Badger-Greenbush-Middle River: The Gators, 8-4 last year, lost three starters and one reserve from a year ago but BGMR is coming of age a bit this year.
The Gators have been young in recent years but that youth has gotten older and BGMR will have a strong junior class.
The Gators will be an aggressive offense with an experienced lineup.
Junior setter Cassie Dahl returns, as does junior middle hitter Jade Reese, outside hitter Kinsley Hanson and junior middle hitter Riley Gust.
Fertile-Beltrami: Fertile-Beltrami, 9-5 last season, will be led by all-around standout Marin Roragen, a 5-foot-11 senior who has started since her freshman season and had 186 kills and 185 digs a year ago.
The Falcons lost three seniors from last year’s team, including setter Aubree Steffes, who had more than 1,000 career assists.
Tori Erickson and Abby Ranz also return in the middle, while libero Brooklyn Strem and defensive specialist Taylor Miller will factor into the lineup.
Hitters Aubree Swenby and Kasia Wilson also return for the Falcons, who have 33 girls out for volleyball for grades 9-12.
Fosston: The Greyhounds have had an incredible run the past few seasons, advancing to the state tournament in 2019 for the first time since 2004.
Fosston followed that with an 11-0 season, which was cut short due to the pandemic.
The Greyhounds only have one holdover from the starting lineup of the 2019 state team, which fell in the semifinals.
Senior Brooklyn Ostenaa was a sophomore for the Greyhounds back in 2019 and will return in 2021 to lead the Greyhounds.
Ostenna had 77 kills last season, while senior outside hitter Teegan Noel had 35 kills, junior libero Lauren Sekely had 81 digs and 10 aces and junior middle hitter Katelyn Vesledahl had 19 kills.
Grafton: The Spoilers were 17-4 last season and were hit in graduation with only three steady rotation returners but Grafton’s deep program is expected to be strong again.
Grafton will lean heavily on senior middle hitter Cassie Erickson (119 kills last season), senior outside hitter Jade Moe (76 kills last season) and junior Walker Demers (84 kills last season).
The Spoilers will also utilize senior defensive specialist Claire Bjorneby and senior setter Reagan Hanson.
Senior right side Katlynn Bennett and senior outside Kydyn Pastorek will also be in the mix for the Spoilers.
Langdon-Edmore-Munich: The Cardinals were Region 4 champs and finished second at the state tournament in 2020.
Langdon-Edmore-Munich lost all-state performer Lexis Olson and defensive standout Kaylee Lowery to graduation.
But the Cardinals have plenty to build around, especially with hitters Morgan Freije and Cora Badding, as well as setter Jalynn Swanson.
Swanson stepped right into a setting role last year as a freshman on a talented team and didn’t miss a beat.
Badding also is an emerging talent with around 200 kills last season as a freshman.
Freije had 254 kills a year ago.
North Star: North Star went 13-4 last season with two of the losses coming to region rival Langdon-Edmore-Munich.
The Bearcats return a great core with three all-region selections in middle blocker Danielle Hagler, setter Lindsey Nyhagen and libero Gracie Miller.
Hagler had a whopping 344 kills last year. As a team, the Bearcats had 641 kills, Hagler played a huge role in the offense.
And North Star brings back Nyhagen, who easily had the team’s most assists last year with 363.
Miller was strong defensively with 236 digs and added 34 aces.
Red Lake Falls: Red Lake Falls battled through COVID-19 stoppages and absences a year ago, as it finished 4-3.
Red Lake Falls returns with a little more experience than it may have expected, as a number of players had to fill in to new roles last season during a string of coronavirus quarantines.
The Eagles did lose three seniors off last season’s team, including two who had been four-year starters.
Red Lake Falls is expected to be fundamentally solid and a cohesive group.
The Eagles will be led by setter Brooklyn Cardinal and hitter Gabriella Casavan.
Libero Brea Derosier and defensive specialist Kiara Sauve will also step into key roles for the Eagles.
Roseau: The Rams marched to an 11-1 record last season, only losing to Fosston. Among the 11 wins, Roseau only lost in five games. All that, despite missing three starters to close out the season due to quarantine issues amid the pandemic.
Roseau will need to replace a two-year setter and a veteran middle. The most recognizable loss will be Katie Borowicz, who finished out the volleyball season before enrolling at the University of Minnesota to play basketball. Borowicz was on the varsity since eighth grade.
Roseau ran a two-setter offense last season and returns one of the two setters in Memphis Mertens.
The Rams will also rely heavily on Hanna Mooney, a third-year starter at libero.
Roseau will also ask two returning middles Anya Severson and Molly Jensen to take on bigger roles.
Thief River Falls: The Prowlers went 4-4 a year ago and bring back a good amount of firepower.
Thief River Falls lost a setter, a defensive specialist, as well as two key hitters.
But the returners are keyed by senior right side Mattea Erickson, senior setter Josie Johnson and senior libero Kendal Martell.
Senior middle Giselle Cole, senior hitter Aliyah Alby and junior Brylee Lingen will all play key roles for the Prowlers.
Sophomore Carlie Rogalla figures to be an emerging prospect for Thief River Falls, as well.
Thompson: The Tommies finished third at state last season and will need to replace one of the state’s top volleyball players from a year ago in multi-talented McKenzie Hughes.
Thompson lost three other big names in Maddie Stefonowicz, Lexi Telehey and Jada Wilke.
The Tommies’ key returners include Mya Krogstad, Lexi Zafke, Libby Koerber and Bailey Munson.
Krogstad had more than 170 kills and 270 digs last season, while Zafke had 90 kills and 43 blocks.
Koerber shared setting duties with Hughes and had 355 assists. Munson had a team-high 413 digs.
Hoping to fill some of the void left from Hughes is sophomore Sydney Schwabe, a sister to former Thompson athletic standouts Calen and Cadyn Schwabe.