KEY: DS-defensive specialist, L-libero, LOH-left outside hitter, MH-middle hitter, MB-middle blocker, ROH-right outside hitter, OH-outside hitter, S-setter
Coaches’ predictions: t-1. Okemos, t-1. Holt, 3. East Lansing, 4. Jackson, 5. Grand Ledge, 6. Everett, 7. Sexton, 8. Eastern
Top players: Brooke Peiffer (Holt), Daria Richards (Okemos), Lauren Seagren (Holt), Rachel Thomas (Okemos), Claire Hunter (East Lansing), Alena Hartsuff (East Lansing), Madison Lotycx (Grand Ledge)
Last year: 4th (14-16)
Coach: Jan Dreffs (7th season)
Top returning players: Claire Hunter (jr. OH), Alena Hartsuff (jr. MH), Allie Bradley (jr. L), Andrea Petrowitz (sr. OH), Briley Brogan (so. S), Adrianna Medina (jr. MH), Grace Henry (jr. S/DS), MAriyah Lewis (jr. MH)
Other contributors: Kai Dotson (jr. S), Evelyn Taylor (jr. MH), Ai Ueyama (so. S), Sabrina Boxer (so. OH)
Outlook: The Trojans return just one senior to their team in 2015. However, Jan Dreff’s team welcomes back eight players from last year’s squad that have varsity experience. Juniors Claire Hunter and Alena Hartsuff were all-league last season.
Last year: 8th (1-18)
No other information submitted.
Last year: t-6th (4-18)
Coach: Semekia Fowler (1st season)
Top returning players: Jillian Johnson (sr. S/OH), Victoria Guardiola (sr. S/OH), Almerisa Dzananovic (jr. OH), Nakia Drane (sr. MH/OH), Ruth Becerrril (sr. L), Cortoria Jones (sr. OH/MH)
Other contributors: Jada Page (jr. MH)
Outlook: Under first-year coach Semekia Fowler, the Vikings have set high expectations. Jillian Johnson was all-league last year and is one of several returning seniors for Everett. Fowler hopes to see the Vikings climb in the league standings.
Last year: 5th (11-22-1)
Coach: Castyn Williams (1st season)
Top returning players: Madison Lotycz (so. S/MB), Julia Jaros (jr. MB), Makenna Hoggard (sr. DS/L), Sarah Heriford (sr. DS/L), Claire Kinloch (sr. S/ROH), Lauren Garrigus (sr. OH)
Other contributors: Mollie Winger (so. OH), Abbie Schaner (jr. S/OH), Courtney Scharland (fr. MB/OH)
Outlook: With a whole new staff in place, the Comets look to improve from their fifth-place league finish from a year ago. Sophomore Madison Lotycz returns after earning all-league honors and being named team MVP as as a freshman. Grand Ledge will also add 6-foot-2 freshman Courtney Scharland, who is expected to contribute heavily this season.
Last year: 1st (21-8-5)
Coach: Kellie Sweitzer (7th season)
Top returning players: Brooke Peiffer (sr. OH), Lauren Seagren (sr. MB), Alana Sundermann (jr. S), Allie Peterson (jr. MB/ROH)
Other contributors: Maddie David (jr. MB/ROH), Olivia Potter (jr. OH)
Outlook: The Rams return several pieces from last year’s team that went 14-0 in the CAAC Blue. Brooke Peiffer and Lauren Seagren were both all-league and all-region last season, and Alana Sundermann and Allie Peterson are both two-year varsity players. Coach Kellie Sweitzer says “this is the season we’ve been looking forward to for years.”
Last year: 2nd (23-13-1)
Coach: Jamie Ianni (16th season)
Top returning players: Daria Richards (sr. MB), Rachel Thomas (sr. MB), Ryan Castle (jr. OH), Shania Miller (jr. OH), Bre DeLoye (so. MB), Natalie Long (sr. DS), Sydney Fountain (jr. S)
Other contributors: Brooke Bez (sr. DS), Sage VanAlstine (so. OH)
Outlook: With “an exceptional core of returning players,” coach Jamie Ianni says the Chiefs are looking to compete for league and district titles in 2015. Okemos returns two Division I signees in Daria Richards (Baylor) and Rachel Thomas (Tennessee Tech), and junior Ryan Castle was honorable mention all-conference last year.
Last year: t-6th (3-11)
Coach: Linnett Gardner (3rd season)
Top returning players: Erin Howard (sr. MH/DS), Na-lee Thao (sr. S), Nieya Brown (sr. OH/DS)
Other contributors: Auncia McCullough (jr. OH), Jada Chapman (jr. DS)
Outlook: The Big Reds return a team that lacks much experience. Only Erin Howard and Nieya Brown have more than one year of varsity experience. Coach Linnett Gardner wants to see her team improve from last year’s record.
Coaches’ predictions: 1. Mason, 2. DeWitt, 3. Haslett, 4. St. Johns, 5. Owosso, 6. Waverly
Top players: Willow Martin (Mason), Erin McDermot (Mason), Megan Mowid (Haslett), Lexi Nordmann (DeWitt)
Last year: t-1st (40-10)
Coach: Christy Drayton (8th season)
Top returning players: Lexi Nordmann (jr. MH), Lilly George (sr. MH), Gabi Mundt (sr. L), Brooke Binkley (so. S)
Other contributors: Grace George (so. OH)
Outlook: The Panthers graduated seven seniors from last season’s team, which captured the school’s first Class A district title. Coach Christy Drayton is looking for younger girls to fill the shoes of her former players. Lexi Nordmann, who is verbally committed to Division I Southern Methodist University, was all-league and all-region last season, and senior Lilly George was all-league.
Last year: 3rd (38-13-5)
Coach: Drew Dudley (2nd season)
Top returning players: Megan Mowid (sr. S), Molly Cummins (sr. OH), Mia Salvador (sr. L/DS), Kenzie Winkler (sr. DS/L), Sarah Schmid (jr. RS), Selah Rowe (jr. MB), Lane Valley (jr. S), Emily Wegenke (sr. DS)
Other contributors: Shyan Goodrich (sr. OH), Madelyn Lampman (sr. OH), Brittany Bradley (jr. MB), Bianca Kinder (jr. MB)
Outlook: The Vikings return nine of 12 players from last year’s team in hopes of improving from their third-place league finish. Senior setter Megan Mowid was all-league and all-conference, Molly Cummins was a Class A honorable mention all-state selection, and Mia Salvador and Kenzie Winkler earned league honors.
Last year: t-1st (41-11-1)
Coach: Elisa Zwick (18th season)
Top returning players: Willow Martin (sr. OH), Erin McDermott (sr. S), Kaycee Richmond (sr. MH), Danielle Jones (sr. MH), Sidney Binger (OH/ROH), Kelsey Grant (ROH)
Outlook: Coach Elisa Zwick returns pivotal pieces in Willow Martin, who is committed to Western Michigan, and Erin McDermott, a Central Connecticut University commit, who will help the Bulldogs remain as one of the top teams in Class A. Mason captured both district and regional titles last year.
Last year: 6th (1-9)
Coach: Julie Croy (10-plus seasons)
Top returning players: Erin Konopacke (sr. S), Kate Jones (jr. DS), Ellie Hood (jr. OH)
Outlook: The Trojans are looking to move up in the CAAC Red, according to coach Julie Croy. Owosso returns two three-year varsity players in Erin Konopacke and Kate Jones.
Last year: 4th (21-18-5)
Coach: Katy White (1st season)
Top returning players: Alyssa Elsea (jr. MH), Brooke Mazzolini (sr. OH), Jessica Hafner (sr. OH)
Other contributors: Maddie Maloney (so. S), Olivia Waszak (so. MH)
Outlook: Katy White takes over a St. Johns team that is looking to improve from last year’s fourth-place finish.
Last year: t-6th (10-24-1)
Coach: Brittany Kevern (1st season)
Top returning players: Angel Hague (sr. S), Atiyaa Bolling (sr. OH), Mariyah Moore (sr. OH), Makailah Jackson (sr. ROH), Malin Smith (so. MB), Alisia Smith (jr. MB), Cyann Saxton (sr. LOH), Sarah Miller (sr. DS), Kyra Walker (sr. DS)
Other contributors: Isabella Pizzo (so. ROH), Hayle Flowers (so. LOH/ROH), Natalie Rodgers (jr. DS), Raquel Goodwin (sr. MH), Ashley Wellington (jr. S)
Outlook: First-year coach Brittany Kevern will take over a Waverly team that returns a lot of players from last season. The Warriors hope to improve from last season’s sixth-place league finish.
Coaches’ predictions: 1. Fowlerville, 2. Williamston, 3. Lansing Catholic, 4. Portland, 5. Eaton Rapids, 6. Ionia
Top players: Renee Sturm (Williamston), Maddie Maloney (Lansing Catholic), Mary Price (Eaton Rapids), Hannah Trierweiler (Portland)
Last year: t-4th (12-18-1)
Coach: Amanda Marriott (4th season)
Top returning players: Mary Price (sr. OH), Jessi Burge (sr. L)
Other contributors: Breckyn Hiemstra (sr. S), Gabby Jones (sr. OH), Kaleeah Davis (so. MH), Taylor Grant (jr. MH)
Outlook: The Greyhounds bring back just four players from last year’s team, and only one of them will be a returning starter. Coach Amanda Marriott says her team will be facing a rebuilding season with three juniors, three freshmen and one sophomore on the roster. Senior Jessi Burge was all-league honorable mention in 2014.
Last year: 3rd (28-12-4)
Coach: Michelle Hardenbrook (15th season)
Top returning players: Megan Kiefer (sr. LOH), Bre Ray (sr. DS), Jewlissa Aldred (jr. DS), Erin Vielbig (jr. MH)
Other contributors: Paige Temple (jr. S), Leah Ash (fr. MH), Autumn Barbour (so. LOH)
Outlook: The Gladiators graduated nine players from last year’s team, and coach Michelle Hardenbrook says her varsity squad is rebuilding “with a stellar JV team from last year.” Fowlerville gets back senior Megan Kiefer, who was sidelined with a torn ACL last season, and gets a new setter from junior varsity in Paige Temple, who Hardenbrook feels will be “a great addition.”
Last year: t-4th (12-16-3)
Coach: Jeanna Kraatz (6th season)
Top returning players: Camryn Klein (sr. OH), Gabby Simmons (jr. ROH), Madi Lynn (sr. MH), Maddie Geldhof (sr. OH)
Other contributors: Jayden Gernty (sr. S), Kenya White (sr. DS)
Outlook: Coach Jeanna Kraatz says this season will be “a lot different than past years” for the Bulldogs. According to the six-year coach, there is no clear standout and everyone plays at 100 percent. Camryn Klein is a four-year varsity player.
Last year: 2nd (24-8-4)
Coach: Ryan Miller (4th season)
Top returning players: Maddie Maloney (sr. MH), Chloe Miller (sr. L), Liz Wojtysiak (sr. ROH), Ally Lasch (jr. S), Mary Beth Flores (jr. DS)
Other contributors: Becka Poljan (so. MH), Kasi Kirkpatrick (jr. S)
Outlook: Coach Ryan Miller adds some new pieces to go with his solid returning players from a year ago. The Cougars added sophomore Becka Poljan, who was on junior varsity last season, and Kasi Kirkpatrick, who played varsity for DeWitt last year. Chloe Miller and Liz Wojtysiak are three-year varsity standouts, and Maddie Maloney has height and experience.
Last year: t-4th (10-28-4)
Coach: Allison DeGroot (1st season)
Top returning players: Hannah Trierweiler (sr. MH), Brooke Lanz (sr. OH), Amanda Pohl (sr. MH)
Other contributors: Madison Palmiter (jr. L), Brooke Butterfield (jr. OH)
Outlook: Despite this being her first season as the varsity coach, Allison DeGroot is very familiar with her group of girls in 2015. The Raiders’ seniors were DeGroot’s first group of freshmen when she arrived at the school four years ago. With the help of veterans like Hannah Trierweiler, Brooke Lanz and Amanda Pohl, Portland looks to “set new standards” this year.
Last year: 1st (9-1)
Coach: Sarah Conklin (3rd season)
Top returning players: Renee Sturm (sr. OH), Julia Henderson (sr. DS)
Other contributors: Maddie Watters (so. OH), Alona Kemler (fr. S)
Outlook: The Hornets graduated a core group of players from last season’s team, but return Class B honorable mention all-state standout Renee Sturm. Coach Sarah Conklin says Williamston is young, but has been working hard to maintain program success.
Coaches’ predictions: 1. Bath, 2. Laingsburg, 3. Pewamo-Westphalia, 4. Fowler. 5. Potterville, 6. Dansville, 7. Saranac, t-8. Fulton, t-8. Portland St. Patrick
Top players: Lindsey Smith (Laingsburg), Maddy Byrnes (Laingsburg), Tessa Hosford (Bath), Emily Angell (Bath), Sydne Everts (Dansville), Emma Schafer (P-W), Caitlyn Kane (Laingsburg), Brittany Matsumoto (Bath)
Last year: 3rd (32-12-2)
Coach: Kristen McIntyre (9th season)
Top returning players: Tessa Hosford (jr. OH), Jessica Stoskopf (jr. L), Madi Margraves (sr. OH), Emily Angell (jr. MH), Isabelle Handzo (sr. MH), April Svendsen (sr. S/DS), Taylor Buck (jr. OPP), Brittany Matsumoto (jr. S), Maddi Gutzki (jr. L), Joni Tadgerson (sr. DS)
Other contributors: Kailey Wahrer (jr. DS/OH), Hannah Fouch (jr. MH)
Outlook: The Bees return 10 players from their third-place team of a year ago. Emily Angell, who was the team offensive MVP last year, tore her ACL during basketball season and is just now getting into the flow of things. Bath is a favorite to capture the league crown, and juniors Tessa Hosford and Jessica Stoskopf play a big part in that.
Last year: 6th (9-26-3)
Coach: Heidi Bumpus (3rd season)
Top returning players: Sydne Everts (sr. MH), Myranda May (sr. S), Bailey Malthaner (sr. OH)
Other contributors: Parker Cook (sr. DS/L), Dakota Bumpus (jr. S), Erin Hunt (jr. OH), Meghan Byars (jr. OH/MH)
Outlook: The Aggies look to move into the top half of the CMAC in 2015. Coach Heidi Bumpus says she has a small team this season but is “looking to be more competitive.” Sydne Everts is one of four returning seniors for Dansville.
Last year: 1st (30-15-4)
Coach: Patty Feldpausch (7th season)
Top returning players: Kalli Feldpausch (sr. DS), Danielle Schafer (sr. OH), Taylor Schmitt (sr. S)
Other contributors: Kendra Koenigsknecht (sr. ROH), Katie Piggott (jr. MH), Maddie Koenigsknecht (sr. MH), Bri Braun (jr. OH)
Outlook: The Eagles lose nine seniors from last season’s team that was atop the CMAC. Coach Patty Feldpausch anticipates her inexperienced players will step up throughout the season. Seniors Kalli Feldpausch, Danielle Schafer and Taylor Schmitt are all expected to be big contributors for Fowler.
Last year: 14-34
Coach: Tracy Beadlescomb (28th season)
Top returning players: Teagan Batis (sr. S), Kirsten Maniez (sr. DS), Victoria Vegla (sr. OH), Savannah Fuller (jr. MH)
Other contributors: Mackenzie Betz (jr. S), Darian Sali (sr. DS)
Outlook: Coach Tracy Beadlescomb says her Pirates team “will be inexperienced to start,” but expects them to pick it up as the season goes on.
Last year: 2nd (30-18-3)
Coach: Tennille Whitmore (14th season)
Top returning players: Lindsey Smith (sr. S), Maddy Byrnes (sr. L), Caitlyn Kane (sr. ROH), Maya Ferland (so. MH), Silvia Strieff (jr. MH)
Other contributors: Erin Cooper (jr. LOH), Sophie Strieff (so. LOH), Alex Randall (so. MH)
Outlook: The Wolfpack return a core group of players who played a major part in last year’s second-place league finish. Lindsey Smith was all-region in 2014 and Maddy Byrnes was second team all-league. Laingsburg has three girls on its roster that are 6-foot or taller, which includes honorable mention all-leaguer Caitlyn Kane.
Last year: 5th (9-19-6)
Coach: Jon Thelen (1st season)
Top returning players: Emma Schafer (sr. S/ROH), Sarah Lehman (sr. S), Peri Pung (sr. MH), Kenzie Thelen (sr. OH)
Other contributors: Kenzie Hengesbach (jr. MH), Kathryn Hengesbach (so. OH)
Outlook: In his first season as coach, Jon Thelen will coach a Pirates squad that returns 10 seniors. Thelen expects the experience to translate to wins, and honorable mention all-conference performers Sarah Lehman and Peri Pung will help lead the way.
PORTLAND ST. PATRICK
Last year: 18-21-2
Coach: Heidi Wenzel (1st season)
Top returning players: Hannah Greenwood (jr. MH), Cammi Schneider (sr. S)
Other contributors: Logan Cook (sr. OH), Brittany Thelen (jr. S/OH)
Outlook: The Shamrocks are in a rebuilding phase under first-year coach Heidi Wenzel. PSP lost a large group of seniors from last year’s team, and Wenzel hopes her versatile players can lead the team this season.
Last year: 5th (10-19-3)
Coach: Don Peterson (8th season)
Top returning players: Sam Stanton (sr. ROH), Katie Holben (sr. S), Taryn Hayes (sr. OH)
Other contributors: Sierra Tamez (sr. OH)
Outlook: The Vikings bring back a handful of seniors in hopes of improving on last season’s fifth-place finish.
Last year: 9th
Coach: Amy McElvain and Danette Nordhoff (2nd season)
Top returning players: Mackenzie Jackson (sr. L), Brynne Harder (jr. MH), Kelsey Coulier (jr. DS), Brianna Bergy (sr. ROH)
Other contributors: Emma Pachulski (so. OH), Kayla Young (jr. MH)
Outlook: Mackenzie Jackson, who is a two-time honorable mention all-league performer, returns to lead a Saranac team that is looking to move up in the league. Coach Amy McElvain says her team has “great chemistry.”
Coaches’ predictions: 1. Lakewood, 2. Olivet, 3. Lansing Christian, 4. Perry, 5. Stockbridge, 6. Maple Valley, 7. Leslie
Top players: Gabie Shellenbarger (Lakewood), Charlie Smith (Lakewood), Karly Morris (Lakewood), Taylor Holmes (Olivet), Jessica Taylor (Stockbridge), Shaylyn Sprout (Stockbridge), Paige Porter (Lansing Christian), Adair Cutler (Lansing Christian)
Last year: 1st (51-9)
Coach: Kellie Rowland (19th season)
Top returning players: Karly Morris (sr. L/OH), Charlie Smith (sr. OH), Gabie Shellenbarger (jr. S), Kate Senneker (jr. DS), Kate Keitzman (so. DS), Lisa Hewitt (so. MB), Alivia Bennedict (so. ROH), Rebecca Kutch (jr. DS)
Other contributors: Breanna Wickerink (so. MB), Patsy Morris (fr. DS), Erica Potter (so. OH)
Outlook: A year removed from the Class B state finals, the Vikings return nine players who have multiple years of varsity experience. Both Charlie Smith and Gabie Shellenbarger earned all-state honors, and Karly Morris was all-league. Lakewood is currently ranked No. 2 in Class B.
Last year: 22-20-7
Coach: Dale Wethy II (2nd season)
Top returning players: Paige Porter (jr. OH), Adair Cutler (jr. S), Isabelle Meunier (sr. MH)
Other contributors: Grace Meunier (so. OH), Maddy Schulz (jr. ROH), Taylor Noyola (sr. DS), Amilia Velasquez (so. DS)
Outlook: Coach Dale Wethy is excited about the Pilgrims’ chances in 2015. He returns juniors Paige Porter and Adair Cutler, who were both Class D all-state honorees last year. Lansing Christian lost some height from last year’s team, but Wethy says they’ve been replaced with “smart players that have a no-quit mentality.”
Coach: Sarah Carpenter (7th season)
Top returning players: Megan Bonney (sr. ROH), Emily Morris (sr. S), Michaela Johnson (sr. OH), Taylor Medina (sr. L), Chloe Hicks (sr.)
Other contributors: Rachel Morris (jr. MH), Emma Franklin (so. OH)
Outlook: The Lions bring back a core group of seniors and hope to compete in the league.
Last season: 2nd (28-14-5)
Coach: Kelly Offrink (18th season)
Top returning players: Taylor Holmes (sr. S), Mikayla Wickham (sr. OH), Loren Westlake (sr. L), Hailey Jungel (sr. MH), Noelle Rohde (jr. MH)
Other contributors: Bailey Hoffman (so. OH)
Outlook: The Eagles are coming off the best season in program history, and coach Kelly Offrink hopes to continue to the momentum into 2015. Olivet brings back six players from last season’s team, which includes senior Taylor Holmes — who was all-region last year. Mikayla Wickham was honorable mention all-league and Loren Westlake was second team all-league.
Coach: Natalie Learned (3rd season)
Top returning players: Jessica Taylor (jr. L), Shaylyn Sprout (jr. MB), Hanna Woods (sr. OH)
Other contributors: Ellie Allen (jr. S), Charlotte Balkus (jr. OH)
Outlook: With eight players returning with varsity experience, the Panthers are looking to improve in the win column in 2015. Jessica Taylor, Shaylyn Sprout and Hanna Woods all earned all-league recognition last season.
CARSON CITY-CRYSTAL (MID-STATE ATHLETIC CONFERENCE)
Last year: 4th (21-24-4)
Coach: Ashley Seals (2nd season)
Top returning players: Whitney LaVictor (sr. OH), Marissa Schmitt (jr. MB), Jenna Schneider (sr. DS), Kennedy Murphy (sr. DS), Julia Fisher (jr. S)
Other contributors: Bailey Fitzpatrick (fr. OH), Haleigh Hubbell (so. ROH), Kaylee Reeder (fr. ROH), Kaylea Stone (fr. MB)
Outlook: After losing several players to graduation, the Eagles’ roster will consist of three seniors, two juniors, two sophomore and five freshmen. Coach Ashley Seals believes her team is “extremely athletic” and will look to improve every game. Senior Whitney LaVictor was all-league and all-area honorable mention last season.
CORUNNA (GENESEE AREA CONFERENCE RED)
Last year: 3rd (29-19-3)
Coach: Kari Carnell (5th season)
Top returning players: Meredith Norris (jr. OH), Skylar Napier (sr. S), Rylee Thayer (so. MH), Skye Rivett (jr. L)
Other contributors: Lexi Mort (fr. S), Myah Kelly (so. DS/OH)
Outlook: The Cavaliers will return all but one starter from last year’s squad and hope to pick up where they left off in 2014. The 6-foot-3 Meredith Norris was first team all-state last year, and Skylar Napier was all-region. Coach Kari Carnell says Napier and Norris are expected to be the leaders for Corunna and help guide the younger players.
ITHACA (TRI-VALLEY WEST CONFERENCE)
Coach: Morgan Kirby (2nd season)
Top returning players: MacKenzie Kench (sr. OH), Maddie Brock (jr. OH), Kylee Chaffin (sr. MH), Kara Kindel (jr. ROH/DS)
Other contributors: Kayla Belles
Outlook: The Yellowjackets return a core group of girls from last year’s teams. Coach Morgan Kirby expects Ithaca to compete with Valley Lutheran and St. Louis for a league title.
OVID-ELSIE (TRI-VALLEY CENTRAL CONFERENCE)
Last year: 7th (16-29-4)
Coach: Doug Long (31st season)
Top returning players: Megan Walter (sr. MB), Hannah Dennis (sr. DS), Brittany Moore (sr. L), Shaye Lintemuth (sr. S), Morgan Martin (sr. DS), Jenna Gewirtz (jr. OH/MB)
Other contributors: Emma Samson (so. OH/MB)
Outlook: The Mauraders return half of their starters from a year ago. Coach Doug Long will look to senior Megan Walter, who was honorable mention all-league last year, to help Ovid-Elsie improve fast this season.
WEBBERVILLE (GENESEE AREA CONFERENCE BLUE)
Last year: 2nd (18-16)
Coach: Gabe Murley (1st season)
Top returning players: Mackenzie Tyler (jr. S), Alex Elowsky (sr. L/OH), Alysa Badour (sr. OH)
Other contributors: Arin Elzerman (jr. DS), Autumn Stowe (sr. DS), Michaela Chambers (jr. MH)
Outlook: First-year coach Gabe Murley will be looking for newcomers to fill big roles for the Spartans in 2015. Webberville only brings back three starters from last year’s team and will rely on a strong group of underclassmen to repeat last season’s success. Mackenzie Tyler and Alex Elowsky were both honorable mention all-league last year.