Head coach: John Gibbons, third season
2013 record: 16-10 (6-4 Northwest, third)
Returning starters: Five
Top players: OH Darien Bradley (Sr.), MH Sam Buckels (Jr.), S Chris Heron (Sr.), MH Kaneen Manuel (Jr.), OH Darrell Swanson (Sr.)
Outlook: With five starters back, the Aggies are hoping for big things.
“We will be competitive in our league this year,” Gibbons said.
Head coach: John Armstrong, third season
2013 record: 4-15 (1-5 Sunset, fourth)
Returning lettermen (starters): Four (four)
Top players: OH Deonte Perkins (Sr.)
Outlook: Perkins leads a list of four returnees who hope to help the Desert Shields improve.
“With a mix of experienced and brand new players, this year should be a learning experience,” Armstrong said. “Our team is full of hard-working athletes who are ready to leave it all on the court.
“We hope to learn and have success early so that we will be prepared for league play and the playoffs.”
Head coach: Matt Johnson, fifth season
2013 record: 26-4 (9-1 Southeast, first)
Returning lettermen (starters): Four (one)
Top players: OH Max Osmundson (Sr.), OPP Dallin Bryan (Sr.), S Logan Dickover (Sr.)
Outlook: The defending Division I state champions have some work to do after 11 seniors graduated.
Osmundson, a first-team All-Sunrise Region and second-team all-state pick, leads a short list of returnees.
“Even though we lost quite a few players, we have some young, tall and athletic players ready to step in,” Johnson said. “What we lack in experience, we make up for in athleticism and potential talent. With hard work, we expect to be right in the mix for a league, region and state title again.”
Head coach: Philip Varela, first season
2013 record: 5-15 (2-8 Southwest, fifth)
Top players: MB Quade Huff (Jr.), OH/S Saunoa Afoa (Jr.), OH D.J. Biggs (Jr.), OH Billy Cameron (So.)
Outlook: Varela inherits a young team that has only two seniors.
“We have a solid foundation to build on and expect to make improvements over last year,” said Varela. “Saunoa Afoa will be one the biggest forces in Nevada volleyball for this year and next. When we play in system, he is unstoppable.”
Head coach: Gina Toth
2013 record: 4-14 (2-8 Northwest, fifth)
Returning lettermen: Eight
Outlook: Eight lettermen, including six seniors, return for the Trailblazers.
“The outlook is optimistic and promising,” Toth said. “We have a strong core of seasoned varsity returners as well as several solid underclassmen.”
Head coach: Chris Sisson, third season
2013 record: 31-12 (9-1 Southeast, second)
Returning lettermen (starters): Two (one)
Top players: S/OH Trevor Robison (Sr.), LIB Yuri Del Alcazar (Sr.), S/OH/OPP Taeg Williams (Sr.), MB Colin Curi (Jr.)
Outlook: Williams, a second-team All-Southeast League pick, is one of only two lettermen back for the Falcons.
“After graduating 10 seniors, Foothill looks to quickly develop young talent and continue to build on last year’s success,” Sisson said. “The 2013 team set a new precedent for the program that each team will strive to surpass in the years to come.”
Head coach: Emily Baracco, second season
2013 record: 5-16 (2-8 Northeast, fifth)
Returning lettermen (starters): Six (five)
Outlook: The Gators bring back five starters and hope to show significant improvement.
“It’s a young, athletic squad with strong returning leaders,” Baracco said.
Head coach: Sue Thurman, 10th season
2013 record: 11-11 (7-3 Northeast, third)
Returning lettermen (starters): 11 (Five)
Top players: OH T.J. Esporas (Sr.), OH Chris Kampshoff (Sr.), LIB Evan Kinard (Sr.), S Shayne Marquez (Sr.)
Outlook: The Wildcats return most of a team that finished third in the Northeast League last year.
Esporas (111 kills, 85 digs in 36 games) is healthy again after missing much of last season with a broken hand. Others expected to contribute significantly are Kampshoff (176 kills, 225 digs), Kinard (243 digs) and Marquez (371 assists, 131 digs).
“We hope to be competitive in the Northeast League, qualify for playoffs and peak at the right time,” Thurman said.
Head coach: Ray Lewis, second season
2013 record: 18-6 (8-2 Southwest, second)
Returning lettermen (starters): 11 (six)
Top players: OH Tanner Compton (Sr.), S Braden Liu (Sr.), OH Trent Compton (Sr.), OH Zaire Franklin (Jr.), LIB Anthony Cabrera (Jr.)
Outlook: The Longhorns return three first-team All-Sunset Region performers in Tanner Compton, Liu and Trent Compton).
“We were disappointed in our (region) semifinal loss last year,” Lewis said. “We have the experience this season. We look to contend for a region and state championship.”
Head coach: Erik Davis, second season
2013 record: 20-10 (6-0 Sunset, first)
Returning lettermen (starters): Five (three)
Top players: OPP Matt Albinio (Sr.), S Jovan Carrazco (Sr.), OF Alex Carvaljo (So.), MB Jordan Glenn (Jr.), LIB Danny Wilson (Jr.)
Outlook: The Rattlers return three starters from a team that finished as the runnerup in the Division I-A state tournament.
Mojave must replace three first-team all-state honorees, including Sunset League MVP Christian Limtiaco.
“The development of our younger athletes and our capacity for work will play a key role in our overall success this season,” said Davis.
Head coach: Phil Clarke, eighth season
2013 record: 19-4 (10-0 Northwest, first)
Returning lettermen (starters): Five (three)
Top players: S Andrew Weston (Sr.), LIB Ryan Nielson (Sr.), OH Brigham Clawson (Sr.)
Outlook: After running the table in the Northwest League last year, the Panthers lost half of their starting lineup to graduation.
“This is a very motivated and determined group,” Clarke said. “We have a good core group of returners, and the new guys are going to need to step up and fill the holes left by the group that graduated.”
Head coach: Travis Underwood, second season
2013 record: 14-5 (8-2 Northwest, second)
Returning lettermen (starters): Nine (Five)
Top players: MB Quinn Peterson (Jr.), LIB A.J. Makaiwi (Jr.), S N.J. Makaiwi (Jr.)
Outlook: A.J. Makaiwi had 300 digs last season, and Peterson chipped in 70 kills and five blocks.
They’re among nine returnees for the Mustangs, who reached the Sunset Region semifinals last year.
“We return role players from last year’s team,” Underwood said. “The team looks to again compete for the top spot in the league and have a long run in the playoffs.”
Head coach: Kevin Schwallie, third season
2013 record: 13-7 (7-3 Northeast, second)
Returning lettermen (starters): Six (three)
Top players: OH Austin Hunt (Sr.), LIB Travis Houston (Sr.), MB Dylan Eastman (Sr.)
Outlook: Hunt had 239 kills last season and is one of six returning lettermen for the Skyhawks, who likely will start a freshman setter and a sophomore outside hitter.
“We may have some growing pains, but out potential is high,” Schwallie said.
Head coach: Lenbirgh Redmond, second season
2013 record: 4-15 (0-10 Northwest, sixth)
Returning lettermen (starters): Three (three)
Top players: MB Bradd Robison (Sr.), S James Nunez (Sr.), OH Norayr Manukyan (Sr.)
Outlook: The Grizzlies are hoping to improve as the season progresses.
Head coach: Ulia Peaua, first season
2013 record: 4-13 (2-4 Sunset, third)
Top players: MB Sky TIllmond (Jr.), OPP William Riggs (Jr.), S Manuel Guillermo (Sr.)
Outlook: Peaua takes over a program that has room for upward mobility.
“Western is looking forward to being a very successful team in our division,” Peaua said. “Our goal this year is to develop skill, build character and compete at a high level consistently. The Warriors are excited for the growth this season will bring.”