The main question facing Episcopal Academy is: What will the Churchwomen do now that Megan Quinn is at Villanova?
Last season, the forward became the all-time leading scorer in school history, and it will be tough to replace her offensive production.
According to coach Chuck Simmonds, the answer to that question lies in the play of senior guard Sarah Abbonizio, who was consistent for the Churchwomen a year ago, especially coming up big late in the season. Abbonizio will be relied on heavily, Simmonds said, adding that she will have to "carry the load a bit."
Fresh off the program's first Inter-Ac and Independent Schools state titles, Episcopal does have some of the other pieces that went the distance a season ago, including Meghan Pickell and Maria Kilcullen, both junior guards/forwards who saw significant time last season.
But Episcopal isn't the only team in the league that lost a big-time player.
"A lot of talent went out the door for a lot of teams," Notre Dame coach Mary Beth McNichol said. "So I tell them we are not the only ones in that boat, keep working hard."
The Irish return six players from last year's roster, but they lost all five starters. This year, they will start four sophomores and a junior, looking toward Sam Sacchetta, Caitlin Clark, Rachel Ryan, and Alex Kane to provide a spark.
"We will be fairly competitive," McNichol said. "We are inexperienced, but we will just have to take our lumps."
Germantown Academy is in a similar situation, as the roster has one senior, one junior, eight sophomores, and nine freshmen.
While the Patriots will be young, they do return some important players from last year's squad that advanced to the Independent Schools state final, including senior forward Margaret Anne Hubbell, junior guard Olivia Gorman, and sophomore guard Kendall Grasela.
The Patriots, who won 13 straight Inter-Ac titles from 2000-2012, also will be looking to reclaim the top spot in the league.
Springside Chestnut Hill has a new head coach in Joe Maguire, after Steve Purcell resigned to take an assistant coaching position at the University of the Sciences.
Maguire was the assistant for two years under Purcell, and is the third head coach for whom the senior class has played.
Penn Charter could shake things up in league play, having improved over the last couple of seasons.
- Kate Harman