10 PLAYERS TO KNOW

Morgan Brim, Sr., Mead: Returning as the Mavericks' senior setter, she will lead yet another promising team this season.

Margaret Davis, Sr., Silver Creek: The Raptor's do-it-all team leader hopes to guide them back to the state tournament for the third straight year.

Blayke Hranicka, Jr., Holy Family: One of the best players in Class 3A as a sophomore, she likely will lead the Tigers in kills and blocks again as junior.

Dailyn Johnson, Sr., Longmont: She was chosen as an all-Northern League player for both her defense and offense last season.

Callie Kaiser, Jr., Broomfield: A two-way threat on offense and defense, she played a major role in the Eagles' state tournament run last season.

Cori Kirschling, Jr., Niwot: She came out of nowhere and racked up 258 kills as a sophomore last year.

Brooklin Lebon, Sr., Frederick: The Warriors have a veteran team poised for success and she'll be a large part of it in 2013-14.

Becca Mau, Sr., Longmont: The 2012 BoCoPreps.com Player of the Year last season is back to power the stacked Trojans on another hopeful run at a 4A state title.

Elizabeth Potter, Jr., Silver Creek: Another surprising young kills machine last year in the 4A Northern League, she totaled 323 as a sophomore.

Alison Yardley, Sr., Fairview: The Knights' kills leader last season, she'll be a key if the Knights want to get back to the regional tournament and beyond.

 

POSTSEASON INFORMATION

1A/2A district tournaments to be completed by Oct. 26.

Regional tournaments for all classifications to be completed by Nov. 2.

State championship for all classifications will be held on Nov. 8-9 at the Denver Coliseum.

 

TEAM-BY-TEAM PREVIEWS

 

ALEXANDER DAWSON MUSTANGS

Coach: Holly Novak (1st year).

Last year: 4-13.

Returning starters: Kat Bernal (Sr., OH), Sammy Morrison (Sr., OH), Lisa Pelikan (Sr., S), Lauren Rainey (Sr., MH).

Others to watch: Gabby Greenfield (Jr., S/RS), Annette Leonowens (Jr., MH).

Outlook: Newcomer Holly Novak takes over as the Mustangs' third head coach in three seasons. But having former CU coach Pi'i Aiu as an assistant and returning a solid group of senior starters from last year's team should make her transition an easy one. After finishing ninth in the 12-team 2A Mile High League in 2012, the Mustangs are determined to move up the ladder in 2013.

BOULDER PANTHERS

Coach: Angela Sultzer (3rd year).

Last year: 10-13.

Returning starters: Joelle Burkhardt (Sr., L), Rachel Edson (Sr., DS), Grace Green (Sr. OH), Bella Greer (Sr., S), Jenna Kube (Sr., MB).

Others to watch: Cassidy Evans (Jr., OH).

Outlook: The Panthers finished ninth in the tough 5A Front Range League (3-8) last season and narrowly missed a chance at district play a year ago. This year's returning group will look to improve on a respectable 10-13 record and make the postseason in coach Sultzer's third season at the helm. Senior setter Greer has topped 500 assists in each of the past two seasons.

BROOMFIELD EAGLES

Coach: Jeff Larsen (1st year).

Last year: 15-12. Eliminated in 4A state tournament.

Returning starters: Tori Biggerstaff (Jr., MB), Brenna Fankell (So., MB), Callie Kaiser (Jr., OH).

Others to watch: Miki Blair (Sr., L), Mari Boyer (So., OH), Maddie Kern (So., RS), Monro Obenauer (Sr., OH), Jordan Powley (Jr., S/DS), Madi Rademacher (Fr., S).

Outlook: New coach, same promising outlook. The Eagles have a nice mix of young athletes, senior leadership, and new blood that has them hoping to finish at or near the top of Northern League. Lacking size and power, however, coach Larsen said they'll need to work extra hard on defense to be in-system offensively. They return solid experience up the middle and outside, but the right side and the bench will look different from years past.

CENTAURUS WARRIORS

Coach: Bev Sanders (17th year).

Last year: 8-15.

Returning starters: Haley Amidei (Sr., S), Tina Drexel (Sr., S/L), Allison Ebersole (Jr., OH), Gwen Schmidt (Sr., RS), Rylee Stever (Sr., OH).

Others to watch: Monica Medrano (Jr., MH), Madison Miller (Sr., MH), Emilee Scates (Fr., RS).

Outlook: Finishing last in the Northern League (1-13) in 2012, the Warriors are focused on increasing their conference wins this season. They'll have eight varsity players back who saw significant playing time last season and a talented freshman group to make up for the loss of standouts Taylor Langer and Katie Wirth. Veteran coach Bev Sanders said, "Attitude, concentration, and effort will make this varsity much more successful than last years team."

 

ERIE TIGERS

Coach: Russell Fox (1st year).

Last year: 2-20.

Returning starters: Shandi Ball (Sr., MB), Lauren Bauchert (Sr., MB), Tanya Campbell (Sr., S), Katia Fitzgerald (So., S/RS), Keegan Sakalosky (Sr., OH), Madi Willden (So., OH).

Others to watch: Kylie Giggy (Sr., RS), Courtney Kaiser (Jr., DS).

Outlook: The Tigers are hoping a senior-laden roster can help them bounce back from a two-win season in 2012. They intend to play up-tempo and serve aggressively, and keeping their hitters healthy will be important, as well as winning the majority of their non-conference games and playing tough at home. "The players understand that they are better players and a better team than their record indicates from last year," Fox said. "They are bent on proving to the league that last year was an off year, and that they are a team that will compete in league and win games."

FAIRVIEW KNIGHTS

Coach: Brooke Simmons (9th year).

Last year: 10-15. Eliminated in regional play.

Returning starters: Mari Jewell (Jr., L/DS), Bailey MacInnis (Jr., OH), Kiani Rayford (Sr., MB/OH), Alison Yardley (Sr., RS).

Others to watch: Audrey Cheng (Fr., S), Caroline Schmiedeler (Fr., OH).

Outlook: With four varsity returners and several strong new additions, including players who excel at more than one position, the Knights will have plenty of options offensively. Add to that a solid back row and Simmons said she expects the team to compete at a high level in the Front Range League and the postseason.

FAITH BAPTIST PIONEERS

Coach: Nicki Doan (2nd year).

Last year: 8-9.

Returning starters: Alana Burke (Jr., OH), Tiffany Caluag (Sr., S), Jenny King (Jr., OH), Anna Saucedo (Jr., L), Andrea Willis (So., OH), Cheyenne Wisenborn (So., S).

Others to watch: Jasmine Biesanz (So., OH), Tori McConathy (So., OH).

Outlook: The Pioneers only lost two seniors and head coach Nicki Doan is excited about this year's young team. Their end goal for this season is to play as a team with a focus on developing individual and team skill. Last season was a rough one but Doan said the team is looking for a winning season this upcoming school year.

 

FREDERICK WARRIORS

Coach: Jamie Bradt (13th year).

Last year: 16-8. Eliminated in regional play.

Returning starters: Abbi Arneson (Sr., MH), MaKenzie DiGesualdo (Jr., RS/S), Sabrina Duey (Sr., OH), Veronica Flores (Sr., L), Brooklin LeBon (Sr., OH), Codi Whitmer (Sr., RS/S).

Others to watch: Alexis Dominguez (Sr., MH), Kendra Kelly (Jr., RS).

Outlook: Returning 10 players, including eight seniors, the Warriors are stacked with older and experienced girls who think they can make it to state after a good 16-8 season ended at regionals a year ago. First, they'll need to make it through the 4A Tri-Valley League, which is looking even tougher than last year. "When your court is filled with juniors and seniors they tend to take things more seriously and put 110 percent in," Bradt said.

 

HOLY FAMILY TIGERS

Coach: Brian Winther (2nd year).

Last year: 16-11. Eliminated in 3A state tournament.

Returning starters: Megan DiGirolamo (Sr., RS), Tylynn Nelson (Sr., L), Claudia Pena (Sr., MB), Blayke Hranicka (Jr., OH).

Others to watch: Gabrielle Eyl (Jr., OH/RS), Sophie Mosko (So., S), Marta Plonski (Sr., OH).

Outlook: Returning five players and bringing up an additional five that will see solid minutes, Holy Family is looking to take the next step as a program. While falling a match short of the Metro League regular season championship and reaching state, the pieces are in place and the baseline has been set for the Tigers to make a return appearance at the Denver Coliseum and get closer to a state championship. With new players stepping into key positions, Holy Family may go through growing pains early in the season. But with power at every offensive position, the Tigers expect to be tough once they're firing on all cylinders.

LEGACY LIGHTNING

Coach: Lora Faust (2nd year).

Last year: 7-16.

Returning starters: Courtney Colwell (Sr., S), Morgan Panko (Sr., MH), Makenna Rockeman (Jr., OH).

Others to watch: Kalliope Loudenburg (So., RS), Sydney Ottosen (Jr., OH), Kelly Scharlau (Sr., M).

Outlook: This year, the Lightning are looking to continue growing as a program and working to build off of last year's strong finish, during which they won four of their last six matches. They plan to combine young talent with veteran experience to do it. Ultimately, their goal is to improve on last year's record and still be alive for regional play, as they finished one spot shy of the tournament last year.

 

LONGMONT TROJANS

Coach: Holli Stetson (10th year).

Last year: 25-2. Eliminated in 4A state tournament.

Returning starters: Dailyn Johnson (Sr., MB), Becca Mau (Sr., OH), Elena Michalski (Sr., S), Maddie Precht (Sr., MB), Sydney Wetterstrom (So., RS).

Others to watch: Kaili Brazell (Sr., L/S), Alyssa Hill (Jr., DS), Jess Kusbel (Jr., MB), Megan McKinney (So., OH).

Outlook: The Trojans are excited about their returning group, which includes BoCoPreps.com Player of the Year Becca Mau and a handful on all-conference players. After falling to Coronado at last year's state tournament in five games, the Trojans lost only one starter to graduation but twins Lacy and Lyndie Haddock moved out of state. With five new head coaches in the Northern League it could be an interesting season, but the Trojans are hoping that experience and athleticism can get them to the final game.

LONGMONT CHRISTIAN WARRIORS

Coach: Lester Thorne (4th year).

Last year: 15-5. Eliminated in district play.

Returning starters: Mary Dean (Sr., S), Jenna Hefner (Sr., RS), Lizzy Her (Sr., MB), Ashley Jauregui (Sr., L), Carolyn Mitscke (Sr., OH).

Others to watch: Allison Cochran (Jr., OH), Abby Moore-Kneip (Fr., MB), Abby Rose (Fr., RS).

Outlook: Head coach Lester Thorne said he didn't want to put too much pressure on his team but he thinks this could be the best Longmont Christian team ever. The Warriors matched the school's best record at 15-5 in 2012-13 and they're in better shape than at this time last year. Junior Allison Cochran filling in for graduated leader Alyssa Rusco will be key, as will the freshmen's performance, if they want to win 16 games and call themselves the best.

 

LYONS LIONS

Coach: Jeff Klipstein (6th year).

Last year: 14-10. Eliminated in regional play.

Returning starters: Jessica Boxrud (So., S), Ashlynn Christansen (So., MH), Erika Ivkov (So., MH), Madeline Keen (Sr., OH), Meagan Keen (So., OH), Sydney Stevelink (Jr., S).

Others to watch: None.

Outlook: They came close last season and the Lions are hoping to make a run at the state tournament again. They expect to be a very athletic team that is maturing into a quality group following the graduation of star player Nola Basey. Staying healthy will be a key, as they aren't overly deep. "Last year's performance has given my players confidence to step it up and give it what they got," Klipstein said.

MEAD MAVERICKS

Coach: Rachel Ayers (5th year).

Last year: 17-8. Eliminated in regional play.

Returning starters: Morgan Brim (Sr., S), Kailey Klibbe (Jr., L), Allison Majerus (Sr., OH), Mikayal Martinez (Sr., RH), Maddie Uilk (Jr., MH).

Others to watch: Macy Bourn (Fr., L), Mikayla Morton (So., MH), Ashley Rayhill (Sr., MH).

Outlook: With a full season at the 4A level under their belts, the Mavericks' goal this season is to make a bid for the 4A Tri-Valley League championship, the regional championship, and make their first state tournament appearance. Coach Ayers thinks the Mavericks have the potential to be among the best in the state. The Mavericks return a large group from last season, including three players who had the opportunity to participate in the Junior Olympics with their club teams in June.

 

MONARCH COYOTES

Coach: Katie Erickson (1st year).

Last year: 11-14. Eliminated in regional play.

Returning starters: Carrie Glastetter (Sr., OH), Stephanie Grosser (Jr., L), Kennedy Selby (Jr., S), Gigi Spector (Sr., MB).

Others to watch: Libby Bell (Jr., OH), Emmy Gazaway (Sr., S), Katherine Huntington (So., MB), Alex Tozzie (Sr. L).

Outlook: A year removed from a 19-win season, the Coyotes find themselves with a third new head coach in as many years. They'll rely on their scrappy defense, depth, and endurance to try and get back into the top third of the 5A Front Range League and create some momentum going into regionals. A strong bench also gives them options on both offense and defense and makes them adaptable to different opponents. "Last season was a tough year for this program, but we are going to use that experience to move forward and get back into the top of our league and use that success to push us further in regionals," Erickson said.

NEDERLAND PANTHERS

Coach: Aubray McLain (3rd year).

Last year: 5-13. Eliminated in district play.

Returning starters: Amanda Cook (Sr., S), Cori Januzzi (Sr., MB/MH), Ally Jewell (Sr., MB), Gillian Nasty (Jr., S), Kayla Prince (Sr., DS), Maggie Rockett (Jr., S/DS), Brenda Waggerby (Sr., MB/RS).

Others to watch: Alli Cuervorst (So., MB), Jessica Gloe (So., OH).

Outlook: The Panthers' goals for this season are to work more as a team and less as individuals and become a stronger defensive team. They lost quite a few front row players so they'll need others to step up and be aggressive at the net. With many returning varsity players from last year's team, McLain said she is looking forward to a fun and exciting season.

NIWOT COUGARS

Coach: Preston Brown (1st year).

Last year: 14-11. Eliminated in regional play.

Returning starters: Cori Kirschling (Jr., OH), Kelsey Kosten (Jr., MH), Chelsea Patterson (Sr., MH), Meghan Richard (Sr., S).

Others to watch: Mikayla Dennis (Fr., OH), Lexi Eliopulos (Jr., MH), Sarah McCaddon (Sr., L), Maeve McCarthy (Jr., DS/L), Berkley Peiker (Jr., S), Madison Weckerly (Jr., OH).

Outlook: The Cougars held their own through the brutal Northern League schedule with some young players in big roles last season. With five returning members of last year's varsity team, they'll have more experience and stability in 2013-14. Under first-year head coach Preston Brown, the Cougars are stressing fundamentals and mental toughness.

PEAK TO PEAK PUMAS

Coach: Pam Bergeland (3rd year).

Last year: 15-10. Eliminated in regional play.

Returning starters: Allison Hankey (OH/MH), Erin Mercado (Sr. DS), Kaelyn Powers (Jr., OH), Shannon Renville (Sr., L), MacKenzie Stout (So., MH), Annette Warner (Sr., MH).

Others to watch: Marie Spence (Jr., OH).

Outlook: Finishing 15-10 and qualifying for the regional tournament for the first time last season was a major improvement over a 5-14 campaign in 2011-12. Third-year head coach Pam Bergeland said this season's motto is, "Focus, Fight, Repeat!"

SHINING MOUNTAIN LIONS

Coach: Ashleigh Mounger (1st year).

Last year: 4-10.

Returning starters: Keli Hall (Jr., S/OH), Ginger Hutton (Jr., MB), Dorie Schram (Sr., DS/L), Sophie Schram (Sr., OH), Kaiya Whitehead (Sr., S).

Others to watch: Oriana Edman (Sr., RS/S), Nayana Morrissey (So., MB/OH), Chloe Weber (Jr., L/DS), Katharine Wilson (So., OH/MB).

Outlook: With this new season comes a new head coach and the Lions will approach it as a fresh start. Some of the team's goals for the season are to improve their win-loss record from last year, be contenders in districts, regionals, and make it to the state championship. Mounger believes she has a dynamic, athletic group that has the potential to do it.

SILVER CREEK RAPTORS

Coach: Amy Gross (1st year).

Last year: 11-15. Eliminated in 4A state tournament.

Returning starters: Hannah Coombe (Sr., MH), Julie Dauer (Sr., S/RS), Margaret Davis (Sr., L), Serana Hubert (Jr., DS), Teagan Knechtel (Jr., MB), Elizabeth Potter (Jr., OH), Kayla Sulek (Sr., MB).

Others to watch: Olivia Storaci (Fr., OH).

Outlook: The Silver Creek volleyball program has been booming and has made it to the state tournament for two straight years, including an improbable run through the regional tournament in 2012. With a new coach and new systems, this year's goals are to get better with each game while the Raptors adjust. With five seniors, the Raptors want to compete for the Northern League title and make another run at the state tournament.

 

SKYLINE FALCONS

Coach: Will Rozum (5th year).

Last year: 5-18.

Returning starters: Naomi Barron (Jr., MB), Brittany Pair (Sr., RS), Kaylee Spencer (Sr., OH), Alyssa Steed (Jr., L).

Others to watch: Kelsey Robison (So., S).

Outlook: The Falcons' goal is a simple one: to break into the top 36 and qualify for regionals. Last season was a rough one but head coach Will Rozum says he has an exceptionally hard-working group and the returning players are showing the maturity and experience they'll need to rebound from last year's struggles.

TWIN PEAKS TIMBERWOLVES

Coach: Kimberly Wilson (1st year).

Last year: First season as varsity team.

Returning starters: None.

Others to watch: Megan Hiatt (Jr., Setter), Melissa Hulstrom (Jr., OH), Grace Osteliek (Jr., OH).

Outlook: Playing in its first CHSAA-sanctioned season, the Timberwolves are out to gain experience at varsity level. Under head coach Kimberly Wilson, the Timberwolves have set their goals high and she says she knows the girls will be ready to compete at this level with their enthusiasm and will power. Having played together for a shortened probationary season, the Timberwolves are excited to participate in as twice as many matches as they did last season.

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