Mater Dei High School Athletics

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Head Varsity Coach: PAT CONNOLLY

Pat Connolly begins his fifth season as the Head Boys’ Volleyball Coach at Mater Dei High School. The 2017 season proved a historical year for the Boys Volleyball team as they compiled a 29-4 overall record en-route to a second undefeated Trinity League Championship, Bellarmine Invitational Tournament Championship, and a number one national ranking by In 2016, the Varsity recorded a 23-10 overall record on their way to an undefeated Trinity League Championship. This was the first Boys Volleyball team in Trinity League history to go undefeated since the league’s inception in 2007. The 2015 season marked a breakout year for the Monarchs as underclassman laden Varsity team compiled a 22-9 record winning the Tustin Fighting Farmer Classic and a share of the Trinity League title. Since Connolly’s first season in 2014, seven Mater Dei Boys’ Volleyball student athletes have continued playing volleyball at the collegiate level. In addition to his duties as Head Coach, Connolly serves as a United States History Teacher in the MDHS Social Studies Department.


Pat Connolly has been coaching volleyball since 2005 at the prep, club, and collegiate level. His first coaching stint was at University High School as an Assistant Girl's and Boy's Volleyball Coach. While at University, the Girl's team captured their first CIF Championship in program history in 2005. From 2006-2008 Connolly coached at the Surf City Boys Volleyball Club for the 17's Silver and Gold teams. In 2009, Pat Connolly was the Boy's Junior Varsity Coach at Westminster High School and guided the Lions to a Golden West League title. From 2010-2013, Connolly was the Head Assistant Coach for the Women's Volleyball team at Santa Ana College. During his tenure at SAC, Connolly helped send three student athletes to four year schools and continue their playing careers while two-thirds of the Women's Volleyball program was recognized as scholar athletes. In 2013, Connolly coached the Boys’ Volleyball Team at El Modena High School where two members from that team moved on to play at the collegiate level.


As a student athlete, Pat Connolly graduated from Esperanza High School where he played volleyball for four years. While at Esperanza, Connolly was a First Team All Sunset League selection and Team MVP playing the positions of Opposite, Middle Blocker, and Outside Hitter. Following his time at Esperanza, Connolly was Captain and an All-Pacific Coast Conference Opposite, Outside Hitter, and Middle Blocker at Golden West College under Steve Uchytil, Rick McLaughlin, and Mike D'Alessandro. After his time with the Rustlers, Connolly received an athletic and academic scholarship to Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne (IPFW). Connolly played one season for the Mastodons as a Middle Blocker until he suffered a career ending knee injury.


While at Golden West College and IPFW, Connolly was a scholar athlete and consistent Deans List recipient maintaining a 3.8 GPA. Connolly graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in History Magna Cum Laude from California State University, Fullerton in 2011 and received his Single Subject Teaching Credential in Social Studies from CSU Fullerton in 2012.


Coach Connolly enjoys traveling, reading, watching sports, and spending time with his family.

Assistant Varsity Coach: SAM MOREHOUSE

Coach Sam Morehouse begins his seventh season coaching volleyball at Mater Dei. Sam is in his fourth season as an Assistant Varsity Coach with the Boys’ Volleyball Program. Coach Morehouse has played a vital role in coordinating the Varsity’s offensive attack guiding the boys to three consecutive Trinity League titles. This past fall, Sam helped guide Girls’ Volleyball program to a CIF SS Division I Title, CIF Regional Title, and a CIF SS Division I Title in 2015 as an Assistant Varsity Coach.


Sam graduated from Long Beach Wilson High School in 2007, where he was named All-CIF First Team and was chosen as an all-league player three years in a row. He later attended Golden West College and the University of Hawaii, where he was a member of the men's volleyball teams.


Sam was born and raised in a volleyball family. His mom played at Cerritos College and his father was a member of the 1989 USA Men's National team. He began his coaching career at the young age of 15, assisting his dad with the Seal Beach Volleyball Club 16-1's team. Sam is a die-hard Lakers, Kings, Dodgers, and Galaxy fan.



Keli Pula begins his second year as a Varsity Assistant at Mater Dei. Pula served as a long time Girls Assistant Varsity Coach at Long Beach Poly High School. At Long Beach Poly, the Girls team won a CIF SS Division 1 title and State runner up in 2010. In 2016, the Long Beach Poly Girls team earned CIF SS Division 1 and Open Division semifinalists.


Coach Pula brings over 15 years of coaching experience at the club, high school, collegiate and international level. Pula coached the American Samoa Women's National Team to a first ever Gold medal in 2015 at the South Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea. Coach Pula also guided the American Samoa Beach team to a Gold medal in the Oceania Beach Championships, Cook Island. Recently, Pula coached Long Beach Poly Boys team to consecutive Moore League titles where the Boys program went 34-2 in League in three years. Coach Pula was named Long Beach Mizuno Volleyball Club Coach of the year in 2014.


Coach Pula graduated from Carson High 1985. Later, he attended El Camino City College and CSU Dominguez Hills where he received an AA in Business and a Certificate as an Electrician. Coach Pula is married with two children. His daughter Deveney played volleyball at Cornell University and son Jededeique played football at West Liberty University.

Coach Jake Nuneviller enters his first season with the Mater Dei Boys Volleyball Program.  A native of Arizona, Jake was born into a family that was all about volleyball. His mother coached D1 volleyball at the University of Arkansas, his father played professional beach volleyball, and his little sister was a high school All-American. Coach Jake was a first team all-state setter at Corona Del Sol High and then went on to Golden West College to win a state championship.


Coach Jake Nuneviller has seven years of coaching experience and has been playing for 13 years. At The HBC, his teams both won a silver and a Bronze medal at the USAV Junior National Championships in the 18s division. He has had several players go on to play D1 volleyball some of whom were recently selected to the NCAA All-American team. Returning to Arizona, he coached Aspire VBC and won another silver medal at the boys Junior Nationals Championships in the 17s division. He also coached Arizona’s Desert Vista High School where his team finished 5th in the state.


Coach Jake Nuneviller recently moved back to California and is now back at The HBC and is looking forward to a great year at Mater Dei.


Michael Nguyen has acquired a broad range of volleyball experience as a player, certified official, and coach. Coach Nguyen graduated from Loara High School where he played four years of volleyball. While at Loara, Nguyen played as an outside hitter where he earned the recognition as All-Empire League Player and overall Varsity Team MVP during his Junior and Senior year. After graduating, Nguyen attended Golden West College where he was an All-Pacific Conference Libero, finishing 2nd for the most digs per game. Rounding out his time at Golden West, Nguyen earned his AA degree in Liberal Arts.

 Michael Nguyen has been coaching since 2005. He has experience at the prep, club, and collegiate level. His coaching began at University High assisting the Boys Volleyball team.   After University High, Coach Nguyen also coached at Westminster High, Villa Park High and Santa Ana College. 

Since 2011, Nguyen has been coaching at Ohana Athletic Club for the Boy's and Girl's Teams. Coach Nguyen coaches ages 15-18 at Ohana and has loved coaching there these past years. 

Coach Nguyen is now currently coaching at Mater Dei for the Boys’ Volleyball team since 2014 and continues to help build this program to keep winning League Titles.  Coach Nguyen is also coaching as an Assistant Coach at Golden West College for the Mens’ and Womens’ Volleyball team. 

Nguyen's favorite hobby outside of volleyball is going on hikes.

Head Frosh/Soph, Boys' Beach Volleyball Coach: DAN McCLEARY

Coach Dan McCleary is beginning his fifth year under Head Coach Pat Connolly at Mater Dei as the Head Frosh/Soph Red and Boys’ Beach Volleyball Coach. Dan has many years of playing experience including high school, college, and national levels. After college Coach spent two years competing and training with the Athletes-In-Action Volleyball Program. Coach Dan is still playing in the Senior Division of the USAV Adult National Championships.


Dan began his coaching career at Esperanza High School before spending four years as a Volunteer Assistant Coach for The University of La Verne Mens’ Program which included three DIII Finalist appearances and a DIII National Championship. Coach has also spent time at The Webb Schools, Seal Beach Volleyball Club, and The Texas Tech Summer Volleyball Camps.


Coach Dan has three adult sons all former water polo athletes. Dan lives with his wife of 38 years Nancy in San Clemente and they are both outdoor enthusiasts including the beach, mountains, fly-fishing, and all winter sports in their spare time.

Head Coach Frosh/Soph White: Hani Sultan


Coach Hani Sultan is beginning his second year as the Boys’ Frosh Soph White Head Coach.  Coach Sultan has been involved in the sport of volleyball for over 25 years as a player and over 5 years as a coach.  He started playing for Al Ahli Club in Bahrain,  an island in Southwest Asia.  He helped his team win the National League Championship (16u Division) 2 years in the row  and second place (18u Division).  After graduating from high school he moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to attend CCAC  College where he played volleyball for 2 years.  He continued to play after college with different traveling teams and competed in the adult USVBA National tournaments. 

Hani Started coaching at Don Bosco as an assistant coach before becoming the head coach.  He led Bosco to three League Championships, and a CIF semifinal in 2003.  He also coached 18u at Club Heights, Verbum Dei High School, and Pacifica High School where he improved Pacifica's national ranking and league standing.

Coach Sultan earned a BS in Computer Science from the University of Pittsburgh and an MS in Software Engineering from California State University Fullerton. He enjoys watching the MPSF Men’s Volleyball tournament and the Italian National league.