This season’s Essex volleyball coach is the same man that has his name on the Essex gymnasium wall.
Allen Stuart is the third coach in three years for Essex volleyball and he takes over a program that has a solid group of returners, but won just three matches last year.
Stuart coached the girls basketball and track and field programs at Essex for several years with a ton of success. He hasn’t coached varsity at the volleyball level, but spent about 14 years as the junior high volleyball coach at Essex. He hasn’t coached in the district in nearly a decade.
Stuart has Camryn Chambers returning as his only senior, but a big group of juniors that should help in leading this year’s team.
Elise Dailey is one of those juniors and returns after leading the Trojanettes with 81 kills last season. Helen Nicholas is another junior. She will likely take over as the primary setter. Sami York and Elizabeth Baker are the other returning juniors while Desi Glasgo and Riley Jensen also return for their sophomore seasons.
Stuart also has a trio of freshmen that enter the program in Olivia Baker, Brianne Johnson and Natalie Taylor.
Essex will play much of its non-conference schedule early in the season. The conference opener is Thursday, August 29 against East Mills. That match will be part of a triangular that Southwest Valley will host at its middle school in Villisca.