1. Falmouth: In their first match, the Yachtsmen beat defending Class A state champion Greely, 3-1, with standout freshman Annika Hester leading with 10 kills and 15 digs. Many coaches expect Falmouth to make its way back to the state title match, where it played in 2013 and 2014, winning Class A in ’13. It plays in Class B now.

2. Greely: The Rangers bring back four starters from their state title team. They’re using a trainer again to improve their endurance, a tactic Coach Kelvin Hasch said helped them win the 2016 Class A title. Greely may be slow to start but expect it to contend in the state tournament, where it will play for the Class B title this year.

3. Scarborough: The Red Storm have played for the Class A title three of the last four years, winning it in 2015. If 6-foot sophomore Asia Mattress recovers quickly from a knee injury, Scarborough will be tough out of the gate. She was a force in last year’s state title match. She’ll be joined by powerful senior hitters Jamiyae Mattress, Natalie Simonton, Caelyn Sheil and Marissa Edwards.

4. Cape Elizabeth: Cape lost only two starters and brings back its core team from last year, including senior setter Maggie Dadmun, who played on their 2014 state title team. The Clippers are small and young but relentless. Like that 2014 state championship team, this squad will force long rallies and not tire.

5. Yarmouth: The Clippers lost two All-State players and will start four freshmen – but they’re not your typical freshmen. Led by 5-foot-10 Kaitlyn Bennett, who dominates at the net, Yarmouth has height and power. After playing in Class A for two years, they are back in Class B, where they won three titles from 2011-14.

– Deirdre Fleming

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