The Main Line high school girls' basketball scene looks to be strong once again in 2014, as several teams are coming off outstanding 2013-14 campaigns. Shipley captured the PAISAA state tournament title and went undefeated in the Friends Schools League. Episcopal Academy captured its second straight Inter-Ac title. Radnor won its first-ever district title. Other Main Line teams that enjoyed a strong 2013-14 season were Archbishop Carroll, Barrack Hebrew Academy, Harriton, Haverford, Merion Mercy Academy, Villa Maria Academy and Friends' Central.

Here's a look (in alphabetical order) at how the Main Line high school girls' basketball teams shape up for the 2014-15 season:

Academy of Notre Dame

Head coach: Mary Beth McNichol, 24th year.

Last year's record: 10-16 overall, 7-5 Inter-Ac.

Key returnees: Four starters from last season 5-8 junior guard Alex Kane (was first team All-Inter-Ac), 5-9 senior forward Sam Sacchetta, 6-0 junior center Rachel Ryan, 5-6 junior guard Leanne Purcell.

 

Others to watch: 5-9 junior forward Kristen Rogers, 5-6 senior guard Sophia Galantino, 5-7 sophomore guard Casey Walsh.

 

Outlook: The Irish look forward to a competitive season. The team comes off a rebuilding year and returns most of the 2013-2014 squad. Unfortunately, the Irish lost junior guard Caitlyn Clark, a second team All-Inter-Ac selection last winter, to an ACL injury.

McNichol said, "The team has worked extremely hard in the off season and hopes to contend for the Inter-Ac championship.'

Agnes Irwin

 

Head coach: Don Ciminera, first year (was head coach at Archbishop Prendergast from 1982 to 1994).

 

Last year's record: 6-20 overall, 3-9 Inter-Ac.

 

Key returnees: 5-9 senior forward Stephanie Williams, 5-5 senior guard Lauren Spinelli, 5-9 senior forward Sierra Corbett.

 

Others to watch: 6-0 senior center Emma Collier, 5-8 senior guard Jolle Jemmott.

 

Outlook: Ciminera lists the Owls' biggest strengths as experience and athleticism, and its biggest needs as depth and size.

Williams has been sidelined with a concussion for the past two months, but was cleared to play Dec. 1. "To be successful, we must stay healthy and stay out of foul trouble,' said Ciminera. "Our team goal is to be a factor in the Inter-Ac race.'

Archbishop Carroll

 

Head coach: Chuck Creighton, eighth year.

 

Last year's record: 15-10 overall, 9-3 Catholic League.

 

Key returnees: 5-9 senior guard Lexi Stover, 5-9 senior guard Julia Gantz, 5-4 senior guard Keara McNulty, 5-6 senior guard Ann McKnight, 6-0 senior forward Kristen Ryan.

 

Others to watch: 5-6 junior guard Jess Carney, 5-9 sophomore guard Bella Sorrentino, 5-8 sophomore guard Theresa Kearney, 5-11 junior forward Lexi Kucia.

 

Outlook: Creighton said, "Our [biggest] strength is our team experience. We need to sacrifice individual goals for team goals to be successful. Our team goals are to compete for the league, district and state championships.'

 

Baldwin School

 

Head coach: Danny Fraider, first year.

 

Last year's record: 8-15 overall, 0-12 Inter-Ac.

 

Key returnees: 6-4 junior center Danielle Hammond, 5-7 junior guard Kejohnna Hammond.

 

Others to watch: 5-6 junior guard Alex Brittingham, 5-6 junior guard Imani Brown, 5-11 junior forward Kayla Watkins.

 

Lost to graduation: Jen Motter.

 

Outlook: The Bears are returning five players who saw significant playing time last season.

Fraider said, "We're looking to improve our record from last year, to challenge teams in Inter-Ac, and to build on the successes of last season.'

 

Barrack Hebrew Academy

 

Head coach: Rebecca Trajtenberg, fifth year.

 

Last year's record: 20-3 overall 13-3 Tri-County League.

 

Key returnees: 5-6 junior guard Lindsay Chevlin, 5-7 sophomore forward Talia Raikin.

 

Others to watch: 5-3 freshman point guard Talia Koltun-From.

 

Lost to graduation: center Sophia Shoulson.

 

Outlook: Trajtenberg said, "The biggest strength this year is our athleticism and speed. We are a smaller team but because of that we have the speed to capitalize on fast breaks and strong defense. We are looking to return to the Tri-County League championship game for the third year and we have high expectations for this team.'

 

 

Conestoga

 

Head coach: Chris Jeffries, first year (spent last nine year as assistant coach at Radnor).

 

Last year's record: 13-8.

 

Key returnees: 6-0 senior forward Jill Mascioli, 6-1 junior forward Ellie Mack, 5-7 senior guard Jess Monastero.

 

Others to watch: 5-9 senior forward Brooke Bassett, 5-6 sophomore guard Sarah Mascioli, 5-8 junior guard Emily Conaway.

 

Lost to graduation: forward Maddy Tessier-Kay (Harvard).

 

Outlook: Jeffries said, "We have strong senior leadership returning and will rely heavily on our upper classes to carry the team. There has been some great energy, but we will need time to learn each other. [Returning All-Central League performer] Ellie Mack will be sidelined for the season with an ACL injury, and many candidates have emerged to help carry the scoring load. We expect our season to be on-the-job-training and to be successful. Central League playoffs and District 1 playoffs are where we always strive to be.'

Episcopal Academy

 

Head coach: Chuck Simmonds, 11th year.

 

Last year's record: 15-6 overall; 11-1 Inter-Ac (champions).

 

Key returnees: 5-11 senior guard Maria Kilcullen, 5-9 senior guard Meghan Pickell, 5-10 junior guard Dylan Higgins, 5-5 junior guard Margaux Paolino, 6-2 sophomore forward Elodie Furey.

 

Others to watch: 5-5 senior guard Julianne Longen, 6-1 junior forward Lily Kuntz, 5-6 sophomore guard Reilly Wright, 5-10 freshman forward Luca Mamula, 5-10 freshman forward/guard Seanna McNamara, 5-8 freshman guard Katie Weaver.

 

Lost to graduation: guard Sarah Abbonizio (playing for Univ. of Sciences).

 

Outlook: Episcopal returns four starters from last year's Inter-Ac championship team, and hopes to continue to be a good defensive team. Simmonds said the biggest key to this season will be blending together a group of experienced returnees with some maturing contributors and newcomers.

"We are looking to challenge for the Inter-Ac title and be competitive throughout a strong schedule,' said Simmonds.

 

 

Friends' Central

 

Head coach: Phil Annas, 16th year.

 

Last year's record: 12-12 overall, 5-3 Friends Schools League.

 

Key returnees: 5-9 junior guard/forward Anna Leone, 5-8 junior guard Iyanna McCurdy, 5-4 senior guard Lisa Bernstein, 6-2 sophomore forward Mikayla Vaughn.

 

Lost to graduation: Taylor Allen (University of Pennsylvania).

 

Outlook: With only one senior on the roster, Annas is excited to have youth and enthusiasm in the lineup. Losing co-captain Taylor Allen from last year will leave big shoes to fill. However, Annas is looking forward to coaching this group and watching their development as the season progresses. If all goes according to plan, he is hoping the Phoenix will be competing in the Friends Schools League playoffs in early February.

 

 

Harriton

 

Head coach: Messiah Reames, third year.

 

Last year's record: 18-5 overall, 13-3 Central League.

 

Key returnees: 5-6 junior guard Haley Morris, 5-6 sophomore guard Sophie Grady, 5-8 junior guard Olivia Tevis.

 

Others to watch: 5-7 sophomore guard Caroline Depilis.

 

Lost to graduation: Sabrina Tabasso (playing lacrosse for Loyola), Katie Melvin (playing lacrosse for University of Michigan), Nadirah Anderson (playing basketball for Rosemont).

 

Outlook: Reames said, "We want to compete each and every game like it's our last. We lost a lot [to graduation]. We have a very young team who will have to learn on the court. The goal is to compete for a playoff spot and make it into Districts again. Defending and rebounding will be the key to our season.'

 

 

Haverford High

 

Head coach: Bridget DiCave, third year.

 

Last year's record: 14-9.

 

Key returnees: 5-8 senior guard/forward Rosie O'Halloran, 5-5 junior point guard Molli Reynolds.

 

Others to watch: 5-5 senior guard Jess Lyons, 6-0 junior center Amanda Battista, 5-7 junior guard Ashley Murphy, 5-9 sophomore forward Kelly Lyons, 5-8 sophomore forward Brianna Blair.

 

Lost to graduation: forward/center Samantha Estes, guard Erin Burke, forward Meghan Fowler.

 

Outlook: DiCave said, "Our goals are to get into the Central League playoffs, and to go further in Districts.'

 

 

Lower Merion

 

Head coach: Lauren Pellicane, 11th year.

 

Last year's record: 3-19.

 

Key returnees: 5-8 junior guard Margo Urheim, 5-2 sophomore guard Lizzy D'Alonzo, 5-8 small forward Leonique Glasgow.

 

Others to watch: 5-11 freshman forward Bethany Eldridge, 5-8 freshman guard Sarah Fitzpatrick, 5-8 freshman guard/forward Ashley Roberts, 5-10 freshman forward Izzy Meline, 5-6 freshman guard Evey Veguilla.

 

Outlook: This year's Aces team could be the youngest team in the history of the program with the majority of the roster being filled out by sophomores and freshmen. According to Pellicane, Lower Merion is well-rounded at every position and hopes to become competitive within the Central League. Inexperience could be a factor at times.

Pellicane said, "How quickly the [team] gels together will be key to [our] success this season.'

Merion Mercy Academy

 

Head coach: Rob Baxter, eighth year.

 

Last year's record: 16-13.

 

Key returnees: 5-6 senior guard Valez Jackson, 5-8 senior guard/forward Caroline Corzel, 5-9 senior forward Kristen Konieczny, 5-7 junior guard Gabby Heinsinger.

 

Others to watch: 5-8 sophomore forward Jada Smith, 5-10 junior forward Liz McMonagle, 5-10 junior forward Bernadette McGeever.

 

Lost to graduation: Tina DiGiacomo, Mariah Quinn.

 

Outlook: Baxter said, "I think one of our strengths will be our depth and ability to interchange a few players at guard and forward. We will need to shoot well and play aggressive defense in order to be successful this year. Our goals are to compete for a league playoff position and a good district seeding.'

 

 

 

Radnor

 

Head coach: Mark Jordan, ninth year (also was head coach at Sacred Heart for 11 years).

 

Last year's record: 14-13 overall, 6-10 Central League, defeated Villa Maria Academy, 34-30. to claim the team's first-ever district title.

 

Key returnees: 5-4 senior guard Katie Jordan, 5-4 senior guard Lauren Pacifico, 5-10 junior forward Kristin Hamill, 5-6 sophomore guard Nicole Massimino, 5-8 sophomore forward Allison Lanzone.

 

Lost to graduation: guard Myonie Williamson (playing for Dickinson).

 

Outlook: The defending district champions return five of their top six players from last year. The one player who graduated, Williamson, scored 970 points in her Radnor career and head coach Mark Jordan says Pacifico and Hamill will have to carry the scoring burden. The Red Raiders are seeking more depth - seniors Caitlin Connor and Megan Massimino will miss most of the season with injuries.

Mark Jordan said, "The team will improve as the season progresses. [We] are looking to participate in the {District One] Class AAAA playoffs again in February as well as being a factor in the Central League as well.

Katie Jordan has been in 10 playoff games over the past three years - and she pairs up well with Massimino, who started all five playoff games last season as a freshman, to form a strong defensive backcourt. Lanzone and Hamill provide length inside. The team will look to run more this season.

 

 

Sacred Heart

 

Head coach: Zach Shuler, ninth year.

 

Last year's record: 4-18 overall, 0-14 AACA.

 

Key returnees: 5-7 senior guard Celine Dugan, 5-2 senior guard Jen Young, 5-5 junior guard Jessica McTaggart, 5-5 junior guard Lauren Kilroy, 5-11 junior center Maddie Schneider, 5-10 junior forward Bridie Anne MacCrory.

 

Others to watch: 5-6 junior guard/forward Kayla Cecchine, 5-0 freshman guard Eileen Piombino.

 

Lost to graduation: guards McKenna Schneider, Emily Cartafalsa and Nicolette Paci.

 

Outlook: Shuler said, "The [biggest] strength of our team is a balanced scoring attack from inside and outside. We need to get better from the defensive end and limit our opponent to one shot. We [also] need players to step up on the perimeter and knock down open jumpers.

"The keys to being successful this season will be to get the team to play tough defensively and on the boards so we can get transition opportunities. Our goal is to be competitive in the Catholic Academies League, which will hopefully prepare us for a deep run in the Class A district playoffs.'

 

 

Shipley

 

Head co-coaches: Kevin Costello and Alexandra Lennon, first year.

 

Last year's record: 24-7 overall, 10-0 Friends Schools League (champions), PAISAA champions.

 

Key returnees: 6-4 senior center Martine Fortune (committed to Georgia Tech), 5-8 senior guard Nia Holland (committed to Lafayette College), 5-11 junior forward Courtney Redcross.

Others to watch: 5-6 sophomore guard Yndiah Bobo, 5-9 sophomore guard Tenisha Pressley.

 

Lost to graduation: point guard Tamisha "Sox' Alexander (Shipley's all-time leading scorer now playing basketball for St. John's University), forward Colleen Walsh (Shipley's all-time leading three-point shooter now playing basketball for University of the Sciences).

 

Outlook: The Gators hope that a combination of experience and talent will drive them to a fifth straight Friends Schools League title and to a repeat as PAISAA state champions. Led by a senior class that has won two state titles and boasts a 30-0 league record, Shipley has depth at every position; whether it is in the post, with senior captain and Georgia Tech commit Martine Fortune at center and junior standout Courtney Redcross at power forward; or the backcourt, where senior captain Nia Holland will provide steady leadership and offensive output and sophomores Yndiah Bobo and Tenisha Pressley look set to have breakout years; or on the wing, where senior captain Meredith Maguire, juniors Maya Overton and Emily Talluto will bring the team a combination of outside shooting and athleticism.

 

Villa Maria Academy

 

 

Head coach: Kathy McCartney, 28th year.

 

 

Last year's record: 17-12 overall, 10-4 AACA (regular season).

 

 

Key returnees: 5-8 senior forward Katie Mooney, 5-8 senior forward Danielle Knopp, 5-4 senior guard Clare O'Rourke.

 

 

Others to watch: 5-7 junior Marielle Picinich (missed last season with ACL tear), 5-4 junior guard Laura Davis, 5-10 sophomore forward Marissa Picinich, 5-6 sophomore guard Murrin Tague. The Hurricanes are expecting some contributions from seniors Mary Kate O'Malley, Shea Saturno and Jaime Brown.

 

 

Lost to graduation: Devon Tirney, Molly Namiotka, Jackie Carlin.

 

 

Outlook: McCartney said, "Our biggest strength right now is our work ethic. We are putting together some new pieces to the puzzle but the kids are working real hard and we expect to be very successful this year. We are going to take one game at a time and try to learn as we go. Our hope is to be a very solid squad come playoff time."