League: AA Dulles District.

Coach: Ben Thompson, first year.

Last season: First-year school.

On the rise: G Kelsey Conroy, 5-6, Soph.; G Krista Gardner, 5-7, Fr.; G Brea Hewitt, 5-7, Soph.; F Erica Kiechlin, 5-11, Fr.; F Megan Stajbach, 6-1, Soph.; G/F Kelly Wiard, 5-8, Fr.

Scouting report: Thompson takes over the program after spending last season assisting for league champion Broad Run. The first-year Falcons are extremely young -- there is not a junior or a senior on the roster. So Thompson has set the focus on sound fundamentals and having the players be supportive of one another.


League: AA Dulles District.

Coach: Mike O'Hara, fifth year.

Last season: 23-4 overall, 12-2 league.

Top returners: G Kortne Jackson, 5-6, Sr.; G Erin Thompson, 5-7, Jr.; G Whitney Vlasic, 5-5, Sr.

On the rise: F Alexis Cambell, 5-9, Soph.; C Chelsea McNamee, 5-11, Soph.

Scouting report: Broad Run had two players transfer to Notre Dame Academy, including sophomore forward Mia Nickson, last season's Dulles District Player of the Year. Still, the Spartans return six contributors from a team that last season won a school-record 23 games and could again contend for the league title. The team's strength will be its perimeter play with Jackson and Vlasic setting the pace.


League: AA Dulles District.

Coach: Anne Gasser, first year.

Last season: 8-14 overall, 2-12 league.

Top returners: G Amanda Heins, 5-7, Sr.; G Jackie Futrell, 5-6, Jr.; C Meggie Meidlinger, 6-0, Sr.; F Cherrelle Robinson, 5-10, Sr.; G Tiffany Woodard, 5-6, Jr.

On the rise: G Lauryen Hutchinson, 5-7, Fr.; F Ally Reed, 5-8, Soph.

Scouting report: Gasser returns to coaching after an eight-year absence and brings with her the wealth of knowledge and experience she gained in nine seasons at W.T. Woodson. As she strives to build the Titans' program, Gasser will rely heavily on the team's four returning seniors. One of them, Heins, was the area's third-leading scorer a year ago at 14 points per game.


League: AAA Cedar Run District.

Coach: Reed Gillespie, fourth year.

Last season: 18-6 overall, 12-2 AA Northwestern District.

Top returners: G/F Danae Davis, 5-8, Jr.; G Rachel Gallagher, 5-7, Sr.; C Kristyn Murray, 5-10, Jr.; F Katie Williams, 5-9, Jr.

On the rise: G Katie Brown, 5-6, Soph.; F Ashley Fortney, 5-10, Jr.; G Cheryl Nieder, 5-4, Jr.

Scouting report: Fauquier returns four starters, including its leading scorer (Davis) and rebounder (Williams), from a team that finished second in the Northwestern District a year ago. The move to Class AAA will be a new challenge for the Falcons, who will have to play with consistency for four quarters to contend.


League: AA Dulles District.

Coach: Jason Eldredge, first year.

Last season: First-year school.

On the rise: F Chris Burke, 5-7, Jr.; G/F Liz Turpin, 5-7, Fr.; G Chelsea Walter, 5-2, Fr.

Scouting report: Eldredge, who spent the past three years as an assistant at Westfield, comes to Freedom with his sights on building for the future. The Eagles are not only young but also lack depth -- of the nine girls on the roster, only four have played organized basketball. Freedom will lean on Burke, the only upperclassman starter, as it develops fundamentals and works on agility and positioning.


League: AA Dulles District.

Coach: Carmel Keilty, fourth year.

Last season: 12-10 overall, 6-8 league.

Top returners: G Tiffani Broderick, 5-8, Sr.; G Lauren Bulka, 5-5, Jr.; F Racquel Curtis, 5-10, Sr.; F Adrienne Essiaw, 5-10, Soph.; F Sabrina Harvey, 5-8, Sr.; G Brittany Popko, 5-9, Soph.

On the rise: F Sarah Abramson, 5-11, Jr.; C Janelle McDonald, 6-1, Soph.; G Breanna Mitchell, 5-6, Soph.

Scouting report: Heritage returns nearly every player, including much depth on the perimeter, from a team that finished above .500 for the first time in school history. The Pride are young and talented but must continue to build chemistry to continue winning.


League: AA Northwestern District.

Coach: Ellen Allen, 12th year.

Last season: 14-10 overall, 9-5 league.

Top returners: F Sarah Demaree, 5-8, Sr.; C Carly Morse, 5-10, Sr.; G Danielle Wallace, 5-9, Jr.

On the rise: G Chloe Morse, 5-9, Soph.; G Katlyn Norman, 5-5, Soph.

Scouting report: Liberty won five straight AA Northwestern District titles prior to last season. This year will be an effort to re-establish that winning tradition. With Demaree and Carly Morese, the Eagles are solid in the post, but they need to develop on the perimeter.


League: AA Dulles District.

Coach: Kevin Reed, fourth year.

Last season: 18-6 overall, 11-3 league.

Top returners: G/F Sarah Brown, 5-8, Sr.; G Amy Sarver, 5-7, Sr.; G/F Octavia Trammell, 5-9, Sr.; C Camille Wilmer, 6-0, Sr.

On the rise: G Samantha Akers, 5-6, Soph.; C/F Denae Russeil, 6-0, Sr.; G Amy Williams, 5-9, Soph.

Scouting report: Loudoun County returns five starters from a unit that finished second in the district a year ago and looks primed to take over the top spot. Wilmer (Shepherd University) will set the tone after averaging 13.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.


League: Independent (AAA National District for playoffs.)

Coach: Kevin Barr, fourth year.

Last season: 17-7 overall, 9-5 AA Dulles District.

Top returners: G Mary Lanham, 5-8, Sr.; G Jackie Lewis, 5-6, Sr.; F Jaimie Sapp, 6-0, Jr.; G Alexa Williams, 5-8, Sr.

On the rise: F Emily Minnich, 5-8, Jr.; G Courtney Smith, 5-4, Jr.; F Sarah Spicer, 5-8, Jr.; G Perrin Raudabaugh, 5-6, Soph.

Scouting report: Loudoun Valley will play mostly teams from the AA Dulles District in the regular season before moving into the AAA National District for the playoffs. The Vikings should again be strong on the perimeter, where Williams (13.0 points per game) and Lewis (10.8) return as the team's top scorers.


League: AA Dulles District.

Coach: Kim Grigley, first year.

Last season: 6-15 overall, 3-11 league.

Top returners: G Katie Antonacci, 5-8, Soph.; F Julie Anyaugo, 5-11, Soph.; G Tiffany Brown, 5-10, Jr.; G/F Jessica Gutierrez, 5-8, Jr.; G LaToya Mack, 5-3, Sr.; F Lauren Tomlinson, 5-10, Soph.; F Torsh Torto, 5-9, Jr.; G Crystal Williams, 5-7, Jr.; F Kate White, 5-10, Sr.

On the rise: G Megan Barnes, 5-4, Fr.; F Karita Brown, 5-10, Fr.

Scouting report: Grigley, who coached Park View volleyball the past three seasons, inherits a team that returns nearly every player. Still, the Patriots remain one of the league's youngest teams. Grigley said her focus will be on developing a high level of discipline, a consistent work ethic and strong defensive skills.


League: AA Dulles District.

Coach: Kimberly Holling, second year.

Last season: 4-17 overall, 1-13 league.

Top returners: F Amy Baumgardner, 5-10, Jr.; G Kianna Davis (formerly Wells), 5-8, Sr.; F Morgan Hartwell, 5-9, Sr.; G Katie Hibson, 5-7, Soph.; G Rachel Ryberg, 5-7, Jr.; G Kim Watts, 5-7, Sr.

On the rise: G Sara Hibson, 5-7, Fr.

Scouting report: The Panthers have had a year to learn Holling's system and the expectations she brought after leading her previous team to a 1999 state title in Utah. Such experience -- and a healthy dose of consistency and discipline -- should help Potomac Falls improve.


League: AAA Liberty District.

Coach: Brian Parke, first year.

Last season: 17-9 overall, 11-3 AA Dulles District.

Top returners: F Marianne Bell, 6-0, Jr.; G Shana Lane, 5-7, Jr.; G Terrell White, 5-8, Sr.

On the rise: G Courtney Bryant, 5-9, Fr.; G Jacalyn Cummings, 5-7, Sr.

Scouting report: Parke inherits a Stone Bridge team that benefited greatly last season from the arrival of transfers Bell and White, both of whom were All-Extra selections. White was the area's leading scorer at 14.8 points per game and added 4.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists. Bell averaged 14.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in leading the Bulldogs to the Region II playoffs. The move to Class AAA and adapting to new coaching philosophies will be challenges, but this team is talented enough to stay in the mix.


Whitney Vlasic, right, helped Broad Run win the Dulles District title last year.