Maize (31-8) —Making its second straight trip to the 6A tourney, Maize has plenty of veteran players. Its top hitters are junior McKenzie Hartzog and senior Lindsey Jones, but it also has experienced setters in senior Adrienn Amaro and sophomore Mary Kangas. Hartzog also leads the team in digs and passing ratio and is a good back-row combination with her sister, Lexi, the Eagles' libero.
Bishop Carroll (27-9) —Senior Sarah Balderas is a tough outside hitter and joins Morgan Thome as the Eagles' setters in the 6-2 offense. Carroll's strength is its defense — libero Cara Detmer is consistent — but the Eagles' hitters can be dominating. They include Jana Reichenberger, Chloe Nicholas and Meghan Dugan.
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McPherson (28-13) —McPherson, which upset Valley Center in the sub-state final, returns to state after a four-year absence. The Bullpups have battled multiple injuries and constant lineup changes. Junior Bethany Farres has a team-high 402 kills, while sophomore Katelyn Loecker has 282 kills and senior Sarah Gaeddert has 74 blocks.
Newton (34-7) —The Railers, who lost five of their seven matches in the season's first half, are a deep team. They are led by sophomore Emily Hiebert (105 blocks, 276 kills, 78 aces and 409 assists) and Kate Lehman who has more than 100 blocks, while Katie Loescher has a team-leading 325 kills and Taylor Zwiesler has 456 assists.
Cheney (33-4) —Cheney opened the season with 18 straight wins, and its three losses are to Class 6A and 5A schools. The Cardinals, who finished third in 2009, are led by senior Merissa Quick, a dominating hitter. She leads the team in kills (296) and has 39 blocks and 63 aces. Alison Akler has 665 assists.
Maize South (30-12) —Just a second-year school, the Mavericks are young but have a solid, poised team. They are led by sophomore Jody Larson, who has 82 aces and 504 kills. Teammate Mackenzie Obermeyer has 170 kills, while Hannah Jennings has 438 assists and McKenna Poynter has a team-high 321 digs.
Nickerson (26-15) —The Panthers are making their first trip to the state tournament. Their top hitter is senior Brandy Mader, while senior Tiffany Willbanks is a setter/hitter. Other key players include Cassie Caswell, McKenna Deckard, Haley Sneed, Aubrey Hook and Marissa Stewart.
Garden Plain (33-7) —The Owls, who lost to eventual 3A champ Collegiate in the 2009 sub-state final, were 3A champs in 2008. They have six seniors and are especially strong on defense with libero Leann Patterson and Cadence Bourne. The Owls, who won their first 21 matches, are led by hitters Mackenzie Fisher, Anna Renyer, Jordan Hoheisel, Cassidy Haukap, Sierra Hays and Paige Stuhlsatz.
Eureka (33-6) —Eureka advanced to the 3A tourney in 2009 and is led by Haley Pitko, who has 459 kills. Bailee Barrett adds 219 kills, while Taylyn Schwartz has 752 assists. Libero Ashlen Schwartz has been the key defensively and has 520 digs.
Hillsboro (30-10) —Hillsboro, in its third straight trip to the 3A tourney, started the season 10-0 but has had an inconsistent finish. Sophomore Tena Loewen has more than 300 kills, a team-high, and senior setter Allie Faul averages nearly seven assists per game. They also lead the team in digs.
Inman (32-7) —Inman, which last went to state in 1994 when it won the 2A title, has plenty of experience in tight matches that have gone to three sets. The Teutons are led by hitters Chelsea Goble (averages 3.5 kills per game), Taylor England (2.6 kills) and Jordan Achilles. Setter Brylie Bengston averages seven assists per set.
Goessel (26-11) —The Bluebirds are young, with one senior after Kendra Flaming's season ended following an anterior cruciate ligament injury. Senior Jennifer Van Horn leads Goessel with 2.9 kills per set. Paige Booton and Alex Hiebert are also solid hitters.
Hutchinson Central Christian (38-2) —The Cougars finished fourth in Class 1A last season and returned four strong players. They are well-tested after playing 14 Class 2A or 3A schools in their first 24 matches. Senior Diane Krehbiel has 293 kills and a .515 kill percentage. Junior Heather Casey has 906 assists, while junior Jamie Patrick has 667 kills and a .540 kill percentage.
Norwich (30-6) —Norwich is playing in its first state tournament in 13 years. Setter Rachel Henson, a 96 percent server, has plenty of options in hitters, including senior Shelby Rust, sophomore Mackenzie Klaver and senior Molly Poe. Defensive specialist Michelle VanGieson has been vital to Norwich's passing.