much energy and knowledge of the game. Her love for the game shows in her passion for coaching these young volleyball players to their best potential. Her love for God is truly amazing. I love to be around these women and learn more of what I can do to grow as a better coach and a stronger person.
Rachel began her life changing journey with volleyball in Camden, SC at Camden High School. Her volleyball career started on the varsity team in 7th grade where she was a 6 year letter winner. She was named the 1996 Gatorade Player of the Year, South Carolina High School Sports Report’s Statewide Player of the Year in 1995, SCCAWS Player of the Year, CHS’s MVP in 1992/1993, three-time member of the All-State Team, made The Columbia State All-State team her sophomore, junior, and senior years, and participated in the National Junior Olympics in 1995/1996. She earned the right to be team captain during her sophomore, junior and senior years when she also helped lead these teams to three consecutive South Carolina State Championship Titles.
Rachel graduated from Virginia Tech University in 2000 where she played outside hitter on a 4 yr scholarship. During her career at VT, she earned several accolades including Hi-IQ All-Tournament Team, Atlantic 10 Player of the Week, Virginia Tech Athlete of the Week, and finally was named to the Nike Challenge All-Tournament Team. She finished her senior year at Tech earning the role as team captain, and also earning the Outstanding Senior Award. Also during her senior year, she was added to a short list of elite athletes by achieving over 1,000 kills/1,000 digs while earning a spot on the Atlantic 10 All-Tournament Team.
After her college career she coached with South Carolina Juniors in 2003-2007, and was president of the Columbia Volleyball Club in 2007-2008. In 2008, she stepped away from volleyball to build a family with her husband, and they now have three beautiful children. Recently, she has assisted in training girls, including her daughters, in local FCA volleyball clinics, and has worked privately with several local athletes.
One of her strongest passions is helping individuals find their inner leader. She currently works as an instructor with The Iron Project, who’s mission is to help organizations build a self-sustaining leadership machine within itself. She also extends this passion as a member of a team that organizes and leads the large group Children’s Ministry in her church. As a coach, her goal is to instill these leadership principles and techniques into each athlete she has the pleasure of coaching.
“Everyone has a strong confident leader inside them. With a humble Christ loving heart and the right guidance, anyone can be an impactful leader. Boldness, compassion and the ability to listen are key elements of being successful. My relationship with Christ is the foundation of it all, and His words are my playbook. God has blessed me with so many opportunities through volleyball, and FCA gives me a chance to give back while giving Christ all the glory.”
Coach Jim was born and raised in Lexington, accepting Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior at 12 years old. His life verse has been James 1:22, “Be ye doers of the word and not hearers only, lest you be deceived”. He attended Lexington High School playing basketball, football and track during his high school years. He discovered the sport of volleyball at the age of 30, being trained for six weeks by a college scholarship athlete. He then began his volleyball playing journey by joining a men’s league. He played indoor and outdoor volleyball for more than 30 years in addition to organizing outdoor and indoor tournaments and leagues as well as coaching men’s and coed teams along the way. In 2011 he joined Intense Volleyball beginning his youth volleyball coaching career. While at Intense he coached 12U to 15U teams. Five of the seven years he was there, his teams won several tournaments along the way. In 2013 he accepted the Lexington Middle School coaching position and his teams won the PAC conference all five years he coached there going undefeated in play those five years. His desire to want to serve in a Christ like culture while competitively coaching and training young athletes led to his reaching out to join the FCA Volleyball Club. “After witnessing firsthand the way the FCA Volleyball Club coaches loved on the players and used their heart to heart time with them for Christ and seeing how intense, fast-paced and motivational the training was, I knew I wanted to be a part of it.”
Coach Jim has recently joined NCA as Associate Varsity and Head JV volleyball coach.
Coach AJ was born in Cuba and grew up in Miami Beach, Florida playing volleyball on South Beach at a young age. After a successful high school career, she then went on to play volleyball and basketball on full athletic scholarship at the Division 1 level in California and Ohio. As the starting OPP, she was named Team Captain as well as earning All-Region/All-Conference honors. Upon graduation, Coach AJ went on to play in Brazil and Fiji. Once she retired from playing, she began coaching college, high school and club. Coach AJ has coached for over 15 years at all levels in California, Ohio and South Carolina. She was named the 2016 and 2017 Coach of the Year and SCISA All-Star Team Head Coach (Championship winner).
When she moved to this country she did not speak the language and found it hard to make friends. Volleyball helped her acclimate to a new place, learn English and make friends who turned into family. Another main reason she was drawn to Volleyball is the fact that the game is the epitome of a team sport. Every player is involved in every play even when they are not in contact with the ball. Those reasons, along with her love of the game, developed into a passion to serve her coaches, teammates, opponents and anyone she could meet through her shared love of this amazing game. These relationships helped her strengthen her faith and start to realize her calling in life to serve others. She is extremely grateful for the blessings to have an impact in the lives of every player she is privileged to coach. When she found out about FCA Volleyball and the mission of the club, she immediately knew that she would be honored to be a part of the FCA staff. FCA offers a unique opportunity for us all to share in our love for the Lord, Volleyball and each other. She is beyond thrilled to be a part of the FCA family and she truly is looking forward to serving and being a part of the lives of you all.”
Coach Anna Ortmann is joining us from the middle school volleyball world where she is currently a coach and 8th grade teacher at Pleasant Hill Middle School, in Lexington, SC. Anna began playing volleyball when she was 12 years old and later went on to letter all 4 years of high school in volleyball as a DS/Libero, earning awards such as All-Region and Best Defense. Anna also lettered 5 years in softball.
After high school, Anna went on to earn her undergraduate degree and her master’s degree from the University of South Carolina. While in college, Anna gained coaching experience on the softball field and has loved working with young female athletes since.
When Coach Ortmann reflects about her relationship with sports and coaching, she says, “I always struggled with finding my identity/worth in my performance on the field/court and I needed someone on the sidelines, someone at practice telling me that this isn’t it…the victory that Jesus offers us is so much more than this and that while this gift of volleyball is good, it is not ultimate…I want to be that person for these girls”.
Coach Weldon Deas graduated from Fort Mill High School in 2008. While there, she played volleyball and was an all-state member of the track & field team. Weldon also played club volleyball at Carolina Juniors in Charlotte, NC. She coached local teams at this club throughout high school as well. After high school, she went to Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC and played volleyball there. While at PC, she also founded the separate men & women’s intercollegiate club teams and coached them for 4 years. Weldon graduated from Presbyterian College in 2012 with a BS in Biology with a minor in Chemistry and a BA in Spanish with a minor in English. After graduation, she moved to Charleston & continued to stay involved in the volleyball community. She was a volunteer assistant coach for Buist Academy & Christ Our King middle schools, and coached the 18s team at Charleston Juniors. She currently attends the Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine, where she will graduate with her MD in 2020. Her schedule keeps her very busy, but she remains passionate about volleyball and still plays several times a week. She organizes pick-up games at the MUSC gym, and plays in sand leagues.
Weldon’s coaching philosophy has a focus of hard work, mental toughness, and hustle. She believes that athletics are a great outlet for all young people, and truly an opportunity for them to learn and grow.
After being heavily involved in FCA in high school and attending a university founded upon Christian values, Weldon was very excited to hear about FCA Club Volleyball and to call it her new coaching home! She loves Coach Jenni’s energy, enthusiasm, and faith; and looks forward to working with this great program.
Hello everyone! My name is Kestlyn and I am so blessed and excited to be coaching with FCA! I am a senior at River Bluff High School and I plan on attending Anderson University in the fall of 2018 as an Exercise Science major. I have played volleyball for 6 years, both for my school and another volleyball club. I played at every level, including all 3 club levels (Club, Power, and Mizuno), junior varsity teams and Varsity teams as a setter and right side hitter. I have been on staff with FCA for about 3 years as a youth clinic coach, pouring into girls and boys ages 8-14. I have loved being able to further my knowledge of the sport, advance my coaching skills, and love on each and every kiddo that I have had the honor of coaching.
My passion is to serve these kids and their families, while expressing the importance and reality of athletics with Christ at the forefront. I’m passionate about coaching the heart and soul of each athlete, along with their physical and competitive aspects. I want to encourage and motivate the next generation to stand for Christ and use volleyball as their platform to shine the light of Jesus. I am so honored to coach your child and I look forward to what the Lord has in store!
My name is Gabrielle Milo and I am currently a freshman at Coker college. I will be playing volleyball this fall as a libero. I started playing volleyball when I was about 10 years old. I fell in love with this sport and my passion began to grow at a young age. My dad has been in the military for years, so my family has moved around to several different states, as well as oversees. I have met some amazing people as I traveled all over the world! Two years ago, my high school volleyball team went to a Fellowship of Christian Athletes Volleyball Camp in Columbia and I immediately knew that this was the place for me. Now, FCA not only has a special place in my heart, but it is also my own ministry and I get the chance to pour into younger athletes! Through the ministry of FCA and having the opportunity to train others as a junior volleyball coach, I have grown so much in my knowledge, walk, and love for the Lord! I am so excited to be part of this club and watch these athletes grow from the inside out!