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2020: VOLLEYBALL PREVIEW: Team-by-team capsules
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Lambert players celebrate last season after winning a point during a match against Denmark. File photo

Forsyth Central

Head coach: Brian Welsch, fourth season

Last year’s record: 18-18

Key returners: Emma Kiser (Jr. S), Sarah Pipping (Jr. OH), Malone Davis (Sr. RS), Natalie Roberts (Jr. MH)

Key newcomers: N/A

Season outlook: Central returns a young but talented nucleus, highlighted by a pair of juniors in Emma Kiser and Sarah Pipping. Kiser was a first-team All-Area 5-7A selection at setter last year, finishing with 583 assists – second-highest in the area – along with 171 digs, 71 aces and 64 kills. Pipping led the team with 151 kills from the outside hitter position and will likely be the team’s top offensive threat again.

Denmark

Head coach: Jaime Maxey, third season

Last year's record: 14-26

Key returners: Ella Collier (Jr. MB), Dominae Jordan (Soph. OH/DS), Olivia Woodard (Sr. RS/OH)

Key newcomers: Emerson Aber (Soph. S/DS), Octavia Pagliotti (Soph. DS), Alyx Danner (Soph. OH)

Season outlook: Denmark took a big step forward last year. After winning just three matches in their inaugural season, the Danes won 14 and won their first area tournament game, sweeping West Hall 2-0. Head coach Jaime Maxey said she hopes Denmark can carry that momentum into Class 7A. Ella Collier and Dominae Jordan will be key pieces for the Danes in 2020. Collier led Class 4A last year with 132 blocks at middle blocker, while Jordan added 301 kills, 65 aces and 302 digs at outside hitter.

Lambert

Head coach: Missey Hall, ninth season

Last year’s record: 24-13

Key returners: Nidhisha Kancharla (Sr. MH), Miranda Hardin (Sr. L/DS, Taylor Nelson (Jr. OH), Clarisse Evangelista (Sr. Libero/DS), Ella Beyer (Soph. OH/RS/MB), Sarah Black (Sr. OH/RS/MB)

Key newcomers: Caroline Barnes (Fr. S), Dani Cortes (Fr. S/DS), Molly Kate Patten (Fr. MB)

Season outlook: A run to the Elite Eight marked the deepest postseason run by any county volleyball team last season, but the Longhorns must replace 2019 Forsyth County News Player of the Year Ally Hall, now a freshman at Middle Tennessee. Taylor Nelson flashed her potential last season, finishing second on the team with 221 kills and earning second-team All-Area 5-7A honors. Nidhisha Kancharla, a first-team selection a year ago, figures to lead the front line at middle, while Miranda Hardin looks to build on a sophomore campaign that saw her average 3.4 digs per set and finish second-team All-Area 5-7A.

North Forsyth

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North Forsyth's Kate Perryman upped her dedication to volleyball as a sophomore and elevated herself to one of the best players in the county. - photo by Ian Frazer
Head coach:  Drew Cecil and Kelly Cecil, fifth season

Last year’s record:  21-19

Key returners:  Kate Perryman (Sr. MB/OH), Alyssa Maxwell (Sr. DS), Ana Colon (Sr. OH), Nathalia Quintero (So. S), Maddie McCafferty (So. OH), Mia Torrence (So. DS/RS)

Key newcomers: Brooke Crummel (Fr. MB/OH), Lily Torrence (Fr. S/RS), Greenlee Welch (Fr. DS), Lauren Holcomb (Fr. OH), Melina Baumann (Fr. RS/MB)

Season outlook: Head coaches Drew and Kelly Cecil expect this year’s North Forsyth team be the youngest team they have ever coached, with five freshmen, three seniors, three sophomores and zero juniors. However, the Raiders return Area 5-7A Offensive Player of the Year Kate Perryman, who had 372 kills and hit .247 as a junior. North also returns Area 5-7A Co-Freshman of the Year Nathalia Quintero, a setter who averaged 3.2 assists per set last year. The Raiders’ deepest class is their five freshmen, a group the Cecils believe is very strong.

Pinecrest Academy

Head coach: Meg Bohn, third season

Last year’s record: 6-21

Key returners: Aileen Harrisson (Sr. L/S/DS), Graci Figueiras (Sr. MH), Madison Kieffer (Sr. OH/DS)

Key newcomers: N/A

Season outlook: Pinecrest endured a rough Area 5-1A-2A stretch last season, winning just one match in 10 chances. The Paladins were seldom at full strength last season, losing Forsyth County News honorable mention Allison Clark to injury. Pinecrest returns some experience in a trio of seniors, Aileen Harrisson, Graci Figueiras and Madison Kieffer; however, much of the Paladins’ roster consists of underclassmen.

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South Forsyth senior Avery Svehla, center, celebrates last season during a match against Forsyth Central. File photo
South Forsyth

Head coach: Steffi Legall-Riddle, second season

Last year's record:  16-16 

Key returners: Avery Svehla (Sr. OH/DS), Brinley Bramwell (Sr. OH), Gabi Conde-Borres (Sr. L/DS), Aliyah Thompson (Sr. OH/RS), Phoebe Dean (Sr. S)

Key newcomers: N/A 

Season outlook: Head coach Steffi Legall-Riddle’s first season yielded a playoff berth for the War Eagles, with Avery Svehla emerging as the heir apparent to Molly Bergin. Svehla led the War Eagles with 283 kills, despite missing time because of injury toward the end of the season. Svehla is one of five players who are both seniors and returning starters, which has Legall-Riddle excited about the team’s depth. However, South Forsyth lost each of its middle blockers from last year, which means the War Eagles will lean on players such as Ryan Wenzel, Gabby Felix and Ava McGlockton to fill out the front line.

West Forsyth

Head coach: Jake Dickey

Last year's record: 14-29

Key returners: Lymaris Vasquez (Soph. OH), Reece Rhoads (Soph. OH), Abby Kingsbury (Sr. MH), Cayla Cowart (Jr. RH), Karsyn Theobald (Jr. DS), Xy Mirasol (Jr. DS), Natalie Morris (Jr. MH), Rachel Denard (Sr. S), Grace Kolacinski (Jr. S), Skylar James (Sr. DS)

Key newcomers: Savana Toole (Jr. RH), Kendall Gentry (Jr. DS), Laney Burke (Jr. S), Alden Westbrooks (Jr. MH), Reagan Moore (Fr. MH/RH)

Season outlook: Head coach Jake Dickey is especially excited about the mix of young talent and experience on West this season. Sophomore hitters Lymaris Vasquez and Reece Rhoads enjoyed highly productive freshmen campaigns, with Rhoads being named the area’s co-freshman of the year. Setter Olivia Mooney must be replaced, as must first-team All-County libero Kayla Goetzman, who set a school record with 485 digs in 2019.