Dartmouth High volleyball coach inducted to hall of fame

Oct 21, 2022

Dartmouth High has a new hall of famer among the ranks of its coaches.

Dartmouth Volleyball Coach Rachel Lassey was honored last weekend by the Massachusetts Volleyball Coaches Association (MAVCA), who recognized her contributions and accomplishments by inducting her into the hall of fame in a ceremony on Oct. 16.

Lassey, now in her 12th year leading the team, said she was humbled and surprised when she heard the news, something she never expected so early in her career.

“It was kind of shocking at first because I just feel like I’m pretty young,” she said.

Lassey joined Dartmouth early in her coaching career and was named as the team’s head coach after just three years of volunteering at New Bedford High. But as a Dartmouth High alum, she said it is where she was always meant to be.

“I grew up here — this is my home,” she said. “Getting this job is honestly the best thing that has ever happened to me. I feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.”

Adding to that sense of belonging is the fact that Lassey is joined on the coaching staff by her older sister, Jessica Lassey, who coaches the junior varsity team.

“It’s kind of a family affair,” said Rachel, noting that even her parents never miss a game. “She’s been my assistant coach the whole time, and I wouldn’t want to coach with anyone else.”

Lassey said that since taking control of the program, she has turned the team around on a fundamental level.

“We’ve changed the culture here to be a winning culture,” she said. “We’ve made some big jumps in the volleyball world, and I hope to keep that going.”

In her first 11 seasons as a head coach, Lassey has amassed an impressive 172-43 regular season record.

Her teams have also made the playoffs in every season Lassey has coached, except in 2020 when the tournament was canceled due to Covid. In 10 playoff runs, Lassey’s teams have made it to at least the quarter finals nine times.

But for Lassey, victory is only one part of the job.

“Winning is so fun, but the relationships I build with the students, that means everything to me,” she said. “It helps me figure out how to coach them too.”

In addition to coaching, Lassey has worked as a health and P.E. teacher at Dartmouth Middle School since 2017, getting to know the students as 7th and 8th graders before coaching some of them when they get to high school.

“It’s so nice to get them in both worlds,” she said. “Kids I don’t connect with in the gym, I’ll connect with in the classroom.”

This year, Lassey’s team is 14-2 and hasn’t given up a single set since September.

She said the team will try to carry that success forward as they prepare to close out the season with top matchups against Barnstable (13-1) on Oct. 26 and Old Rochester (12-4) on Oct. 28.

“If we beat them, I’ll be a very happy girl,” said Lassey.