Emily Russell, who was the setter on Flathead’s most recent state trophy-winning team, is set to return to her alma mater as the program’s new head volleyball coach, the school announced on March 3.
As a high school senior, Russell helped the 2012 Bravettes win the Western AA title and advance all the way to the state championship game where they ultimately fell to Billings Senior. It is the program’s best finish since another runner-up year in 2006. Russell was named First Team All-State that season and went on to play four years of college volleyball, ending her career with back-to-back Second Team All-Frontier Conference seasons at Montana State-Northern. She played two seasons at Spokane Valley Community College before joining the Skylights.
Russell takes over for Nicole Fairclough, who stepped down in January after three seasons at the helm. The Bravettes finished fourth in Class AA in 2018, Fairclough’s second season, but went 5-13 last year.
In a press release announcing the hiring, Flathead Activities Director Bryce Wilson wrote that Russell “wants to develop the program to be a consistent team that competes at state every year, similar to when she played for the Bravettes.”
Russell’s hiring is subject to school board approval.