3 Players to Watch
Christy Redgate, Patuxent, Sr.
Redgate was the first freshman to play on the Panthers' varsity team and now has three years of experience. The setter led Patuxent with more than 400 assists and a hitting percentage of .870, while passing at more than 86 percent and earning All-SMAC honors.
Whitney Johnson, Calvert, Sr.
Johnson's SMAC dominance earned her All-Met honors last season, when she began playing a full rotation for the first time and had 250 kills, 61 aces and 44 solo kills. "The ability has always been there for her," Calvert Coach David Redden said. "And we're starting to see that desire she needs ramping up, too."
Amy Schreiber, Northern, Jr.
Schreiber made the difficult transition from setter to outside hitter and will now lead a Patriots team that beat Lackey before falling to Severna Park in the 3A South Region semifinals last year. Last year, Schreiber led the Patriots with 3.6 aces, three kills and six assists per match.
Can Leonardtown make a run?
One of the big reasons the Raiders knocked off Northern in a hard-fought match last year and played Calvert close is the experience of having seven junior players who have been playing varsity since their sophomore seasons. This year, they could cash in on that senior leadership.
Will Calvert bounce back this season?
The Cavaliers thought their semifinal loss in the 2A South Region tournament was an early exit. Redden said they're putting the pieces together to redeem themselves. Redden said Molly Herring improved while playing club volleyball in the offseason and will be a good match for Johnson.
Johnson will "have someone to push her," Redden said. "And that will be good for both of them."
Patuxent will be in Class 2A after competing in Class 4A last year. . . . There will be a slight shift in scheduling because of refereeing shortages in the SMAC. Most matches were scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays last year, but this season's schedule includes games on Mondays and Wednesdays.