Hammond lost just six volleyball players from last year, and it returns the county's most veteran squad.
Eleven of 12 Bears are juniors or seniors, so the strength of the team lies in experience and depth.
The Bears don't have the power to contend with Centennial, but they should remain in the top half of the county standings. Last season, they finished 9-5, in third place in the county, and 9-6 overall.
Duplicating that record might not be difficult, but interim coach Bob Maxey would like to post at least one more win and reach the regionals.
"In the county, if you can be 10-4 or 9-5, you're going to be in the hunt," said Maxey. "After the county, since the county has such quality teams with Mount Hebron and Centennial in Class 3A, that makes it a little easier for us 2As to make it into the region. And once you make it into the region, anything can happen."
Although he has two primary hitters, Maxey will rotate at least eight players. Leading the way are senior veterans Sonia Keiner and Crissy Dispenza.
Keiner, a 5-foot-10 hitter who was All-County as a sophomore, has the most power on the team as well as a complete all-around game. She also set last year in the Bears' 6-2 offense.
Dispenza, a 6-0 hitter, doesn't have quite the power of her teammate yet, but she has the potential to hit just as hard.
"Those two are our big-kill-type players," said Maxey. "We need them to have good games if we're going to be successful."
The Bears, however, will need consistent contributions from the rest of the lineup if they hope to contend. Maxey appears to have enough talent to give Keiner and Dispenza a lot of support.
Another 6-0 senior, Traci Bumgarner, should see plenty of action along with senior hitter Amy Hanson, sophomore hitter Tina Wilmer, senior setters Stacy Louk, Lindsay McCaskill and Angela Ries and junior setter Mishael Shabrami.
Rounding out the roster are junior hitters Jennifer Hultgren and Autumn Roby and junior setter Julie Finglass.
The Bears have been running a 6-2 offense, but Maxey prefers to have three setters on the court.
"We have enough girls who can hit and enough who can set that I think that will be a little bit easier for them," he said.
The Bears open with a non-league match against Seton Keough on Sept. 22. Then they draw the county's preseason top three -- Mount Hebron, Glenelg and Centennial -- all in an eight-day span.