SF Elite Coaches

Please click here for our Future Elite Coaching Staff.
 

Saga Vae is the Executive Club Director for SF Elite VBC. Saga has been coaching college, high school, and club volleyball for over to two decades. Saga is currently in his 11th season as the Head Coach of the City College of San Francisco Women's Volleyball team. Coach Saga has led his team to top two place finishes in the Coast Conference and multiple appearances in the State Playoffs. He has also secured athletic scholarships for his players from NCAA Division 1, 2, 3, and NAIA schools each year he has coached.

He has coached all ages from 13s to 18s Division and qualified countless teams to Junior Olympics and Junior National Championships (JNC). In the 2017-2018 season, SF Elite's inaugural year, both of his 14s and 15s teams earned bids to the JNC in Detroit. This past season, Saga's 14s and 16s teams both earned bids to JNC in Indianapolis and his 16s finished an impressive top 5 in Gold in the 16 USA Division. Coach Saga's influence on the volleyball community across the Bay Area and beyond is unparalleled, with many of his former players and assistants going on to notable volleyball careers themselves.



Kijana Best was born and raised in San Francisco, California. Sports has been a major part of her life since she was 7 years old. Growing up, Kijana played volleyball, basketball, and track, but volleyball has always been her favorite sport. She started playing volleyball competitively in the 3rd grade and club volleyball in the 5th grade. She played for a variety of clubs including the San Francisco Warriors, Frisco Bay and Slainte. Kijana began her journey as a libero, then transitioned to a middle, and finally found her permanent position as an all around outside hitter. She was fortunate enough to play for highly competitive teams and go to the Girls Junior Nationals 5 consecutive times in cities such as Miami, Atlanta, Reno, Minneapolis and New Orleans. Kijana played one year of junior varsity and three years of varsity volleyball at Mercy High School where she was awarded Most Inspirational for two consecutive years and Most Valuable Player for three consecutive years.

After high school, Kijana went on to play for City College of San Francisco under Coach Saga Vae. Her first years team had a successful season, and she was awarded Most Valuable Player, Player of the Year and All-Conference 1st team. Her second years team also had a successful season, and she was awarded CCSF Most Valuable Player, 1st team All-Conference, Conference MVP and 1st team All-State. After finishing two years at City College of San Francisco, Kijana received a volleyball scholarship to play at Western New Mexico University where she graduated with my Bachelors of Science Degree in Kinesiology.


Mikey Brogonia comes to SF Elite with over 15 years of experience, coaching volleyball at various age levels. He started his career coaching girls and boys volleyball at Lowell High school. He also coached middle school and club volleyball at various schools and clubs in the area.

Mikey also has coached collegiate volleyball at City College of San Francisco, Skyline college, and club volleyball at UC Irvine. His most recent experience was been at the helm of Mills High School volleyball and SF Elite's 14-Mikey team last season.

Off the court Mikey is a professional shopper, competitive eater, and karaoke enthusiast.



Kyle is very dedicated to his players and the learning process. He is a competitive and passionate coach. He played for Burton High Schools volleyball team for 3 years as a setter and a right side. After high school, he began as an assistant coach at SF Elite Volleyball Club.

He is currently one of the lead coaches in the Future Elite Program.



Roschelle Buenaflor started playing volleyball at the age of 7 years old for St. Elizabeth School. She started club at the age of 12 for Slainte and continued at SF Tremors. She played for Burton High Schools Varsity Girls Volleyball all 4 years as the starting Setter. During her years at Burton she has made the 1st and 2nd All City League Team, was MVP for 2 years, and led her team to Playoffs her senior year. She continued her playing career at City College of San Francisco as a Setter for Coach Saga. While playing at CCSF, she received a Coast Conference Award for All Conference Team-Honorable Mention and MVP Award. She continues to play in leagues all over California.

Coach Ro has been coaching for 8 years. This is her second season with SF Elite as a Head Coach and FEP Coach. She has made 3 JNC appearances with SF Tremors in 2012 and 2013 for the 12s Division, also in 2014 for the 13s Division as an assistant coach. While coaching teams at SF Tremors, she was also a DPS Coach. From 2016 to present, she helps out with the Burton High school Girls Volleyball team. In 2017, she began coaching for Burton High Schools Boys Volleyball Team. In 2018, she has led the Boys Volleyball team to their 1st playoff appearance with 3 players making 1st Team, 2nd Team, and Honorable Mention for the AAA/CIF SF All League Team. This year, she has led Burton to their 2nd consecutive playoff appearance, 1st Championship appearance, and 1st CIF NorCal Boys Volleyball Championship appearance. This season awards received by her players included 1st Team, Honorable Mention, and the Peter K. Yan Award for AAA/CIF SF All League Team.



Bio Coming Soon



Brittania started her volleyball career at the age of 7, playing CYO and started playing club volleyball when she was 10 at SF Tremors. She attended Raoul Wallenberg High School, and throughout all 4 years, she played on the varsity team as the starting outside hitter. Throughout her 4 years at Wallenberg, she had led her team to Playoffs, and made the 1st and 2nd All City League Team. Brittany continued her volleyball career at Dominican University of California as the starting freshman Outside Hitter. To continue her playing career, she had transferred to City College of San Francisco as a Setter/Outside Hitter for Coach Saga. In her free time, she likes to play grass doubles and various adult tournaments.

Brittany started her club coaching career at SF Tremors in 2018, coached the 12-2 Hawks, and assisted the 12-1 Wolverines at the GJNC. The following year she coached at Absolute, and assisted the 14 Pink team and head coached the 13 Silver team. This will be her first year coaching at SF Elite, and she is excited to share her passion and knowledge in volleyball.



Sifa Faaiu started playing volleyball her freshman year of high school for Coach Eric Salazar. From there, she worked very hard for a whole year and came back her sophomore year at South San Francisco high school to make the varsity volleyball team. By the time she reached the end of her senior year, she received a scholarship to play for Notre Dame de Namur University. She then bounced back to City College of San Francisco where she received MVP of her team as well as First Team All Conference. Her hard work at City College lead her to receive a full scholarship to California State University, Los Angeles, in which she played both Indoor volleyball and Beach Volleyball.

Her coaching career began in Los Angeles with assisting with the Forza 13-2s Area team. She also is the assistant to Saga Vai at City College of San Francisco Womens Volleyball Team.




Ysidro is a very determined coach and focuses on making players be a better version of themselves inside and outside of volleyball. He played volleyball at South San Francisco High School his sophomore year to senior year, earning 2nd team All League his junior year, and 1st Team All League & MVP. He currently plays at volleyball tournaments within NAGVA and The League Sports.

Ysidro has assisted and coached South San Francisco High School ever since 2016. He was the Woman's JV coach in 2018, Varsity Assistant Coach 2018, and Men's Assistant Coach in 2019.

Ysidro is a Full-Time Student at Skyline College and is planning on getting his Masters in Psychology to be a Social Psychologist or MFT.



Arliz Herrera started playing volleyball when she was 9 years old. She began playing club at age 10. In 2014, her 14's team took first place at the Pacific Northwest Qualifer in Spokane, Washington. They qualified and competed at the Junior National Championships in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The following year, her team competed in the Junior National Championships in New Orleans, Louisiana and won their bracket. After middle school, she continuted her playing career at Terra Nova High School. All four years of playing at Terra Nova, her team participated in CCS.

Arliz started her coaching career at SF Elite as a Future Elite Program lead coach. She is currently a pre-nursing major at San Francisco State University. She is also very excited to expand her coaching career with SF Elite


Coach Manono (Nono) started his volleyball career playing on the varsity mens volleyball team at Phillip and Sala Burton High school. He developed his passion for this sport at a very young age because of his Uncle Saga. After high school, Nono was a student coach for the womens City College of San Francisco volleyball team.

Last year was Nono's first year coaching club. He was the assistant for SF Elite's 11s team. This year he will resume his position as the 11s assistant.



Kahea learned how to play volleyball at a young age, but never played competitively until the 7th grade. Growing up she would attend the UH Manoa Youth Volleyball clinics every summer to make up for the time lost. At the age of 12, she made New Era VBC 16-1 team. She then moved to Hawaii and played club at Na Opio Volleyball Academy as the starting setter for all three teams she played on. After high school, she went on to play volleyball at Skyline College as their starting libero for two seasons. During her time at Skyline College, she made the Coast Conference All-Conference Team.

After her season ended in 2015, Kahea was given the opportunity to start her coaching career for the Skyline College volleyball program as a graduate assistant defensive coach. She was given the opportunity to coach and assist clinics that were held at Skyline for age groups as young as seven, all the way up to the junior college level. She was then given the opportunity to be an assistant coach for one of SF Elite's 13s team that was able to push through to finish the club season in Bronze. Kahea is very excited for this upcoming club season.



Ronnick enters his second year coaching for SF Elite Volleyball Club. He played for City College of San Francisco Men's Volleyball Club, under coach Saga Vae for two seasons then later transferred to UC Davis where he played as a Libero and Defense Specialist for the men's club team.

In the past, he has helped out coaching various clubs and schools around the Bay Area. He has great passion for the sport and is excited to be a part of the development of future athletes.



Christina Lopez is a native San Franciscan and has been playing volleyball since the 6th grade. She has participated in the Junior National Championship (formerly known as Junior Olympics) three times during her club tenure and under the tutelage of Coach Saga her 18s team won the Flight 1 Championship. After finishing her club volleyball career, she decided to make the move from player to coach. Throughout her 10+ years of coaching club, she has coached all age ranges from 12s-18s. In the 2013-2014 season, Christina's 14s team won the PNQ in Spokane and earned a bid to play in the Junior National Championship (JNC). In SF Elite’s inaugural season, Christina’s 12s team earned a bid at the SCVA qualifier to play at the JNC in Detroit. This past season, Christina’s 12s team finished top 4 in the region and earned a bid at the Far Western qualifier to play at the JNC in Indianapolis. Aside from club volleyball, Christina also has experience coaching at the high school and CYO level.


Christina went back to play for Coach Saga as a setter on the CCSF Womens volleyball team. She ranked #1 in assists for Coast Conference North, placed in the top 10 in the state as an Assist Leader and became the all-time assist leader for the Rams. Christina placed in the top 10 in both state and conference for assists and was named Honorable Mention in Coast Conference North.


Symone started her volleyball career at the age of nine playing CYO and club volleyball. She attended Sacred Heart Cathedral and as a sophomore played on Varsity as a middle blocker and outside hitter. At the age of fourteen she made XLVB 18s open only participating in qualifiers. Her senior year she played for SF Juniors 18s open.

She started her club coaching career at Frisco Bay Volleyball in 2014 earning a bid to JNC. In addition to coaching club she has also coached at the high school level for Terra Nova leading them to CCS and having an undefeated season. She also coached at International high school. She now coaches CYO volleyball for OLV

In her first season with SF Elite. Her 15's team finished top 8 region. They qualified and competed at the Junior National Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana. They finished an impressive 5th in Gold.



Bio Coming Soon

Nicko Matau enters his 3rd Season with SF Elite. He has coached at various high schools in the Bay Area including Terra Nova High School, San Mateo High School, and most recently at International High School as the Girls Junior Varsity Head Coach. Nicko was also an assistant coach for City College of San Francisco's Women's Volleyball team.

His club coaching careers extends over 10 years. His 16-Gold and 15-Gold teams at 1st String VBC finished top 12 in NCVA. While at SF Tremors, his 14-Cobras team competed and qualified at the Girls Junior National Championships in New Orleans, Louisiana. The following year, his 15-Cobras team finished first at the Pacific Northwest Qualifier and competed at GJNC in Indianapolis, Indiana.

In SF Elite's inagural year, Nicko's 14's team finished third place in the USA division at the Red Rock Rave Qualifier in Las Vegas, Nevada and qualified for GJNC in Detroit, Michigan. This past year his 15's team had a top 12 finish in NCVA and qualified for Junior Nationals in Indianapolis. His team finished an impressive 5th place in Gold.



Lawrence Ngai is currently the head coach of the Mills High School women's volleyball varsity team. During the season, he has led his team to several 2nd and 3rd place finishes in gold division tournaments. In addition to his tenure at Mills High School, he also coaches a middle school team at an elite level and led many league championships in the last 6 years. In the 2018 season, he co-coached Burlingame High School's women's volleyball varsity team.

He has been a club volleyball coach for 6 years at a power league level at SF Juniors and 650 Xtreme. He has led his team to several top 10 finishes at power league tournaments. He works with players ages from 11 to 18 in different volleyball skills and mentored them through the challenges of the game. He is a proud father of 3 children who are all volleyball players competing at high performance level in college and high school.



Coach Benny started playing volleyball at the age of thirteen. He was a four-year letter winner at Mount Diablo High School, where he was a setter and a right-side hitter. In 2006, his team participated in NCS and in 2008 he was named MVP of the league. In addition, earned first team all league three times. After high school he continued his playing career at Long Beach.

He started his coaching career at Xceleration Volleyball Club in the East Bay and earned a bid to Nationals with his sixteens team. He is now entering his second year with SF Elite.



Tony Nguyen started his coaching career with Force Volleyball Club, and has also coached at Delta Valley Volleyball Club. In 2016, His NCVC girls 15's teams finished 4th place in NCVA Regionals and quailified for the Junior National Championships in Indianapolis. His team finished 27th in 15 National. In 2018, his 14's team competed and qualified for GJNC in Detroit, Michigan. Tony's teaam had an impressive finish and took the silver medal in the 14 USA dvision. During his first year at Elite, his 13's team, finished first at California Kickoff in the 13 Open division. At Colorado Crossroads, his 13's team finished 3rd and brough home the bronze medal. At Far Westerns, his team finished first in the 13 USA division and qualified for GJNC.

In addition to club, he has also coached at the high school level. These schools include Bradshaw, Monterey Trail, and Pleasant Grove. His also returned to coach at his alma mater, Sheldon High School.

When he is not coaching, Tony is also an active player participating in NAGVA tournaments as well as 9-man. He also enjoys playing outdoor doubles.



Tony Nguyen is from San Jose and has been playing volleyball since high school. He graduated from San Francisco State University with a B.S. in Kinesiology and played for the Mens club team.

In SF Elite's inaugural season, Tony's 14s team double qualified (Regionals and Red Rock Rave Qualifier) to play in the Junior National Championship. During the same season, Tony assisted the 15-Saga earned a bid at Regionals where they tied for 1st place to play at the Junior National Championship. This past season, Tony's 14s team placed 2nd in NCVA and earned a bid to play at JNC. Tony's 16s team also earned a bid at the Red Rock Rave Qualifier in Las Vegas to play in the Junior National Championship where they finished 5th in the USA division.

On Tony's free time, he enjoys playing volleyball, weight lifting, and cooking. He also loves coffee and traveling.



A San Bruno native, Thadeus "Teddy" Niemira started playing volleyball in August 1998, accompanying his mother to the San Bruno park on Sundays where they would set up a net together.

Between 2005 and 2012 for Bay to Bay and Slainte volleyball clubs, he attended Junior Nationals (then known as "Junior Olympics") every year, three in the club division and four in open including four in a row at the 18s level, tied for 5th in Open in 2007 Atlanta.

Four year Varsity starter at Saint Ignatius College Prep, one at outside hitter, three at setter. 2010- WCAL Honorable Mention, SI's first ever CCS tournament win. 2011- WCAL First team, WCAL Champion, CCS Champion, Gold Division at Best of the West tournament in San Diego, 3rd Place Bellarmine Invitational and named All-Tournament team. SI achieved it's only national ranking (50) to end the season, also defeating Bellarmine Prep (5) in the WCAL Finals. 2012- WCAL First Team, SI achieved it's highest ever national ranking (44) during the season. Would depart SI having played in every match 4 years in a row.

At UCSB played briefly with men's team before becoming a student volunteer assistant coach with women's team and playing beach volleyball, as well as serving as the president of the UCSB club volleyball program.

Upon graduating UCSB, served as an assistant Coach for Lance Walker (men) and Nabil Mardini (women) at Los Angeles Pierce College in Woodland Hills, California. In his two seasons with the men, they would win two conference titles and a state championship. During the state championship season, he was honored as the Western State Conference Coach of the Year, the youngest person and only assistant coach to win the award. In the interim season with the Pierce women they would win an undefeated conference title and finish fifth in the state tournament.

Currently Coach Teddy works at Menlo College with the men's program, USF assisting their sand volleyball team, at Saint Ignatius as the head girls' JV coach and assisting the Varsity women's team. As a AAA beach player and an AVP member since 2016 he also continues to train and play professional beach volleyball year-round. Lists his proudest sports moments as "any time one of my players does something they didn't think they could" he also cheekily mentions this h



Daniel Pak has been a head volleyball coach for 6 plus years coaching men's and women's teams. He started playing volleyball in 2006 at De Anza HS in El Sobrante and was an All-League performer for four years, leading the Dons to their first NCS appearance. In 2017 Daniel coached the 16s women's division and lead them to winning a bid for Junior Nationals, but ended up turning it down to go to AAU's. Daniel is an NCVA Men's Gold Division player and is excited to share his love and knowledge of the game to his players.



Rete is a San Francisco native and has been playing competitive volleyball since the second grade. Her accolades include interscholastic AAA Honorable Mentions, NCAA All Conference- First Team, and top-ranking personal digs as of 2014 as well as Defensive player of the year for City College of San Francisco.

Her coaching career began in 2015, winning the 8th grade CYO Championship and then expanding age groups, going on to assist with 14s and 16s power league. She has experience with all ages, offering private lessons in her free time with specialization in defense. As of last season, she refocused with younger girls, coaching SF Elites 11s Power team.



Nino Rebancos brings a wealth of knowedge in the sport of volleyball. He also is a dual sport athlete who played college and competitive basketball in college back in the the Philippines. He also played for the Men's CCSF Volleyball Club for the 2012-2013 season.

His coaching career began in 2016 at Drew High School in San Francicso. He is still currently coaching there. He returns for his second season at SF Elite and very excited to share his love of volleyball.

When he's not coaching, he participates in NAGVA and various adult tournaments.



Eric Salazar has been coaching club and high school volleyball for over a decade. He has coached teams aged 12-17s, many of which (8 out of 11) earned bids for the USAV Junior National Championships. Many of his players have gone on to play in college at different divisions; some of them have even become coaches. This is Erics 2nd year with SF Elite having previously coached for Frisco Bay since their inception in 2008. Eric also coached both South San Francisco High Schools JV and Varsity teams from 2011-2014. They went undefeated in the Peninsula Athletic League in JV in his first year, followed by a Top 2 finish for his Varsity team in 2013. The Varsity team also qualified for the 2014 CCS Playoffs the next year.. Most recently, Erics Elite 17s team finished 11th last year in the 2019 NCVA Power League and Top 24 at AAU Championships in Orlando, Florida.

Eric works as Network Operations Engineer in a high tech company in Redwood City and spends a lot of his time with his family watching stand up comedies and -- of course -- keeps up with a lot of professional volleyball highlights on Youtube



Coach Gaea's volleyball career started in 2008 with SF Tremors 12-1 and continued with Frisco Bay Sports Club 13-1s to 17-1s. Her teams qualified for the Girls Junior National Championship in 2008, 2009, and 2010. As for her school career, Coach Gaea played 4 years of varsity at South San Francisco High School and made CCS playoffs in 2013. She continued to play at City College of San Francisco where she was awarded 1st Team All Conference 2013 and 2014 as well as Player of the Year 2013 and 2014. Coach Gaea transferred to University of Hawaii at Manoa where she continued to play intramural league.

Coach Gaea started coaching in 2013 with Frisco Bay Sports Club and qualified for the Girls Junior National Championships in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. She had the opportunity to coach SF Elite 17 Eric at the AAU championships in the summer of 2019. AAU 2019 was the best national coaching experience shes had yet and shes excited for more.

Coach Gaea graduated magna cum laude from University of Hawaii at Manoa with a B.S. in Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Science with an emphasis in Health and Exercise Science. She is currently preparing for graduate school in pursuit of her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. During her free time, Coach Gaea enjoys weight lifting, bouldering, and visiting her sisters in Las Vegas and Hawaii. Feel free to say hi at the gym!



Kelly Sung brings 6+ years of coaching experience at the high school and club volleyball level. Coach Kelly has transitioned her stellar playing career seamlessly to coaching the sport she loves.

Coach Kelly has been the Varsity volleyball Head Coach at Lowell High School for the past three years. She has made an immediate impact on the program, leading the team to back-to-back CIF State Championship appearances. Coach Kelly's team was also crowned Champions of the Carmichael Tournament two straight years. Prior to taking over at Lowell, Kelly coached at SF Juniors volleyball club for 6 years, coaching at every age level from 11s to 16s.

Coach Kelly has been playing volleyball continuously since 2005, appearing in four Junior Olympics early in her playing career, finishing 5th in the nation with her 17s team. More recently, Kelly played four years of college volleyball at UC Irvine, Menlo College, and CCSF. She is the current all-time record holder for career assists at Menlo, and has earned numerous All Conference and team MVP honors. Currently Kelly plays for NACIVT, where her team has won the women's Gold Division championship the last two years.



Stephany Vanhorn has been coaching volleyball for 4 years and has been playing volleyball for over 15 years. She was a four year varsity letterman in high school at St. Joseph Notre Dame in Alameda where she earned 1st Team All-League honors. Stephany has played club volleyball for 8 years at Club Kalani and played at Cal State East Bay her freshmen year as an Outside Hitter. Stephany is excited to teach and share her skills this volleyball season.



Stephanie Wong has been playing volleyball since 5th grade. She has participated in two Junior Olympics in her playing career. She ended her playing career at Junior Olympics in 2006 while playing for Coach Saga Vae. In 2006, she made the transition to coaching. Her 2013 12's area league team finished second in the region. In 2014, her 14-1 Hawks team finished first at the Pacific Northwest Qualifier and competed in the Junior National Championships in Minneapolis, MN. Stephanie's 2018 12's team qualifed for JNC at the Red Rock Rave in Las Vegas and competed in the JNC located in Detroit, MI. In this most recent season, her 12's team finished first at the Far Western National Qualifier and qualified for Junior Nationals in Indianapolis, IN. The team also finished top 4 in the region.

In addition to coaching club, she has coached at the both high school and middle school levels. Stephanie was a volunteer assistant coach at South San Francisco High School under Coach Saga Vae. She has also coached at both St. Gabriel School for three years and St Cecilia School for two years. Her most recent success at that level includes leading a team to back to back division one championships finishing with a two season record of 18-2.




Brandon has been surrounded by volleyball his whole life growing up, but did not start playing competitively until his junior year of high school. He started playing in a recreational church league growing up and slowly developed his skills through multiple coaches throughout his life. He's now an active player playing in multiple local adult tournaments and participating in NAGVA tournaments. In addition, he also plays 9-man every summer with his Dragons family.

Brandon started his coaching career as head coach for Wallenberg High School's boys volleyball team in the Spring of 2016, later that year he began coaching for Galileo high school's girls varsity volleyball team. In 2017, he became assistant coach to his sister Samantha at Frisco Bay coaching 13's. Brandon is now the assistant coach for Lowell High school's Varsity boys team under his sister. He's excited to coaching this season with SF ELITE this year!




Samantha started playing competitively after high school at Skyline College. She played mostly recreational church leagues throughout high school. She now plays 9man every summer and travels every Labor Day weekend all over the country.

Samantha started coaching high school in the Spring of 2016 at Wallenberg High School for the boys. She began her club career at Frisco Bay in 2017. Since 2016, she has been the head coach of the Lowell High School JV girls team. She helped bring her JV girls to championships 3 years in a row winning the first 2 years. In addition to girls, she has also been coaching the Varsity boys team since 2017. Her boys team made championships last year and made it into the playoffs this past year. She returns for her second season at SF Elite. Shes very excited for this upcoming season with the girls!



As a Hong Kong transplant, Karen Yip has adjusted to the American volleyball scene very quickly. At the age of 14, Karen started playing volleyball and soon developed her love and passion for the game.

Karen played at CCSF from 2011 to 2014, and finished her college volleyball career at SFSU as league MVP and champion in 2017. Started off as a redshirt player at CCSF, Karen had overcome many difficulties to transform into a real college player.

Karen has coached ages from 12s to 14s and she enjoys coaching the younger age groups because of their eagerness to learn and to improve overall. Teams she coached had twice earned the bid to become JNC contenders. In the past season, her team finished in rank 15 in 12s division. In addition to coaching club, Karen has been a student assistant at CCSF and also worked with the Slaint VBC boys program.