Head volleyball coach continues to lead Lady Saints to winning seasons

Head volleyball coach Bert Luallen has been with the Seward County volleyball program for just almost seven years, making 2011 his seventh season with the Lady Saints. Luallen, or “Coach Lu,” as the players call him, has an overall record of 162-100 from 2005 through 2010, and has improved that mark with a 10-1 start to the 2011 season — including a three game sweep over the No. 1 ranked Division 3 team in the country, Brookhaven. In fact, Coach Lu has coached a team with a winning record every he has been with the Lady Saints. The start of the 2011 season is no exception, with a No. 13 NJCAA ranking as of Sept. 12. Coach Lu has, indeed, brought talent in from all over the country. Jessica Luallen is Coach Lu’s daughter and also works at SCCC, in the Financial Aid office. “He has a gift for noticing talent – undeveloped talent,” she said. “I think the ladies have definitely benefited with him, and he has helped set them up to succeed.” Coach Lu was named the Jayhawk West Coach of the Year in 2009. Ruthie Luallen is Coach Lu’s wife, who also works at SCCC, in the Saints Bookstore. “What I like most about his coaching is the way he treats the players – like his own kids,” Ruthie said. Jessica explains her dad’s coaching style as “…very strategic; he’s purposeful, how he coaches.” She also describes the plays as being different than the usual. “They run plays that really aren’t normal when compared to the teams they play against. He has experience testing the girls’ potential, though.” Ruthie says Coach Lu is appreciative of SCCC. “He appreciates how the coaches are able to run their programs. We love how supportive the school is of the athletes.”