Volleyball Adds Championship, All-American Experience to Coaching Staff

Volleyball Adds Championship, All-American Experience to Coaching Staff

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Santa Clara volleyball first-year head coach Erin Lindsey announced on Friday that the Broncos have hired Jeff Alzina as the associate head coach, Bre Mackie as an assistant coach and Nikki Hess as a volunteer assistant coach.

Alzina joins the Broncos from UCLA, where he won the 2018 NCAA beach volleyball national championship as a volunteer assistant coach. Mackie comes to the Mission campus from Nebraska, where she was a graduate assistant for a Cornhusker team that won the 2017 NCAA indoor championship and reached the title match again in 2018. Hess, a former Bronco All-American, currently serves as an assistant coach with Vision Volleyball Club in nearby Los Gatos, California. 

The collective staff boasts three NCAA national championships over the last two years, including Lindsey's indoor title as an assistant at Stanford in 2018.

"We are very excited to welcome Jeff, Bre and Nikki to our Bronco volleyball family," Lindsey said. "They each bring a unique set of skills and experiences that will greatly enhance volleyball, academic and personal growth for our student-athletes. It was important to find people with strong character who understand our role as educators and mentors."


Alzina, who has coached volleyball since 1994, brings a wide range of indoor and beach experience to Santa Clara from high school through Olympic-level teams. He is the winningest coach in AVP Beach Volleyball history, with more than 1,100 victories to his credit.

UCLA's beach team posted a 40-4 overall record during its championship season last Spring. The Bruins went on a 31-match winning streak from March through May and held serve as the NCAA Tournament's No. 1 overall seed to win their first national championship on the sand.

In 2017, Alzina served as a volunteer assistant for Long Beach State beach volleyball. LBSU posted a 26-10 record that season to double its win total from the previous year, and qualified for the NCAA Tournament as the No. 6 seed. Between his tenures at UCLA and Long Beach State, Alzina coached 12 All-Americans and 17 all-conference honorees.

Alzina spent nine years across two stints as an assistant coach for the Cal State Los Angeles women's indoor team (2002-06, 2012-15). The Golden Eagles went 170-92 (.649) with Alzina on staff. He helped produce eight All-Americans, nine all-region players and 31 all-conference selections, including 2005 conference player of the year Tiare Tuitama and two conference freshmen of the year.

The Santa Cruz, California native studied social psychology as an undergraduate student at UC Santa Barbara and earned a master's in kinesiology from Long Beach State.

"Santa Clara volleyball has a very strong tradition, and I'm really excited to grow its legacy," Alzina said. "With both Coach Lindsey and I earning separate 2018 NCAA National Championships, the Broncos will get to experience the infectious momentum and the detailed training that come from achieving those titles."

Coach Lindsey on Alzina: "Jeff is an experienced coach and teacher who has worked with a wide variety of athletes from beginners to Olympians. He has an exceptional rapport with the student-athletes and knows what it takes to win championships. I liked that he possessed experience coaching both indoor and beach and will help continue to grow our recruiting relationships in Southern California. His experience in preparation and scouting for important matches will be of significant value for both indoor and beach teams. Jeff will take the lead in training our beach athletes and continue to improve our beach program."


During Mackie's two seasons with Nebraska, the Cornhuskers went 62-11 while producing four All-Americans and six all-conference selections. In 2017, The Big Red went 32-4 overall and 19-1 in Big Ten play as part of a conference championship and national championship campaign.

Prior to her run at Nebraska, Mackie played for the Philippines-based Pocari Sweat Lady Warriors of Shakey's V-League in 2016. Mackie and the team claimed the league's 13th Season Reinforced Open Conference championship. Mackie also played for VBC Cheseaux in Switzerland from 2015-16.

Mackie earned an AVCA Honorable Mention All-American nod following her senior season at Long Beach State in 2014. She hit .303 with 2.84 kills/set and 1.12 blocks/set for the 49ers, who went 27-5 and a perfect 16-0 in Big West play that year. The Redding, California native was an NCAA Woman of the Year nominee in 2015 and won a beach national championship with The Beach in 2013.

Mackie studied kinesiology as an undergraduate student at Long Beach State before earning a master's in sports and exercise psychology from Argosy University in 2016 and a master's in education administration from Nebraska in 2017.

"I am very excited about Santa Clara volleyball and the program's future," Mackie said. "I am grateful to continue to develop as a coach under Coach Lindsey and the supportive administration."

Coach Lindsey on Mackie: "Bre is an up-and-coming young coach who I expect to make an immediate impact in our gym and in recruiting the best and brightest to Santa Clara. As a former NCAA student-athlete and professional volleyball player, she will be an exceptional role model for our current team and future prospects. Being a part of the 2017 Nebraska Cornhusker national championship staff, she has perspective of the work it takes to put a team in position to win championships. Bre will take on the role of recruiting coordinator, a natural fit with her strong communication skills and ease at relationship building." 


Hess is currently an assistant coach with the 12 Gold and 18 Gold teams at Vision VC. From 2017-18, she competed professionally for Switzerland-based Genève Volley while coaching 15- to 18-year-olds at Volleyball Club Étoile-Genève. Hess graduated from Santa Clara in 2017 with a degree in communication.

In 2015, the Scottsdale, Arizona native was named an AVCA Honorable Mention All-American, First Team AVCA All-Pacific North Region and First Team All-WCC for Santa Clara; she amassed 450 kills (4.02/set) as a junior that season. Hess earned First Team All-WCC honors three times in her career. Her 1,518 kills career kills are tops among Broncos that played only in the rally-scoring era. She played an integral part in the Broncos qualifying for back-to-back NCAA Tournaments in 2014 and 2015; the Broncos went 42-19 overall and 25-11 in West Coast Conference play during those seasons. Hess led the team in kills in all four of her years on the Mission campus.

Hess notched 30 dual victories over four seasons of beach volleyball at SCU, competing at exclusively the No. 1 and No. 2 positions. She earned First Team All-WCC honors as a junior in 2016 after posting a Bronco-best 12-4 mark during the league's inaugural season.

"I am beyond excited to be returning to campus and more specifically Leavey Center," Hess said. "I have made so many great memories there and I feel as though I can relate with the current players to help them improve as competitors and individuals. Go Broncos!"

Coach Lindsey on Hess: "Nikki will be able to contribute so much to our team having been a Bronco student-athlete as well as an All-West Coast Conference and All-American attacker. Being new to Santa Clara, I really value the institutional knowledge she can bring to the staff. She will be an exceptional role model for our student-athletes and a great resource for our passers and pin attackers."


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