Volleyball: The poll

1. Arundel

Coach: Ashley Yuscavage

Last season: 15-3, No. 7

Postseason: Class 4A state semifinalist

Outlook: The Wildcats return most of a talented team — led by twins Lindsay and Ashlyn Tapley — and on paper Arundel doesn't appear to have a weakness.

2. Centennial

Coach: Larry Schofield

Last season: 19-1, No. 2

Postseason: Class 3A state finalist

Outlook: Centennial must find a way to overcome the loss of All-Metro performers Samantha Brostrom and Liz Brown, but the Eagles still return a talented and deep team.

3. St. Paul's

Coach: Kelli Williamson

Last season: 14-3, No. 11

Postseason: IAAM A Conference semifinalist

Outlook: The Gators will be led by seniors Hailey Fitzgerald and Kabria Haskins and appear to be ready to end Mount de Sales' three-year run as IAAM A Conference champs.

4. Towson

Coach: Emily Berman

Last season: 19-0, No. 1

Postseason: Class 3A state champion

Outlook: Towson capped a magical season last year with an upset in the Class 3A final, and most of the players from that team return.

5. Archbishop Spalding

Coach: Scott Rombach

Last season: 17-2, No. 6 Postseason: MD/DC Private Schools semifinalist

Outlook: The Cavaliers will return most of the team that was the runner-up in the IAAM A Conference, and they will push

St. Paul's for the title this year.

6. Fallston

Coach: Ali Winaker

Last season: 18-2, No. 5 Postseason:

Class 2A state champion

Outlook: Fallston will be led by talented senior Rachael Holehouse, but the Cougars must replace the power that graduated All-Metro hitter Shannon Webb generated.

7. Mount Hebron

Coach: Mike Moynihan

Last season: 13-4, No. 9 Postseason:

Class 3A East regional quarterfinalist

Outlook: A strong defense should help Mt. Hebron push Centennial in a more balanced Howard County league this year.

8. Century

Coach: Becky Groves

Last season: 15-2, No. 8 Postseason:

Class 2A West regional champion

Outlook: The Knights lost All-Metro setter Allie Reed, but they return enough to be the favorite in Carroll County.

9. Howard

Coach: Katie Collins

Last season: 10-5, unranked Postseason: Class 3A East regional semifinalist

Outlook: Although they lost six seniors, the Lions return a strong offensive lineup that will be led by senior Kimberly Moor and sophomore Sydney Biniak.

10. Broadneck

Coach: Scott Graf

Last season: 10-5, unranked

Postseason: Class 4A East quarterfinalist

Outlook: Broadneck had an off-year by its own lofty standards last season, but the Bruins return a solid core led by senior Alli Graf.

11. River Hill

Coach: Lynn Paynter

Last season: 15-2, No. 3

Postseason: Class 3A East champion

Outlook: This will be a rebuilding year for the Hawks, who lost Gatorade Player of the Year Megan Rosburg and All-Metro performer Sarah Okey from last year's team.

12. Mount de Sales

Coach: Monica Owensby

Last season: 16-2, No. 4

Postseason: MD/DC Private Schools finalist

Outlook: Graduation has finally caught up with the defending IAAM A Conference champs. Senior Taylor Beaumont will be counted on for both her leadership and her offense this season.

13. Severna Park

Coach: Dave Verostic

Last season: 12-5, No. 10 Postseason:

Class 4A East regional semifinalist

Outlook: Things would appear to be dire for a team that has only one starter back, but Verostic is excited about this group, which has some experience returning.

14. Liberty

Coach: Brian Trumbo

Last season: 12-5, No. 15 Postseason:

Class 2A West regional quarterfinalist

Outlook: Trumbo says this is the most athletic team he has had at Liberty, and the Lions have plenty of experience returning. Look for Liberty to push Century for the Carroll County title and a berth in the state Class 2A semifinals.

15. Marriotts Ridge

Coach: Amanda Olsen

Last season: 11-8, No. 14 Postseason:

Class 2A state finalist

Outlook: The Mustangs return seven players from last year, six of whom are now seniors. Two seasons ago, the Mustangs made the state semifinals. Last year, they made the state title game. This year, they'll look to take that final step.

OTHERS CONSIDERED: Dulaney (14-4), North Carroll (13-3), Notre Dame Prep (6-5), Reservoir (12-5), Seton Keough (11-6), Wilde Lake (5-7)

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