By Tommy Keeler Jr.
Christy Barb knows a lot about Central's volleyball program, having played there in high school. Now she gets to coach there and try to take the program back to a high level.
Barb, whose maiden name is Burgess, was officially approved as the new volleyball coach at Central at the most recent Shenandoah County School Board meeting.
"I'm really looking forward to coaching at my alma mater," Barb said. "I feel like it's a wonderful opportunity for me, and I'm excited to come back there and coach."
Barb replaces Allison Hoover, who resigned after the fall season.
Hoover was the Falcons' coach for the last five years. This past season they went 5-16, and lost in the first round of the Bull Run District tournament.
"I think she came on at a time when we were double-A, and she kept the program respectable," Central athletic director Kenny Rinker said of Hoover. "She did a good job."
When Barb was at Central, the school's volleyball program was very strong. She said the team advanced to regionals in her junior and senior seasons. Barb was also part of Central's only girls basketball state championship team in the fall of 1996. Barb also played softball at Central as well.
Rinker said he's very happy with the selection of Barb as the coach.
"Christy has a lot of enthusiasm for volleyball," Rinker said. "She played the game, as well. She's in the school system. I think she fits the mold we're looking for."
Barb has three years coaching experience at the middle school level, and said she's played volleyball for more than 20 years now.
The Falcons had no seniors on this season's roster, and should have a solid nucleus coming back. Central will be playing in the Bull Run District again next year, but will be in a Group 3A East Conference. They will be in a conference with Warren County, Loudoun Valley, William Monroe, Skyline and John Champe next year.
Barb said she plans to start running open gyms twice a week starting this week, and would also like to have players that aren't already playing volleyball come out and give the sport a try. She said she also hopes to have a team play in a summer league this season to help get ready for next year.
"I have a real love of the game, and hopefully they will pick that up," Barb said. "Hopefully they will have the same pride in the program and playing for Central that I had when I was in school."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org