When Rick Ewart stepped aside as volleyball coach at South Carroll High School following the 2016 season, it left the program with a leadership void since he coached the varsity by himself.
Stacy Trivett was approached by several supporters of the program because of her coaching credentials at Liberty High School and in the Freedom rec volleyball program.
"I had three people contact me and say, 'South Carroll doesn't have any volleyball coaches. We would really like you to coach there,' " Trivett recalled.
Trivett felt a connection, she said, and an obligation to take the South Carroll job.
"I live in the community," said Trivett, a Taylorsville resident. "I felt it was like a duty to step in and serve as the volleyball coach. They had a serious need, and I knew I was going to end up at South Carroll."
Trivett's coaching background seems like a good fit for South Carroll.
The Cavaliers have a lot of young players on their roster and are coming off a 2-13 record. Trivett has worked as a volleyball coach for 12 years, including six as the varsity assistant and head JV coach at Liberty, along with a seven-year stint at Freedom.
The 48-year-old Trivett, who works part time as a web designer. plans to do a lot of teaching.
She ran her first practice Aug. 12.
"I think the most important thing is just getting back to the basics and working on fundamentals," Trivett said. "They have to learn about the fundamentals. I am trying to take what the girls have done in the past and build upon that. I want to make sure we are not just teaching volleyball, but we are teaching life skills."
Trivett says her time at Liberty (2010-2015) set her up well to be a head coach.
"I had an amazing experience at Liberty," she said. "I worked with a great coach in Michael Rainbow. He was just an excellent mentor. I felt we did some great things there together if you look at their record over the last five or six years."
Trivett has made it clear to her players that she has raised expectations for them, compared to past seasons.
"I am holding the players to a higher standard," she said. "I think the challenge is rebuilding the culture because if you are not used to winning, you have to get used to winning. I am focused on improving the girl's confidence and growing them as players."
Trivett appears to be accomplishing her goal. And she seems to be winning the players over along the way.
"We now have notebooks we bring to practice every day," senior defensive specialist Mackensie Walker said. "We write down our goals and what we want to improve on. We go over it every day. It's more team building than it has been in the past."
Walker and junior right setter Haley Kirkendall return to the starting lineup.
They're joined on the team by four other returning varsity players: senior outside hitters Amanda Christian and Meagan Murphy, senior setter Claire Turcotte, and junior outside hitter Gabrielle Greaney.
The roster also features five players promoted from the junior varsity in junior defensive specialist Rachel Palmer, sophomore setter Larissa Manrique, sophomore opposite hitter Megan Plummer, and sophomore middle hitters Hailey Snider and Sydney Walker, along with senior Madilyn Snyder, a first-year player and outside hitter.
"I see a lot of potential in this team," Trivett said. "The girls are great to work with. They want to get better and they want to win."