New coach, new style of play and new focus on team chemistry should propel Stansbury to a great season this year in volleyball.
Melissa Flint is the new head coach this year after working as an assistant coach the previous five years. Her coaching staff includes Karie Johnson, Charles Sandy and Alyssa Boone.
“I was able to hand-pick these assistants, and we have a good group,” the coach said. “They all know the game. Karie is great with the girls, Charles is detail oriented and good with the mechanics of volleyball and Alyssa was a top player herself, and works with our back-row hitters.”
Melissa Flint is the third coach in the history of SHS volleyball. Leeah Dahle coached the first three years and compiled a 56–37 record. Clint Barnes coached the past two seasons with a 27–32 record. Barnes moved over to Tooele High School to work as its athletic director.
“We have a long ways to go, but we’re getting there,” the coach said after practice on Wednesday. “We have some top athletes on this team, and we’re trying to run a quicker game, which includes setting the ball a little lower.”
Last year, Stansbury tied for second in Region 11 with Bear River. The Stallions defeated Carbon in the first round of the state tournament, before losing to old nemesis Morgan in the second round.
“We’re coming together a lot better as a team this year, we should have a better season overall,” said one of the starters, Julia Flint.
“Our goal is to win the region championship this year, and we have the players to do it,” said leading hitter Tiffany Robbins.
Some of those players include the Flint sisters Julia and Katy. Others who will see a lot of action are Camryn Anderson, Rachel Kirchoff, Masina Mulivai, Jessica Bassett and Kelby Deathrage. “We have a lot of good combinations and we can use in our rotations.
“TIffany is great on the ball and a superb athlete, and Katy is a solid outside hitter. Masina and Jessica will help out on the back row. Julia is a great setter,” the coach said.
Rivalries with Tooele and Grantsville are still there, but coach Flint said the three Tooele Valley volleyball squads are cheering for each other and for the rest of the Region 11 to schools get stronger in the sport. None of the Region 11 schools finished in the top eight at state last year.
“Our region is getting better. Kristi Brown does a great job at Tooele, and I believe Kay C. Bleazard will be solid at Grantsville. We want our region to improve and to become a force to be reckoned with when the state tournament rolls around,” the Stansbury coach said.
The Stallions opened the season on Aug. 21 at the Hunter tournament with wins over West Jordan, Hunter and Roy. They lost to Granger, Kearns, Uintah and Cottonwood.
The Stallions defeated West 3–1 in Salt Lake City on Tuesday with scores of 22–25, 25–17, 25–17, 25–17.
Robbins had 18 kills, Katy Flint added nine and Camryn Anderson served four aces.
Stansbury plays at Granger today, and hosts a home match or the first time this season on Tuesday at 6 p.m. against South Summit.