Volleyball: 2018 Season Preview Capsules
Westminster players jump from their seats on the bench as they celebrate a point against Northern-Calvert in the Class 3A state final volleyball match at University of Maryland's Ritchie Coliseum on Nov. 18, 2017. (Brian Krista / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Coach: Bryan Trumbo, 6th year

2017 record: 11-4, 9-3 county


First match: Sept. 4 at Edgewood

Key losses: Melissa Bonzelet, Lindsay Robert, Gillian Sinnott, Allyson Windell, Madison Young

Key returners: Ally Everton, junior L; Caroline Mastria, junior OH

Outlook: Century lost five starters to graduation, including a pair of Times first-team all-county picks in Bonzelet (204 kills) and Robert (102). Mastria is back after totaling 86 kills (1.8 per set), and Everton gave Century 256 digs on defense. Trumbo said via email the Knights “have their work cut out for them but have young talent that are hungry to compete.”

Francis Scott Key

Coach: Serra Berry, 2nd year

2017 record: 2-12, 2-10 county

First match: Sept. 4 at South Carroll

Key losses: Riley Bittner, Shannon Saghy, Joelle Snader

Key returners: Kennedy Cornick, senior MH; Jocelyn Snader, junior DS/L; Karla Stonesifer, senior MH

Outlook: Berry said via email the Eagles changed their culture last fall and created a new foundation for success. They lost Joelle Snader, one of Carroll’s top defensive players, to graduation, but senior Alissa Owings (4.3 digs per set) might be next up with Cornick manning the front row. “The Eagles are working hard and coming out strong as the only 1A team in the county,” Berry said.


Coach: Michael Rainbow, 2nd year (6th overall)

2017 record: 13-3, 10-2 county

First match: Sept. 11 at Winters Mill

Key losses: Emily Eckles, Taylor Fowlkes


Key returners: Grace Bauer, junior DS/L; Mia Dietz, senior S; Lydia Leiner, senior OH; Riley Sams, senior DS/L; Ali Whitworth, junior S/OH

Outlook: The Lions handed county champion Westminster its lone regular-season loss in 2017, and they return a good bit of talent from that squad. Leiner, a first-team all-county pick last fall, averaged 4.3 kills per set. Whitworth, another first-teamer, averaged 7.5 assists but Rainbow may utilize her in more offensive ways this year. “The Liberty Lions will look to find leadership from their returners, and growth from their newcomers as they stay focused on developing as a team,” Rainbow said via email.

Manchester Valley

Coach: Teri Leatherwood, 7th year

2017 record: 6-8, 4-8 county

First match: Sept. 6 at S. Hagerstown

Key losses: Marlee Dzergoski, Kelli Garriott

Key returner: Josey Klingenberg, senior S

Outlook: With four seniors, and its top two offensive players from 2017 graduated, Leatherwood said via email Man Valley might be in “rebuilding” mode. Klingenberg, a first-team all-county pick last fall at libero, is moving back to setter, where she played as a freshman. A mixture of juniors and sophomores is being used to try and replace Dzergoski and Garriott, bur Leatherwood said it “will be tough.”

South Carroll

Coach: Stacy Trivett, 2nd year

2017 record: 0-14, 0-12 county

First match: Sept 4 vs. Francis Scott Key

Key losses: None

Key returners: Gabrielle Greaney, senior OH; Hailey Kirkendall, senior OPP; Larissa Manrique, junior S; Rachel Palmer, senior L

Outlook: It’s nowhere to go but up for the Cavaliers, and they have nine juniors to help create a deep roster in 2018. Look for Palmer — one of SC’s four seniors — and junior Kaylee Oden to main the back row. Trivett said via email the Cavs are “looking to continue rebuilding their program with focus and determination.”


Coach: Ed Benish, 6th year

2017 record: 17-2, 11-1 county

First match: Sept. 4 at Linganore

Key losses: Lindsey Campbell, Elena Hess, Hannah Jones, Sarah O’Donnell

Key returners: Emily Bartlett, senior S; Zoe Costley, senior MH; Kasey Thomas, junior L; Jilienne Widener, junior OH

Outlook: One year removed from a CCAL title and a Class 3A state finals appearance, Westminster seems primed to make another run. Widener is the two-time reigning Times Player of the Year — she totaled 347 kills (5.7 per set) — and Bartlett also returns after leading Carroll with 9.1 assists per set. “It’s been awesome seeing our team focus on being relentless, being the ultimate teammate, and getting better in our roles every day,” Benish said via email.

Winters Mill

Coach: Kari Totten, 5th year

2017 record: 8-8, 6-6 county

First match: Sept. 7 at Hereford

Key losses: Dana Byron, Jenna Schaeffer

Key returners: Jordan Badorrek, senior S; Ashley Bobnar, senior OPP; Brynn Choplin, senior OH; Megan Ruff, senior OH; Kayla Vaeth, senior L; Kristin Vaeth, senior MH

Outlook: Kayla Vaeth put together a first-team all-county season for the Falcons a year ago, so the Falcons have a defensive presence returning to the court. She’s one of seven seniors, and the Falcons have veterans across the board. “We have a strong team, made up of very talented players who work extremely well together,” Totten said via email. “We’ve been looking forward to this season for a long time.”