Preseason No. 1.
That's the billing the Laguna Beach High girls' volleyball team will bring into the 2012 season.
It's the ranking the CIF Southern Section office has bestowed on the Breakers, who were given the No. 1 slot in the Division 1-A poll. Last year, the Breakers started out No. 3 in the division.
Laguna returns eight players from last year's undefeated Orange Coast League championship team, one that made another trip to the CIF Southern Section semifinals. The Breakers are missing a few key players from last year's squad, but Coach Lance Stewart is high on his 2012 unit.
"I think we have a lot of potential," he said. "Our success will come down to how well we serve and pass. We've got to get better every five minutes, every practice. That's our goal. We're looking for consistency from this group."
Laguna played its first regular-season match against Norco on Thursday. The score wasn't available at press time. The Breakers also geared up for their new campaign by competing Saturday and Sunday at the Foothill Queens Court Volleyball Tournament in Anaheim.
As for that top ranking to start the season, Stewart was pleased his team got the recognition.
"I would say we are deserving," he said. "I think it's more important to be there toward the end of the year, for seeding rights for the (CIF) playoffs. But we've got to prove it on the court. Our goal at Laguna is to win CIF every year, to dog pile at Cypress College in November. That's our ultimate goal."
League: Orange Coast
CIF Division: 1-A
Head Coach: Lance Stewart (12th year)
Coaching staff: Steve Astor; Mark Rivadeynera
League finish: 10-0
2011 CIF result: Reached semifinals of Division 1-A playoffs.
Returning players: Alyse Ford (OH, all-league, All-CIF, Soph.); Sevana Dvorak (S, Sr.); Julia Goggin (OH, all-league, Sr.); Alex Murphy (MB, all-league, Sr.); Sami Harting (MB, Sr.); Amanda Kimball (MB, Sr.); Seneca Jakosky (DS, Sr.); Marissa Greenough (OH, Sr.).
Newcomers: Brianna Boyd (S, Soph.); Sabrina Stillwell (OH, Soph.); Francie Holte (Libero, Soph.); Dani Quiarte (MB, Soph.); Samantha Kruger (DS, Jr.); Cameron Dorn (OPP, Fr.); Aspen Rocha (OH, Fr.).
Aug. 30: Norco
Tuesday: JSerra, 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 8: Santiago/Corona, 1:15 p.m.
Sept. 11: Newport Harbor, 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 18: at Corona del Mar, 6:45 p.m.
Sept. 21-24: at Dave Mohs Tournament (Edison host)
Sept. 25: *Saddleback, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 27: at *Estancia, 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 2: *Calvary Chapel, 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 3: at Mira Costa, 5:30 p.m.
Oct. 4: *Godinez, 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 8: at *Costa Mesa, 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 10: at *Saddleback, 5:30 p.m.
Oct. 13: at Steve Lewis Invitational, TBA
Oct. 16: *Estancia, 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 18: at *Calvary Chapel, 5:30 p.m.
Oct. 23: at *Godinez, 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 25: *Costa Mesa, 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 30: at Dana Hills, 6 p.m.
(*denotes league game)