United Red Storm Volleyball Among Most Consistently Successful Programs in West Central Illinois


The United Red Storm volleyball program has been one of the most consistently successful high school sports programs around the area for the last several years. Volleyball coaching legend Donn Damos handed the Red Storm volleyball program off to long-time assistant Carrie Clayton, then Carrie Boone, before the 2011 season. Between Alexis High School and the United consolidated school district, Damos won 299 matches and several regional titles. 193 of those victories came while head coaching the Red Storm volleyball program.

There was no dropoff when Clayton took over the squad in 2011, as she won 288 matches and claimed four regional titles in her 11 years leading the Red Storm. Clayton’s teams won at least twenty matches in each of her 11 seasons, minus the covid year of 2021. The Red Storm won over 30 matches in four of those seasons and had single digit losses in seven seasons.

Similar to Coach Damos, when it was time for Clayton to step down, she handed the program over to her assistant, Courtney Young, in 2022. Just like Clayton, Young has continued the success, winning 21 matches in 2022 and 23 matches in 2023, including a regional title and 3-set sectional semifinal loss to super-sectional qualifier Annawan. Young, who as a high school player, was a part of the deepest run by United in the postseason. In her senior year in 2007, the Red Storm went (31-4), falling to Deer Creek-Mackinaw in a 3-set super sectional thriller. Young would go on to play college volleyball at Division II Quincy University.

Coach Young joined Prairie Communications Sports Director Shawn Temple at the 2024 Halfway to Freezing for Food event and shared what it takes to keep a program successful on a consistent basis.

The Red Storm have scheduled yet another competitive non-conference schedule to go along with the always tough Lincoln Trail Conference slate in 2024. United opens their season at Bushnell-Prairie City on August 26th and will participate in the Macomb Invitational on the Western Illinois campus the following weekend. The Macomb Invite has several Class 2A schools taking part.

For the full interview with Coach Young, go to the SPORTS PODCAST section.

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