Falmouth High’s Annika Hester lies on the court as she and her teammates celebrate winning the Class A state volleyball championship last fall. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

1. Falmouth: The defending Class A state champs loom as the team to beat once again. Not only do the Yachtsmen have the best player in the state in junior outside hitter Annika Hester – she was the Varsity Maine Player of the Year last fall – but also an outstanding supporting cast. Like Hester, junior setter/middle Katie Phillips made the 2019 American Volleyball Coaches Association’s Phenom Watch List. Senior middle Rose Riversmith, junior setter/defensive specialist Hillary Bouchard, senior opposite/middle Mia McHugh and senior twins Gretchen Barney (libero) and Holly Barney (outside hitter) make this a very powerful team.

2. Yarmouth: The Clippers won the Class B state championship last year and primed for a repeat. Jim Senecal’s club is deep in talent and experience, led by four players who made the AVCA Phenom Watch List – junior libero Kaitlyn Bennett (still recovering from a knee injury), sophomore setter Sophie Dickson and junior outside hitters Evelyn Lukis and Maggie Murray. Dickson brings an intensity that Senecal loves. Senior Caeden Rogers is a strong middle blocker. Junior middle hitter Margaret McNeill and sophomore setter Tristen Rogers will play key roles as well.

3. Cape Elizabeth: The Capers advanced to the Class B state title game last year and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them there again this fall even though they graduated 12 players. “We’re going to make mistakes but we’re going to battle and get better every day,” said Coach Sarah Boeckel. The Capers will be led by two exceptional players: junior defensive specialist Aerin Manning (on the AVCA phenom watch list) and junior libero Julia Torre (a Varsity Maine All-State selection last year). Other key players will be senior setter Corina Page, senior outside Jaya McClure and junior middle Alison Gerety.

4. Gorham: Although the Rams graduated nine players from last year’s Class A state runner-up, they still have a strong, deep line-up. Start with seniors Talia Catoggio (defensive specialist) and Meg Perry (outside hitter). Both were named to the AVCA all-America Watch List. Everything runs through them, and they’re very solid. Sophomore Ellie Perry (middle hitter) will be a force as well. Others to watch for include senior Caralin Mills (outside hitter), senior Gianna Romatis (setter), junior Skylar Prince (middle hitter) and junior Maddy Berry (right side hitter).

5. York: Be wary of the Wildcats. In the fourth year of its varsity program, York is primed to make a run at a state championship. “We’re finally, in my opinion, looking like what a varsity program should be, with a lot of juniors and seniors on the team,” said Coach Suzanne Bradley. York is led by seniors Belle Babcock (libero) and Emma Parrotta (middle hitter). Junior setter/middle hitter Phoebe Slovenski will be on the court all the time. Seniors Abby Orso (outside hitter) and Sophie Trafton (setter) will be key, as will juniors Tatum Stacy (outside hitter) and Nora Pulsifer (defensive specialist).




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