By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
There’s truly no place like home for Jeff and Scott Stuart.
The fraternal twins live a few blocks from Palisades High and are happy they decided to play volleyball for their neighborhood school. The Dolphins’ varsity is off to one of its fastest starts ever thanks in large part to the junior siblings, who are different off the court but have chemistry on it.
Palisades has won 24 of 26 matches so far and established itself as the favorite to win the City Section title by winning the Gold Division at the Redondo Preseason Classic and taking first place at the Venice Invitational.
The Stuarts attended Calvary Christian from preschool through 8th grade. They played for the Pacific Palisades Volleyball Club’s 14-and-under team under Coach Carlos Gray, who also heads the Pali High program.
“Most of our friends [from middle school] went to Loyola but we really wanted to play for Carlos since we learned the game from him,” said Jeff, a libero and one of the Dolphins’ captains. “I started as an outside hitter but one day Carlos stuck me at libero and it’s been my position ever since. I like it because I get to talk and that first pass has a huge emphasis on how the game goes.”
Jeff, the older brother by two minutes, wanted to try out for baseball at Pali High but suffered a shoulder injury and chose volleyball instead. Both played in the Pacific Palisades Baseball Association. Jeff was a pitcher and Scott a catcher when they won back-to-back World Series in the Mustang Division with the Cardinals and Phillies. They grew up playing a variety of sports in the front yard with their older brother J.D., who is now a sophomore at the University of Oregon.
Scott plays outside hitter and enjoys the thrill of the kill.
“When I first started I tried swinging as hard as I could,” said Scott, who plans to major in business, like his brother, but not necessarily at the same school. “I love being the player ending the point because everyone else reacts to what you do.”
The twins know each other’s tendencies and that cohesion serves them well despite their opposite temperaments.
“We’ve matured and now we get along pretty well,” Jeff said. “Scott is more calm and doesn’t get angry while I’m more vocal, but we both really want to win.”
Scott’s favorite class is U.S. history while Jeff likes “anything but English.”