PAPILLION – Elena Pietro is leaving her position as head volleyball coach at Papillion-LaVista South High School after two years to take an assistant coaching position at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
The coach informed her high school team of that decision this morning. Omaha is likely to announce the hiring on Monday.
Pietro went 47-34 in her two years at Papillion-LaVista South, where she took over for Gwen Egbert. The Titans went 25-16 this past season and reach the state tournament.
Despite her young age, Pietro has an impressive resume. She was the Louisiana Gatorade Player of the year prior to being a 4-year letter winner at LSU from 2005-2008. At LSU, she was a two-time honorable mention All-American libero and was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. She was a member of the USA Junior Olympic Team in 2005 and played professionally in Puerto Rico after college.
Pietro spent time coaching at the club and high school level in Louisiana before moving to Nebraska, where she was an assistant coach at Bellevue University in 2012 prior to being named the head coach at Papillion-LaVista South. This club season, she had been serving as an assistant for the Premier 17 Gold team.
When contacted this afternoon, Papillion-LaVista South Athletic Director Jeremy Van Ackeren said he would like to move quickly to fill the vacant position, but placed the importance on getting the right person. He said the school will look at both internal and external candidates.
Pietro will work on the Omaha staff with Head Coach Rose Shires and Associate Head Coach Karen Povondra. Omaha will enter the 2015 season and a full NCAA Division I program and be eligible for post-season play for the first time. Omaha went 14-19 overall last year and 6-10 in Summit League play.
Earlier this week, Omaha Marian coach Rochelle Rohlfs announced she was stepping down as coach of the Crusaders, which means the two Class A teams that have combined to win the last six state championships will both have new coaches next year.
Omaha Marian is likely to start the 2015 season as the top-ranked team in Class A and Papillion-LaVista South will likely be ranked second.
Omaha Marian returns all but one player from last year’s team and will look for its third straight state title in 2015. Amy McLeay, the co-head coach for Marian last year, has already been named as Rohlfs’ replacement.
The opening at Papillion-LaVista South should be very enticing as the Titans return a strong nucleus from last year’s state-tournament team. The Titans will return their top two outside hitters in USC recruit Raegan LeGrand and Taliya Flores as well as setter Taylor Crandall and middles Peyton Schendt and Cassidy Renander. Also, Sydney Morehouse, who was a starting middle for Bellevue West last season, has transferred in to Papillion-LaVista South.