LOUDOUN COUNTY

Coach: Bob Pingley, seventh season.

Last year: 22-3 overall, 13-1 AA Northwestern District. District regular season and tournament champions.

Returning players: G Marie Bolton, 5-6 Sr.; G Tara Kidwell, 5-4 Jr.; G Stacy James, 5-6 Jr.; F Kim Grimes, 5-8 Jr.; F Katie Baldwin, 5-9 Soph.

Outlook: In contrast to their cross-county rival Loudoun Valley, the Raiders will have to rely on quickness and ballhandling to successfully defend their district title. The Raiders are easily the smallest team in the county, but Pingley doesn't seem too disturbed -- his team last season was the same size, if not a little smaller. Loudoun County's tallest player this season is 5-foot-10 sophomore forward MacKenzie Kelly, and only three other players break 5-6.

"We have to try and be smart because if we try to match up in size it's just not going to work," Pingley said.

The Raiders' only regular season loss last year was to Liberty on the road. They lost to Charlottesville in the Region II semifinals.

Worth Noting: At 5-8, freshman Summer Forsythe is one of the taller girls for Loudoun County, but Pingley said she can play guard and forward. Forsythe is just as good on the perimeter as she is down low, Pingley said. Her play this season, along with fellow freshman Jamie Barthelemy, might show how much of a threat Loudoun County could continue to be.

1999 Schedule

Sept. 2 at Broad Run

Sept. 7 Park View

Sept. 14 George Mason

Sept. 16 Liberty

Sept. 20 Brentsville

Sept. 21 at Handley

Sept. 28 Broad Run

Sept. 30 at Park View

Oct. 5 Warren County

Oct. 7 at Potomac Falls

Oct. 12 Loudoun Valley

Oct. 14 at Liberty

Oct. 18 at George Mason

Oct. 19 Handley

Oct. 21 at Broad Run

Oct. 26 Park View

Oct. 28 at Warren County

Nov. 2 Potomac Falls

Nov. 4 at Loudoun Valley

-- All games start at 7:30

LOUDOUN VALLEY

Coach: Carmel Keilty, 11th season.

Last year: 14-10 overall, 9-5 AA Northwestern District.

Returning Players: F Lindsay Cash, 5-9 Sr.; G Michelle McLaughlin, 5-7 Sr.; C Holly Everhart, 5-11 Jr.; F Valerie Murphy, 5-11 Jr.

n Outlook: Size will be the Vikings' main strength this season. With three starters at 5-11 or taller, they will have a size advantage over most district opponents. Even Loudoun Valley's guards match up height-wise to most of the district's forwards.

Loudoun Valley has an experienced roster of players, returning four starters from last year's team. Individually, the Vikings will have more talent.

n Worth Noting: The Vikings have two strong additions this season: Kristen Carlson, a 6-foot center, starred on Loudoun Valley's junior varsity team last season, and 5-foot-7 guard Lauren Giannini transferred from Notre Dame.

Keilty said despite her team's size, the girls run surprisingly well. Look for the Vikings to run the transition game, even against smaller, quicker opponents.

1999 Schedule

Aug. 31 Broad Run

Sept. 2 at Potomac Falls

Sept. 7 Brentsville

Sept. 9 at George Mason

Sept. 14 at Brentsville

Sept. 16 Handley

Sept. 20 George Mason

Sept. 21 at Park View

Sept. 28 Potomac Falls

Sept. 30 at Liberty

Oct. 5 Broad Run

Oct. 7 at Warren County

Oct. 12 at Loudoun County

Oct. 14 at Handley

Oct. 19 Park View

Oct. 21 at Potomac Falls

Oct. 26 Liberty

Oct. 28 at Broad Run

Nov. 2 Warren County

Nov. 4 Loudoun County

-- All games start at 7:30