By Matt Browning
Salina Central and Salina South both struggled last season going 3-24 and 14-23, respectively. Both squads return an all-league honorable mention player in outside hitter Capri Myers (Central) and setter Mariah Janda (South).
McPherson returns AVCTL Division III Player of the Year outside hitter Rhian Swanson.
She finished the year 407 kills and a .295 hitting percentage. Also back for the Bullpups are three honorable mention all-league selections: middle hitter Katie Berg, setter Brette Doile and libero Taylor Casebeer.
Chapman lost its top three hitters from last season’s team that went 25-14. The Irish also lost their top defender. Abilene returns its top two hitters in Jenna Hayes (223 kills) and Autumn Fitzgeralds (186 kills). The Cowboys went 24-15 a year ago.
Beloit was the 3A runner-up a year ago, but the Trojans lost three players that made an all-state team.
Smoky Valley went 24-15 last season and return unanimous first team allleague middle hitter Abby Rose, who led the team in kills with 261.
Also back for the Vikings is honorable mention all-league setter McKinley Johnson.
Concordia has its second best hitter back in Chole Conway, who registered 297 kills, and its top defender back in Zoe Bechard, who had 435 digs.
Hillsboro went just 21-19 last season, but the Trojans return second team all-league outside hitter Sammie Saunders and two all-league honorable mention performers in setter Kinsey Kleiner and middle hitter Jess Saunders.
Sterling went 25-13 last year and the Black Bears return their top two hitters in Karlie Boeken (251 kills) and Kayla Morris (220 kills).
Makenna Linden led the team in digs and she also returns.
Little River went 29-10 a year ago and the Redskins return honorable mention all-state outside hitter Lily Boughfman, who led the team with 324 kills.
Rural Vista took second at the 1A Tournament, but graduated two all-state players in Holly Brockmeier and Hannah Reidy, but outside hitter Morgan Brockmeier is back.