High School Sports

Former All-American is the new volleyball head coach at Byron Nelson

Byron Nelson celebrates after a win in the Northwest ISD volleyball tournament at Byron Nelson High School, August 18, 2017.
Byron Nelson celebrates after a win in the Northwest ISD volleyball tournament at Byron Nelson High School, August 18, 2017. ssmajstrla@star-telegram.com

After taking Colleyville Heritage to the Class 5A Region I final, former Oklahoma All-American Brianne Barker-Groth has accepted the position as head volleyball coach at Byron Nelson.

She will replace Libby Pacheco, who was hired as assistant athletic director for Northwest ISD.

Barker-Groth spent the past two seasons with Heritage and went 75-17 with back-to-back district titles.

The Panthers went the third round of the playoffs in 2016 before coming up a match short of the state tournament last season. They were eliminated by Aledo in three sets.

The Panthers swept Saginaw Boswell to clinch their first regional tournament appearance since 2013.

She takes over a program that also made the regional tournament in 2017. The Bobcats finished 39-10 and lost to Arlington Martin in the Class 6A Region I semifinals.

The Bobcats went 205-102 since 2011 with Pacheco. They made the playoffs each year with a trip the regional quarterfinals on three different occasions. They also made the regional tourney in 2011.

Nelson was reclassified for the next two years with Keller, Central, Timber Creek, Fossil Ridge, Southlake Carroll, Eaton and Denton Guyer. Five of those teams also made the playoffs.

Barker-Groth, who was an assistant for two seasons at state power Lucas Lovejoy prior to Heritage, played for mother Jan Barker at Amarillo, where she won two state titles and was named Gatorade Texas volleyball player of the year. She went on to become a two-time All-American at Oklahoma.

The Bobcats should return two of their top three setters in Meredith Fusselman and Payton Chamberlain as well as one of the top hitters in D-FW in Paige Flickinger, along with six others on the roster including Charitie Luper and Kelli McKinnon.

After falling behind 0-2, the Panthers shocked their rivals by winning the next three sets to stay perfect in District 8-5A, Sept. 27 at Colleyville Heritage High School.

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