Click here to Skip to main content
Eastern Connecticut State Volleyball

Eastern Connecticut Volleyball Camps

Coaching Staff

Tessa Smolinski
Assistant Coach

Tessa Smolinski joins the staff as an assistant coach under Megan Silver-Droesch following a brilliant four-year athletic and academic career at Springfield College.

The Hebron native  participated in four NCAA Division III tournaments and won two New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) post-season tournaments and helped the Pride compile a four-year record of 118-24 (33-4 in the NEWMAC) between 2010 and 2013.

As a senior, Smolinski was selected Capital One Academic All-American of the Year as a Communication Sciences Disorders major, tabbed as the NEWMAC Player-of-the-Year, and repeated as a second-team AVCA All-America. She had the unique distinction of leading her team in both kills (370) and digs (328) that year.

Every year, Springfield advanced beyond the opening round of the NCAA tournament, reaching the national quarterfinals in 2011 and the third round in 2010, combining on an overall record of 65-8 in those first two seasons.

Smolinski played scholastically at nearby RHAM High School, where she was the school’s Scholar Athlete-of-the-Year as a senior. As a senior, she became the program’s first Gatorade Connecticut Volleyball Player-of-the-Year when she led the Sachems to an undefeated season and a third straight Class “M” state championship. Smolinski was a two-time first-team Class “M” All-Stater and two-time MVP selection of the state title match.

Smolinski is an experienced clinician and various volleyball camps and clinics, among those at Springfield, University of Connecticut and University of New Hampshire. She has also coached a 14-2 High Performance volleyball team in 2011.


Zach Droesch
Assistant Coach

Zach Droesch brings a solid understanding of Eastern volleyball to the program, having served as an assistant coach under three former Eastern head coaches through the 2004 season. He begins his fourth season on the Eastern coaching staff.

The Canterbury native and Eastern alumnus most recently served as an assistant coach for the University of Connecticut men's club team for four years through 2009.

In addition to bringing an abundance of coaching and playing experience to the program, Droesch has officiated at all levels of NCAA competition, as well as in high school and at the juniors and adult level. He holds a state official ranking with the Professional Association of Volleyball Officials (PAVO) and is a junior national official with United State American Volleyball (USAV).

In the summer 2012, Droesch officiated the boys’ junior national championships in Dallas and in the summer of 2011, officiated the girls’ junior national championships in Atlanta.

Droesch holds a B.S. Degree in Sport and Leisure Management and resides in Columbia.


Julie Jenkins
Assistant Coach

Julie Jenkins joins the staff of head coach Megan Silver Droesch.

A native of Edina, MN, Jenkins joins the staff after  serving as a volunteer assistant for the University of Connecticut women's club team while pursuing her PhD in Chemistry in Storrs.

Prior to joining the UConn staff, Jenkins served as a head and assistant coach for the Minnesota Select Volleyball Club and as a summer volleyball coach coach at the University of Minnesota, Minnesota Select Volleyball Club and at her alma mater, Augsburg College.

After transfering from the University of Northern Iowa, Jenkins played three seasons for Jessica Phillips Rinehart at Division III Augsburg, a member of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC).

A 5-foot-11 inch setter/outside hitter, the multi-dimensional Jenkins led the team in kills and was second in blocks, assists and service aces en route to All-MIAC recognition as a senior captain in 2008, when the Auggies won their most matches (17) in ten years.

Through 2014, Jenkins ranks among the top ten at Augsburg in career blocks, assists and service aces.

Jenkins holds a B.A. Degree in Chemistry from Augsburg.