Eryn Leja will begin her second season as head volleyball coach of the Vanguard Lions in the fall of 2012. She finished an extremely successful inaugural campaign in 2011, leading the volleyball program to an impressive record of 23-14 overall and 10-8 in conference play to tie the team's highest ever GSAC finish (4th). The team broke into the Top-10 in the NAIA and finished its record-breaking season in the NAIA National Tournament in Sioux City, Iowa ranked at No. 14.
"I expect the upcoming season to be another historic year for Vanguard volleyball," Leja said. "The combination of our outstanding returners, a restructured GSAC conference and one of the strongest recruiting classes that we have ever put together should yield a very high level of competition."
In 2010, Leja served as the top assistant coach for then-head coach Marissa Booker. Leja was tabbed as the next leader for the program in May 2011, after Booker resigned.
Leja joined Booker as the top assistant on the Lions' coaching staff in August 2010. Vanguard finished the season with a record of 14-15, including a 6-14 mark in the GSAC. Vanguard's 2010 campaign marked Leja's first season as a coach at the collegiate level, though she had six years of volleyball coaching and a terrific playing career under her belt.
As a player, Eryn spent two seasons at College of the Desert, where she led the program as a two-time team captain.She garnered first-team all-conference recognition in both campaigns, and earned the team MVP award twice. In addition, Leja was awarded COD's Female "Athlete of the Year" in 2007. Following her time at College of the Desert, Leja attended U.C. Riverside, where she redshirted in 2007. Leja then transferred to Chapman University the following year, and played two seasons for the Panthers. As a senior in 2009-2010, Leja was named a team captain and earned second-team All-Independent conference honors.
Leja was also a successful coach during her playing career. In 2009, Leja was an assistant coach for the 951 Elite 17's, who captured a gold medal at the Junior Olympics in Miami, Florida. The following season, she continued in her role for the Elite 18's. Leja has also coached two seasons for the Desert Sports Volleyball Club in Palm Desert, California.
"I love the family-like atmosphere of Vanguard," Leja stated. "As well as the values, morals, and character of the individuals I will be working with."
Leja graduated from Chapman in 2010, and is pursuing a master's degree in sports administration. Leja is single and lives in Huntington Beach.
|1||Charlotte Heerlyn||FR||OPP/OH||6-2||Santee, CA||West Hills High School|
|2||Rachael Barker||FR||OH||6-0||Torrance, CA||West High School|
|3||Sarah McKinny||FR||OPP/OH||6-0||Santa Barbara, CA||Dos Pueblos High School|
|5||Carly Maxwell||SO||S||5-9||Bakersfield, CA||Centennial High School|
|6||Grace Konstanzer||JR||OH||5-10||Irvine, CA||United States Air Force Academy|
|7||Ashli Bellinger||SO||OH||5-10||Chandler, AZ||Hamilton High School|
|8||Carla Cantarella||FR||S/DS||5-5||Huntington Beach, CA||Edison High School|
|11||Stephanie Flores||FR||MB||6-1||Yucaipa, CA||Yucaipa High School|
|13||Candace Cedarstrom||SR||MB||6-1||Ladera Ranch, CA||Tesoro High School|
|19||Kelly Heenan||SO||L/DS||5-8||Costa Mesa, CA||UC Santa Barbara|
|22||Kendall Haldi||SO||MB||6-2||Fallbrook, CA||Fallbrook High School|
|25||Jessica Neves||SO||RS/S||6-2||Mission Viejo, CA||Mission Viejo High School|