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Century

Coach: Bryan Trumbo, 7th year

2018 record: 10-6, 7-5 county

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First match: Sept. 6 vs. Catonsville

Key losses: None

Key returners: Maria Acaron, junior M/OH; Eva Brandt, sophomore MH; Ally Everton, senior L; Caroline Kennell, senior OH; Caroline Mastria, senior OH

Outlook: Trumbo said via email the Knights have “a complete team” this fall at every position, and with former Liberty setter Ali Whitworth joining as a transfer, he expects them to contend in 2019. Mastria (200 kills, 4.0 per set) should lead the offense once more after an all-county season in 2018. “This year’s squad is excited to compete together as a well-rounded unit,” Trumbo said.

Francis Scott Key

Coach: Serra Berry, 3rd year

2018 record: 5-11, 4-8 county

First match: Sept. 10 at Liberty

Key losses: Savannah Brooks, Kennedy Cornick, Karla Stonesifer

Key returners: Laura Gilford, junior H; Makayla Orwig, sophomore MH; Olivia Zepp, senior S

Outlook: Brooks (2.6 kills, 3.7 digs per set) is off to Springdale Prep in New Windsor for basketball, and FSK graduated Cornick and Stonesifer from its front line. Zepp (5.5 assists) returns to pace the Eagles’ offense. “By combining the naturally strong chemistry within our lineups and attainable short-term goals, we hope to bring a relentless offense and scrappy defensive strategy,” Berry said via email.

Liberty

Coach: Vicki Williams, 1st year

2018 record: 10-6, 7-5 county

First match: Sept. 10 vs. F.S. Key

Key losses: Grace Bauer, Mia Dietz, Lydia Leiner, Riley Sams, Lexi Vaccarella, Ali Whitworth

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Key returners: Jolie Jones, senior DS/L; Maddy Mooney, senior MH/OPP; Emma von Riegen, junior OH

Outlook: Replacing Leiner, one of the top players in Carroll for the last few years, will be a challenge. Dietz is also gone after averaging 7 assists per set in 2018. The Lions’ new era features a new coach in Williams, who will be relying on voids to be filled. “With two freshmen, and the returning varsity squad working hard every day to empower each other, the Lions are looking forward to our competition,” Williams said via email.

Manchester Valley

Coach: Victoria Howell, 1st year

2018 record: 4-12, 2-10 county

First match: Sept. 10 vs. South Carroll

Key loss: Josey Klingenberg

Key returners: Bella Alder, junior OH; Callie Houck, senior OH/MH

Outlook: Howell is in for Teri Leatherwood, who moved over to coach the junior varsity team. Howell, a 2013 North Carroll graduate, has been a Mavs assistant for two years, so she’s familiar with the program. Alder (81 kills) and Houck (68) were MV’s top offensive players in 2018, but Howell will look to replace all-county talent in Klingenberg (4.4 assists, 2.8 digs per set last year). “We are hoping to have a successful and fun season this year,” Howell said via email.

South Carroll

Coach: Brianna Gordon, 1st year

2018 record: 0-15, 0-12 county

First match: Sept. 6 at Hereford

Key loss: Hailey Kirkendall

Key returners: Larissa Manrique, senior S; Sydney Walker, senior OH

Outlook: Gordon said via email she’s excited for the challenge of turning around the Cavs’ program, which has been winless for two full seasons. Manrique and Walker are captains for SC, and Gordon said her newcomers, led by Melissa James (junior middle hitter) and Calista Kalishek (freshman libero), should help the team jell. “With strong players and experienced coaches, SC is anxious to gain its first varsity win in more than 2 years early in the season, and continue the success from there,” Gordon said.

Westminster

Coach: Evan Frock, 1st year

2018 record: 16-2, 11-1 county

First match: Sept. 10 vs. Dulaney

Key losses: Emily Bartlett, Shelby Cheuvront, Zoe Costley, Tatum Keck, Laken Neff

Key returners: Sabina Rinda, junior OH; Emily Stauder, senior S; Kasey Thomas, senior L; Jilienne Widener, senior OH

Outlook: After a trip to the state final in 2017 and semifinals in 2018, the Owls enter 2019 with motivation to add a championship. They lost several key contributors, but return the three-time reigning Player of the Year in Widener (327 kills, 5.8 per set). Stauder takes over for Bartlett, and Thomas is back after an all-county junior year. “We have great senior leadership that will help us navigate the season. We are looking forward to a great season competing together as a team,” Frock said via email.

Winters Mill

Coach: Kari Totten, 6th year

2018 record: 14-3, 11-1 county

First game: Sept. 10 at Century

Key losses: Jordan Badorrek, Ashley Bobnar, Brynn Choplin, Megan Ruff, Kayla Vaeth, Kristin Vaeth

Key returners: Camryn Foley, senior MH; Emma Wilt, junior L

Outlook: The co-county champion Falcons lost three first-team all-county picks to graduation in Badorrek, Choplin, and Kayla Vaeth. But Totten, the reigning Times Coach of the Year, said via email she’s looking forward to rebuilding the program “with the leadership of our returning varsity players.” Foley (14 kills) and Wilt (13 digs) have such experience, albeit in limited roles to this point.

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