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2021 VOLLEYBALL PREVIEW: Team-by-team capsules
Brooke Crummel

Denmark 

Head coach: Jaime Maxey, fourth season 

Last year’s record: 20-20

Key returners: Ella Collier (Sr. MB), Emerson Aber (Jr. S), Alyx Danner (Jr. OH/DS), Dominae Jordan (Jr. OH/DS), Courtney Graham (So. MB/RS) 

Key newcomers: Macy Funk (Fr. MB) 

Season outlook: Head coach Jaime Maxey was to the point when asked on how she wanted the 2021 season to go for the Danes. She wants this team to be the first volleyball team in school history to make the state playoffs. It might not be as lofty a goal, with Memphis commit Ella Collier, Emerson Aber and Dominae Jordan returning with varsity experience under their belts. Jordan joined the 400 club with 412 kills last season, along with 390 digs. Collier added 125 kills and Aber collected 541 assists.

East Forsyth

Head coach: Chris James, first season 

Key players: Cierra Segar (Jr. OH), Emily Miolen (So. RS), Macy Meadows (Fr. S) 

Season outlook: The young Broncos team may be young, but their head coach has plenty of experience. Chris James comes from Northview, where he led the Titans to the Class 5A Sweet 16 last season. James said he wants his team to be task-oriented over goal-oriented for the upcoming season. He plans for the Broncos to take everything game by game and establish the volleyball program. 

Forsyth Central 

Head coach: Brian Welsch, fifth season 

Last year’s record: 18-14, Sweet 16

Key returners: Emma Kiser (Sr. S/OH), Sarah Pipping (Sr. OH), Megan McCarthy (Sr. L), Riese Johnson (Sr. S/DS) 

Key newcomers:  N/A 

Season outlook: Brian Welsch mistakenly printed “state” on the back of Forsyth Central’s shirts last season. Speaking it into existence, Central won its first region match since Welsch took over for the Bulldogs. They took it a step further, by going on a Cinderella-esque of a run in the region tournament to qualify for the state tournament. This year, Welsch wants to keep building on the team’s success, with a region championship berth in sight.

Lambert

Head coach: Missey Hall, 10th season 

Last year’s record: 28-4, Final Four

Key returners: Taylor Nelson (Sr. OH), Ella Beyer (Jr. OH/MH), Jordan White (Jr. MB), Molly Kate Patten (So. MB) 

Key newcomers: Claire Jenkins (Jr. S), Francesca Popescu (Fr. L) 

Season outlook: The Longhorns were just one set away from beating the eventual Class 7A state champs Alpharetta in the Final Four last season. Forsyth County Player of the Year, Bella Tolone, along with other impact players graduated out of the program. However, head coach Missey Hall said there is no rebuild, just a reload. Senior outside hitter Taylor Nelson led the team in aces [51] and finished second in kills [217]. Pair her with three teammates who are more than 6-foot tall [Ella Beyer, 6-foot; Jordan White, 6-foot-3; Molly Kate Patten, 6-foot-4] and the Longhorns are once again a team to watch. 

North Forsyth 

Head coach: Kelly Christensen, sixth season 

Last year’s record: 36-12, Sweet 16

Key returners: Maddie McCafferty (Jr. OH/DS), Nathalia Quintero (Jr. S/RS), Mia Torrence (Jr. DS/L), Melina Baumann (So. M), Brooke Crummel (So. OH/M), Lauren Holcomb (So. OH), Lily Torrence (So. S/RS), Greenlee Welch (So. DS/L)

Key newcomers: Lindsey Pirkle (So. M/RS), Hannah Hagen (Fr. DS/L), Kylie McCabe (Fr. M), Ella Morrison (Fr. OH)

Season outlook: The Raiders are once again locked and loaded with a very competitive team. Coming off an incredibly successful summer club season, Brooke Crummel looks to take over the scoring role from Kate Perryman, who led the county in kills last season and is now at Air Force. Raiders head coach Kelly Christensen said it will be no surprise if several members of her team had breakout seasons to help lead the team into a deep state playoff run after losing to North Gwinnett in the Sweet 16 last year. 

South Forsyth

Head coach: Steffi Legall-Riddle, third season 

Last year’s record: 11-9

Key returners: Arielle Estes (Jr. RS/S), Allie Magers (Jr. MB), Ava McGlockton (Jr. RS/MB)

Key newcomers: Audrey Carroll (Jr. OH), Angelica Conde-Borres (Jr. L), Ansley Davis (So. S), Bridget Gallivan (So. OH), Abby Malone (So. RS/OH). 

Season outlook: South must replace more than 80 percent of its offensive production after Avery Svehla, Aliyah Thompson and Brinley Bramwell each graduated. The War Eagles must also replace setter Claire Jenkins, who now plays for Lambert, but South returns some experience in Arielle Estes, Allie Magers and Ava McGlockton. Magers led the team with 28 blocked shots last year, including 1.4 blocks per match. McGlockton, 6-foot-2, added 20 total blocks at 1.2 blocks per match and should give the War Eagles some height at the net.

West Forsyth

Head coach: Jake Dickey, eighth season 

Last year’s record: 18-21, First round

Key returners: Cayla Cowart (Sr. RS), Kendall Gentry (Sr. L), Grace Kolacinski (Sr. S), Xy Mirasol (Sr. DS), Natalie Morris (Sr. MH), Karsyn Theobald (Sr. DS), Savana Toole (Sr. RS), Alden Westbrooks (Sr. MH), Reece Rhoads (Jr. OH), Lymaris Vasquez (Jr. OH), Reagan Moore (So. MH)

Key newcomers: Sydney Nichelson (Jr. RS), Kiersten Tryon (Jr. MH), Taryn Dickey (Fr. S), Mackenzie Kappy (Fr. DS), Shea Murray (Fr. DS) 

Season outlook: Wolverines head coach Jake Dickey lacks no confidence in the Wolverines’ ability for the upcoming season. Dickey said that his team is solid and every position and will hopefully make a run in the state tournament this year. Eight seniors will be at the helm for the Wolverines, but their junior duo of Reece Rhoads and Lymaris Vasquez can score points quickly. The two combined for 492 kills last year and look to be an even more dominant force in 2021.