There were plenty of reasons for North Carroll's resurgence to the top of the county volleyball scene this season.
The biggest one by far was the development of 5-foot-11 junior Joy Huber.
As Huber went, so went the Panthers.
Coach Linda Richards said Huber had problems early with her blocking, but by season's end, Richards said she became "the best blocker I've ever coached."
Huber set a school record this season with 104 blocks and had 248 kills.
It was those impressive numbers along with her improving all-around play that helped North Carroll reclaim the county title and make her The Baltimore Sun's Volleyball Player of the Year in Carroll County.
"We didn't have any height aside from Joy," Richards said. "We could have been hurting, but she really came through."
After a 4-4 start, the Panthers ended the season with seven straight wins behind the dominating play of Huber.
Along with winning the county title, their 11-4 record gave the Panthers a share of the Central Maryland Conference title.
Huber began playing regularly on the varsity squad at the end of last season as a sophomore and became the focal point of the squad this season -- improving as the season progressed.
To go with her hitting and blocking numbers, she also had 117 shoots and dinks and had a 92 percent success ratio on her sets.
She also improved on the one area she struggled -- serving. Richards credits Huber's willingness to work to become a better server.
"She's very quick and can really jump, but the most important thing is she just loves volleyball and is willing to work," Richards said.