Melissa Southall

Coach Southall has been leading the Vandegrift Volleyball program since the fall of 2017. Since taking over the program, the vipers have had four district titles in 2017 (first in program history), 2018, 2020, and 2021. Coach Southall took the 2021 team to the 6A Region IV Finals, making the deepest playoff run in program history since joining the 6A division. Coach Southall has earned the District Coach of the Year four times in her time at Vandegrift (2018,2020,2021,2023) and also received the AVCA  "30 under 30" award in the spring of 2018. She has an overall record of 209-93 at Vandegrift and has never missed a post season.

After graduating from Texas State with a BS in Mathematics and minor in coaching athletics she was hired as varsity assistant and freshmen coach at Hays High School. There she helped coach several successful teams. In 2012, Hays Varsity finished their season as Regional Quarter-Finalist, and Area Finalist for Texas 4A in 2013. Coach Southall coached club at Austin Juniors Volleyball for many years. During multiple seasons at AJV, she has coached many different teams ranging from 12s to 18s with a variety of strong USAV finishes, in addition to attending Nationals in 2015 with the 13 Mizuno. Following another successful season at Hays, Coach Southall joined the VHS Volleyball program as varsity assistant and JV flex coach in 2016. 2016 marked the first year that Vandegrift competed in the 6A classification; Coach Southall helped the varsity record major district wins over Lake Travis and finish the year as Area Finalist.

Coach Southall started playing volleyball in Katy, Texas, where she eventually lettered at 5A(now 6A) Cinco Ranch High School, winning the most valuable defensive player award her junior and senior years as well as All District. She was a major contributor to top district finishes two years in a row and regional-quarter finalist team in 2005. 

Coach Southall married her husband Matt in 2015 and they have since welcomed a son in 2020 and daughter in 2022.

Position: Head Coach

Emily Hanna

Coach Hanna is entering her 6th year teaching and coaching in the Four Points area. She spend her first 5 years at Four Points Middle School where she taught 6th Grade World Cultures and coached Volleyball, Track & Field (hurdles), Cross Country, and Basketball. This year, in addition to coaching volleyball, she will be teaching World Geography and also serve as an Assistant Softball Coach.

Coach Hanna grew up in the Four Points area, attending Canyon Ridge Middle School and Vandegrift High School. She was a freshman when Vandegrift first opened, and played on Varsity all four years. She primarily played middle blocker, but also played several games as an outside hitter, right side, and even spent her sophomore year as a setter. Outside of school, she played 12s at Austin Juniors and 13s-17s at Austin Performance Volleyball. At Vandegrift, she served as Captain her senior year and was awarded the Second To None award as a freshman and MVP as a senior. By 2012 Vandegrift stepped up to the 5A division and Coach Hanna led her team in the postseason finish of Area Finalists!

Coach Hanna attended her dream school of Texas A&M University (whoop!) where she majored in Health. After pursuing her EMT certification after graduation, she felt called to come back home and teach and coach. It was the best decision she ever made and she can't wait to get back in the Viper Pit as a coach. She looks forward to many more years in the community that shaped and led her to where she is today. 

Position: Varsity Assistant/JV Flex Head Coach

Paul Pehrson

Coach Pehrson began working at Vandegrift in 2017. He has coached Volleyball, Girls Basketball and Track in his time at Vandegrift. He has also coached Football and Boys Basketball in his 32 years as a teacher and coach in Texas. He has also run the summer strength and conditioning programs for the middle school athletes and high school girls at Vandegrift for the past four years.

Coach Pehrson began his coaching career in the Rio Grande Valley in 1991. He worked at Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD for twelve years and Mission High School for six years before leaving the Valley for Joshua High School near Fort Worth. He switched from Football to Volleyball in 2014 and has coached Volleyball for a total of seven years.

Coach Pehrson grew up in Minnesota where he graduated from St. Peter High School in 1987 where he played Football, Basketball and threw shot put and discus for the Track team. He attended Gustavus Adolphus College in his hometown where he majored in Mathematics, played Football and threw shot put and javelin for the Track team. He is most proud of holding the Javelin record for 29 years at Gustavus.

Coach Pehrson has been married to his wife, Julia, for almost 26 years. They have three children Adilyn (21), Kaya (19), and Loic (15). Adilyn and Kaya graduated from Vandegrift after very successful careers in multiple sports.

Position: JV Head Coach/Varsity Assistant

Christina Salas

Coach Salas is entering her 5th year teaching and coaching, 2nd year at Vandegrift. She will be teaching Algebra II and coaching Freshman Volleyball and Varsity Assistant/JV Girl’s Soccer. 

Coach Salas graduated from A&M Consolidated High School where she lettered in Soccer as a sophomore and broke the school record for season shutouts in her senior year. She earned All-Region Second Team honors and was a 3 time All-District First Team member as well as Goalkeeper of the Year in 2012. She then attended East Texas Baptist University from 2012-2016 where she played goalkeeper for the Women’s Soccer Team in the American Southwest Conference. After graduating with a B.S. in Math and Athletic Training, she went on to get a M.S. in Sports Administration at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. 

Coach Salas began her career at Bryan Adams High School in Dallas ISD where she coached JV soccer and JV/Freshman Volleyball until she moved to Vandegrift in 2022. She is looking forward to another great season with Viper Volleyball. 

Position: Freshman Head Coach