School: Caesar Rodney High School

Nickname: Riders

2012 Record: 13-2

Key Returning Players: Ravyn Highsmith, Jessica Ament, Caroline Bennett, Jessica Cregan, Camille Lecompte, Amanda Weaver, Taylor Klecan, Kaitlynn Herlihy, Jennifer Bones

Key Newcomers: Anna Simpson, Kessy Stevens, Amber Pearson

Season Outlook: After a successful 13-2 record and DIAA State Tournament berth last year, the Caesar Rodney Riders volleyball squad returns to court looking to improve upon last year’s good showing. The Riders will be an experienced bunch, returning 9 seniors to the fold this season along with 7 underclassmen, 6 of which are juniors, looking to make some noise for CR this season.  The Riders have two huge factors in their favor this season, experience and hunger. The experienced players return with the bad taste of last season’s first-round loss to Charter still fresh in their minds, while the underclassmen will be fighting for playing time amongst the large number of seniors. Expect the Riders to challenge in the Henlopen Conference and once again find themselves in the DIAA State Tournament come November.

Coach’s Quote: “My expectations are the same from season to season,” said CR Head Volleyball Coach Tiffany Ranger. “As long as the girls give their best effort on and off the court I will be extremely happy. We are working hard every day to compete for the conference championship and to make it into the state tournament. This is a hard-working and determined group of young ladies; I’m excited to see what the season may bring.”

School: Dover High School

Nickname: Senators

2012 Record: 4-11

Key Returning Players: Deborah Spottswood, Hannah Myers, Ledaya Chapman, Kyndell Belcher, Sarah Myers

Key Newcomers: Zaire Jones

Season Outlook: While the Senators lost 3 seniors to graduation last season, they will return the remaining 15 players from last season’s roster. However, the Senators can still be called a young team, as 13 of the returning 15 will be juniors this season. The volleyball program is evolving and growing each season, and this year’s campaign should be no different. With the majority of their team returning with a season of experience behind them, the Senators should see some vast improvement in their record. Dover is focused on improving and that work starts in practice where the Senators have been hard at work since the beginning of preseason. While a large jump up the standings may not be realistic, the Senators certainly won’t be a pushover.

Coach’s Quote: “Every team should shoot for making the state tournament – and of course that is our goal as well,” said Dover Head Coach Ann Flocco. “With a young team, we continue to grow and develop each day and should not be a team that is underrated.”

School: Lake Forest High School

Nickname: Spartans

2012 Record:

Key Returning Players: Roshell Dalton, Coralys Lozano, Lauren Fleming, Daia Daniels

Key Newcomers: Bryn Warren, Kennedy Watson, Ariel Ingram, Zadriene Zdradsinski, Julia Joyce, Taylor Coleman, Paige Bundschuh

Season Outlook: Change is the theme for the 2013 incarnation of the Lake Forest volleyball squad. The Spartans enter the season with a new Head Coach, Monique Miller and a newly founded Junior Varsity squad that will begin play this season. While the Spartans have some returning impact players, this season is clearly about putting the building blocks in motion to start a successful volleyball program at Lake Forest. With a number of new players and underclassmen coming into the fold there will certainly be some growing pains for the Spartans. However, the Spartans seem to be on the correct path to beginning the growth of their program. Look for some exciting and fresh energy this season from this new brand of Lake Forest volleyball.

Coach’s Quote: “This season we expect to start to build a winning program,” said Lake Forest Head Coach Monique Miller. “We are looking to build the confidence, skills and knowledge of the game in not only our new players, but in our returning players as well. Another focus is to help out any of our girls who are looking to play collegiately. Of course, we’re looking to win games, and we expect some great things out of our girls, but at the same time we know that this is going to be a building year all around.”

School: Polytech High School

Nickname: Panthers

2012 Record: 12-3

Key Returning Players: Sarah Hillman, Kristin Wissler, Kelly Winters, Jen Briody, Colleen O’Brien, Lauren Mullins, Kayla Hester

Key Newcomers: Kiersten Priest, Helena Lasocha

Season Outlook: The Polytech Panthers volleyball squad posted an impressive 12-3 record in 2012, once again advancing to the DIAA State Tournament. Unfortunately, the Panthers hopes of advancing to the second round were thwarted again. This season, Head Coach Trevor Bradshaw says one of his team’s ultimate goals is to advance to the second round, something the Polytech volleyball program has never accomplished. With a number of returning impact players, and some exciting underclassmen being added to the fold, the Panthers should once again challenge in the Henlopen South and find themselves back in the DIAA State Tournament.

Coach’s Quote: “This year I had the players set their goals and expectations through a team building activity, and there were a few common threads, win the division, win the Henlopen Conference, and advance to the second round of the State Tournament,” said Polytech Head Coach Trevor Bradshaw. “If these are the goals my players set for themselves, then I have every confidence that they can achieve them through hard work, dedication, and competitive play.”

School: St. Thomas More High School

Nickname: Ravens

2012 Record: 9-6

Key Returning Players: Meghan Murphy, Stephanie Patterson, Rosa D’Antonio, Kelsey Huffman

Key Newcomers: Sarah Pool, Gillian Crawford, Alexis Stotler

Season Outlook: The Ravens volleyball squad from St. Thomas More Academy posted an under-the-radar 9-6 record last season, earning a berth in the DIAA State Tournament. The fact is the Raven’s volleyball program has been highly competitive over the last few seasons, finally earning their way into the State Tournament last season. The Ravens have several returning players who are an integral part of their success, along with Kelsey Huffman who was injured most of the 2012 season. Paired with some talented underclassmen who will join the Ravens this season and St. Thomas More may not be so under-the-radar in the 2013 season. The belief within the St. Thomas More program is that they should compete in both their division and conference this season. Also, clinching another spot in the DIAA State Tournament is a very real possibility for the Ravens.

Coach’s Quote: “I’m anticipating a strong season,” said St. Thomas More Head Coach Julie Murphy. “We definitely have the talent, and the drive. It is a young team, so we are learning along the way. I’m very excited and looking forward to this season.”