Associate Head Coach
Jeff Grove has been an assistant coach at K-State for 17 of the last 19 years, with the 2015 season being his 14th consecutive season with the Wildcats since rejoining the program under Suzie Fritz in 2002. From helping orchestrate the rise of the program in the late `90s to maintaining its success with Fritz for the last 14 years, Grove has played a big role in K-State being one of the nation's top programs.
In his 17 years as an assistant, a stretch that includes 13 winning seasons, Grove has helped lead K-State to 335 wins, 13 NCAA Tournament appearances, and a Big 12 Conference title in 2003. As the defensive coordinator for the team, he has also coached a number of great defensive players, including two-time Big 12 Liberos of the Year Laura Downey-Wallace and Angie Lastra, First Team All-Big 12 and AVCA All-American Lauren Goehring, and Volleyball Magazine All-American and three-time First Team All-Big 12 Kaitlynn Pelger.
"It's very unusual to have the opportunity in the coaching business to work with someone as long as Jeff and I have. He is a man of strong character and commitment and is philosophically a great fit for K-State and the way we want to do things," Fritz said. "He has tremendous technical knowledge, understands training at a high level and is excellent with statistical measurement and analysis. I trust in and have the highest respect for him, both as a person and a volleyball coach."
In addition to the role as the defensive coach, the California native is the team's associate head coach, helping in the development of all phases of the program, coordinating and evaluating all statistical and video applications, creating opponent scouting reports and game plans, and organizing tape exchanges.
Grove has coached many outstanding defensive players in K-State history, including Lastra, the most prolific libero for the Wildcats. Lastra finished her career atop the career digs list with 2,032 - a record that still stands. She holds multiple school records, including digs by a freshman and senior as well as digs by any Wildcat in a season. Lastra was also the first libero to be named Big 12 Player of the Week before the conference created an award for both offense and defense.
Grove also helped develop libero Lauren Mathewson, who recorded three of the top-six performances in terms of digs in a single season in program history. Matthewson, a three-time Academic All-Big 12 selection, is second in school history in career digs.
That trend of great liberos has continued to current Wildcat Kersten Kober, who will enter 2016 coming off back-to-back 400-dig seasons – including 2015 when she had 500, the seventh-most by a Wildcat in program history. Kober, the 2015 Big 12 Volleyball Scholar-Athlete of the Year, has amassed 1,126 career digs through her first three years, already the eighth-best total in the K-State record books.
With the help of Kober, K-State led the Big 12 in digs per set in overall and Big 12 matches in 2015, a first for the program since Grove’s first year back in 2002.
Grove's impact on the Wildcats' defense extends beyond the backline. At the net, K-State has been one of the stronger teams in the Big 12 under Grove's direction. In 17 seasons, Grove has helped the Wildcats hold opponents to a hitting percentage of .201 or below in a campaign 12 times. K-State has also finished among the Big 12's top three teams in blocks per set in eight of the last 14 seasons, including second in 2013 and 2014 as well as third in 2012.
During Grove's first tour in Manhattan, he was one of the original members of Jim McLaughlin's staff at K-State and a significant component in building the successful Wildcat program of today. He helped guide the team to a 60-34 overall record from 1997-99 and three consecutive bids to the NCAA Tournament. He was responsible for coaching the outside hitters, including K-State's first All-American Dawn Cady and former Team USA alternate Kim Zschau. He also assisted with team travel and recruiting.
Before joining McLaughlin's staff, Grove spent four seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Wyoming from 1993-96. During his tenure on the Cowgirl staff, the program posted a 54-64 (.458) overall record and a 25-33 mark in conference (WAC) play. In 1994, the Cowgirls posted a 17-13 record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. He began coaching at Wyoming in 1993 after a one-year stint as the lone assistant coach at Weber State in Ogden, Utah.
At Weber State, Grove helped the Wildcats to a 6-21 overall record and 5-9 mark in the Big Sky Conference in 1992. That season, the team placed fifth in the Big Sky and two members earned honorable mention all-conference honors. Following the season, he served several months as Weber State's interim head coach, managing the program in all facets until a new head coach was hired. While at Weber State, Grove also coached the Ogden (Utah) Junior Olympic volleyball program.
Grove began his coaching career at his alma mater Azusa Pacific while still an undergraduate. He served as the lone assistant coach for the women's team to help build the program into one of the top NAIA teams. He was also a player/coach for the men's club team. He also has experience at the Olympic level serving an internship with the U.S. National Volleyball Teams.
Grove has assisted with USA Volleyball over the years, including serving as an assistant coach for the Junior National A2 Team in July of 2008, working with some of the top young talent in the nation. In 2013, he was a floor coach at the U.S. Collegiate National Team tryouts in Colorado Springs.
A native of Goleta, California, Grove earned his bachelor's degree in communication with a minor in business administration from Azusa Pacific in 1991. He is married to the former Julie Abbott and the couple has two children, Kaitlyn and Jonathan.
Trent Sorensen, a veteran prep volleyball coach and former collegiate player at BYU, was named assistant coach with K-State volleyball in February 2015.
With the Wildcats, Sorensen assists with training as well as coordinates recruiting, utilizing his years of experience coaching in the club circuit of prep volleyball.
In his first season with K-State in 2015, he helped lead a group of Wildcats that had no seniors and a 1-3 start in Big 12 play to its best finish in the conference standings since 2011 and a trip to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time over the last five years.
Prior to joining the Wildcats, Sorensen was a coach within the Tejas Volleyball club program, which is based outside of Fort Worth, Texas. Over his tenure with Tejas, he coached the 15- and 17-year-old age groups, including his last two years as the head coach of the top 15’s team.
In addition to his club volleyball coaching experience, Sorensen played for the BYU men’s volleyball team starting in 2003, but he accumulated most of his matches played from 2006 to 2008 after serving a church mission in Mexico City for two years. For his entire Cougar career, he played in 87 matches and tallied 337 kills and 202 blocks. During his senior campaign, he only missed only one set over the course of 30 matches and went on to rank second on the team in blocks and attack percentage, helping him earn all-league honorable mention and be a nominee for an AVCA All-America nod.
A native of Fontana, California, the former middle blocker played high school volleyball at Highland High School as well as club for the Santa Monica Beach Club Team.
Sorensen is married to the former Kim Wilson, who also played collegiately at BYU. The couple have four children: Aiden, Sienna, Reece and Gavin.
Director of Operations
Diana Loomis enters her 17th season as Director of Operations for K-State Volleyball in 2015. In her role, Loomis is responsible for all areas of operation of the program including managing the budget and financial issues, coordinating all team travel, overseeing projects and special events, organizing Wildcat Volleyball Camps and managing day-to-day administrative issues. Prior to K-State Athletics, Loomis spent nine years as an Office Supervisor and Office Manager in the Department of Animal Sciences & Industry.
"Diana is an integral part of our day-to-day operations. She takes care of everything, and allows our coaches to spend their time on volleyball," Fritz said. "She has been my right hand for several years and has tremendous management skills and loyalty to me and to K-State volleyball. She is an invaluable member of our staff and an important part of our success."
In addition to her responsibilities with K-State Athletics, she has serves as the Vice President for the U.S. Twirling Association. Loomis, who has served on the board of directors since 2008, is a Master Level Judge for both national and international competitions.
A native of Clay Center, Kansas, Loomis is a graduate of Clay Center Community High School and attended Emporia State and Kansas State before graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Management & Ethics from Manhattan Christian College in 2003. She resides in Manhattan with her two sons Ryan and Kyle.