High School Sports

Volleyball Preview: Star-Telegram teams to watch, notable DFW coaching changes in ’18

Byron Nelson volleyball expects another good year in 2018

The Lady Bobcats graduated eight seniors from last year's regional tournament team, but they return a ton of talent including 2020 LSU commit Paige Flickinger and 2019 Harding commit Kelli McKinnon. The two talk after Saturday's scrimmages.
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The Lady Bobcats graduated eight seniors from last year's regional tournament team, but they return a ton of talent including 2020 LSU commit Paige Flickinger and 2019 Harding commit Kelli McKinnon. The two talk after Saturday's scrimmages.

TEAMS TO WATCH

FW All Saints

33-17-1, TAPPS state champions

The Saints won 23 of their final 25 games – capped off with a state championship ring. Tulane beach commit Ashton Mares is a contender for POY after she recorded 701 kills – the most in the FW area last season.

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The All Saints volleyball team won a TAPPS state title in November. All Saints Episcopal Courtesy

Aledo Ladycats

37-14, State semifinals

All-state libero Allegra Rivas graduated and went to Maryland, but the Ladycats bring a load of talent back, which includes top returning hitter TGCA all star and SFA commit Hannah Jones.

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Aledo outside hitter Hannah Jones (left) goes for a kill attempt against Richland earlier this season at Aledo High School. Tony Eierdam, The Community News Courtesy

Colleyville Heritage Panthers

39-8, Regional Final

Heritage was one round away from state after making the regional final for the first time in four years. One of the top 1-2 combos return in setter UAB commit Grace Koper and TGCA all star libero Tulane commit Jillian Dits.

Arlington Martin Warriors

41-6, Regional Final

What do the Warriors do for an encore? They’re coming off their best season since going to the state tournament in 2005. All-state hitter Emilie Ickes is at McNeese State now. Elite setter Northeastern commit Elizabeth Carroll is among the returnees.

Weatherford Kangaroos

41-7, Regional semifinals

The Lady Roos graduated Kaitlyn Rogers, the reigning Star-Telegram Player of the Year. After their best season in program history, can they repeat their success. Top returning hitters A&M Corpus Christi commit Carissa Barnes and Georgia commit Londyn Gray should help.

Kaitlyn Rogers had a school record in assists as the Lady Roos made their first regional tournament. She's headed to Texas A&M.

Byron Nelson Bobcats

38-10, Regional semifinals

Nelson returns most including elite outside hitter and LSU commit Paige Flickinger. Amarillo High and OU great Bri Barker-Groth, the daughter of legendary Sandies coach Jan Barker, comes over from Colleyville Heritage.

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Byron Nelson 2018 volleyball Brian Gosset bgosset@star-telegram.com

Southlake Carroll Dragons

38-8, Regional Quarterfinals

Carroll has been one of the most consistent volleyball teams in the state. The Dragons have gone at least three rounds deep nine of the past 10 years. Teresa Dunn returns to SLC, where she was once an assistant.

Lake Ridge Eagles

35-10, Regional Quarterfinals

The Eagles are just one of seven DFW schools making the jump from 5A to 6A this season. Can TCU beach commit Logyn Hinds and Texas commit Madison Williams lead them to the playoffs?

Keller Indians

32-12, Regional Quarterfinals

Arlington High and TCU great Lauren Otto-Rao moves over from South Grand Prairie to lead the Indians, who have won district titles and gone at least three rounds deep the past two seasons.

Boswell Pioneers

29-12, Regional Quarterfinals

The Pioneers graduated 12 seniors, but elite 2020 hitter UNT commit Emily Ah Leong returns. Boswell, which begins its third-straight season in Hawaii, are among the most wins in DFW the past five years boosting a 169-45 record.

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Boswell volleyball in 2016 after beating Colleyville Heritage in the regional quarterfinals at Eaton High School. Brian Gosset bgosset@star-telegram.com

Grapevine Mustangs

21-16, Regional Quarterfinals

Robyn Wallace is in her first year with Grapevine and gets a talented bunch. TGCA all star and Houston commit Symone Wesley is one kill away from becoming the program’s all-time leading hitter.

Mansfield Tigers

27-18, Area

The Tigers won their most games in five years and went to area for the first time in four. Texas commit Molly Phillips is a contender for all-area Player of the Year.

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Mansfield's Molly Phillips goes for a kill attempt. NORECA Championships

OTHERS IN DFW TO WATCH

Hebron: Can the Hawks 4-peat?

Flower Mound: New coach Jamie Siegel comes from Keller

Prosper: 5A state champs move to 6A

Waxahachie: Moves up to 6A, 328-90 the past 9 years

Coppell: 38-4 last season, Averaging 35 wins past 10 years.

Lovejoy: 126-26 in the past 3 years

Argyle: Trip to the state final in 4-straight seasons

Glen Rose: State tourney last season

Midlothian Heritage: Regional finalists

Westlake Academy: 4-time defending TCAF champions

NOTABLE COACHING CHANGES

Brewer: Tony Clark replaces Christina Rudiger

Burleson Centennial: Julie Williams replaces Jessica Ransom

Byron Nelson: Bri Barker-Groth replaces Libby Pacheco

Carroll: Teresa Dunn replaces Ryan Mitchell

Colleyville Heritage: Josh McKinney replaces Bri Barker-Groth

Flower Mound: Jamie Siegel replaces Marci Brinkman

Granbury: Desiree Shahan replaces Tammy Clark

Grapevine: Robyn Wallace replaces Whitney Woody

Keller: Lauren Otto-Rao replaces Jamie Siegel

Keller Central: Lyndsay Baker replaces Robyn Wallace

Kennedale: Kelly Carl replaces Mary Malone

Midlothian: Shain Sackett replaces Teresa Dunn

SGP: Kristin Pressley replaces Lauren Otto-Rao

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