By Chris Parker
Brandy Glessner will take over as head coach of Marionville volleyball after leading the Springfield Catholic Lady Irish volleyball team last season. Glessner is a teacher at Marionville Middle School.
She will be looking to rebuild a Marionville volleyball program that won 25 matches just three years ago, but has won just nine matches each of the past two seasons.
“As a new coach to the program, I am going to focus on getting to know my players and seeing how they work together. From there, we will set individual and team goals based on the work we have put in this summer. I have already seen the motivation and discipline from many of my players, so I am excited to set new goals as we look forward to the season ahead,” Glessner said.
She has a good starting point with Marionville graduating just one senior from last year’s team.
Senior Morgan Barrickman returns after earning First-Team All-Southwest Conference honors last year. Barrickman led the Lady Comets with 178 kills while finishing second in digs (195) and serve-receives (353).
“Morgan’s energy and dedication to her teammates has been awesome to see this summer. I’m eager to get her on the court and see what role she will step into and work for this season,” Glessner said.
Alyssa White will be back as well after leading the team in assists with 309. The junior was named honorable mention all-conference last season.
“Alyssa’s leadership and willingness to learn are two characteristics I have seen over the summer that will continue to build her as a setter. Having her experience in a varsity paced game will push our offense to be aggressive and involved in every aspect of the game,” Glessner said.
Kaylee Neveln will be another senior to watch. Glessner expects her to be an important hitter this season.
The rest of the lineup will be a work-in-progress, but Glessner will have no shortage of options to fill out the varsity rotation.
“This group of girls is so much fun, and that energy allows them to play with the best teams. I have gotten to see them encourage each other through tough workouts and tough games, which makes a huge difference in a tight game. They are also incredibly smart girls, which makes them a very coachable team. I expect our program to grow with very smart volleyball players,” Glessner said.
Marionville will host a jamboree on Aug. 27 with Fordland, East Newton and Sarcoxie in preparation for the season-opener.
“We are learning our expectations as we get to know each other as players and coaches, but we have already discussed that we are all here to play volleyball and work hard no matter who is to our right or to our left,” Glessner said.
Marionville opens the season on Sept. 5 at Southwest (Washburn).