Capistrano Valley Christian: 15-11, 6-4 in 1995-96. Coach: Lisa Gray (first year). Prospects: Although the Eagles went to the playoffs, they slipped to third in the Academy League. Gray's squad is stocked with juniors, but eight players return, three of them starters. Dependable senior guard Hayley Hall (5-5, 10.5 points, 4.8 assists) will get the ball to junior forward Aurora Cerne (5-8) and junior guard Gini Joy Carney (5-7).
Fairmont: 7-12, 3-7 in 1995-96. Coach: Jay Sadler (second year, 7-12). Prospects: After three years as a struggling program, Fairmont might be ready to reach .500--and even the playoffs--in its fourth season. They will have to do it without team MVP Bethel Otuteye, who transferred to Canyon. Four starters are back, though, including junior center Katy Barstow (6-1, 9.1 points, 12 rebounds) and sophomore guard Anchal Saigal (14.9 points).
Heritage Christian: 8-13, 6-6 in 1995-96. Coach: Jon Caffrey (second year, 8-13). Prospects: With nine returning players, including four starters, it's not surprising Caffrey can't wait for the season to unfold. He's got a pair of glass cleaners in junior Melinda Williams (5-8, 6.2 points, 10.1 rebounds) and senior forward Melissa Caparino (5-9, 4.8 points, 7.3 rebounds) to complement senior scoring guard Christa Larson (10.4 points, 5.1 assists).
Huntington Beach Claremont: 0-0, 0-0 in 1995-96. Coach: Brian Whitman (first year). Prospects: Claremont did not have enough players to field a program last season, and no one knows what to expect of the Cougars this season. Whitman's top newcomers are freshmen, guard Gerri Ann Kassoff and center Sara Sampson (6-0).
Liberty Christian: 18-10, 6-4 in 1995-96. Coach: Rudy Sass (third year, 29-22). Prospects: After finishing second in the Academy League, the Minutemen will start over. There are no returning starters, or a junior varsity squad to draw from. In the beginning, Sass will rebuild around 5-11 center Teresa Johnston and sophomore guard Tiffany Potter (5-5), neither of whom played much last season.
Orangewood Academy: 2-18, 0-10 in 1995-96. Coach: Larry Haskins (second year, 2-18). Prospects: Haskins had no illusions about the abilities of Orangewood, and the Spartans did little to change that perception last season. But with seven returning players, four of them starters, Haskins is expecting more from his Academy League squad this season. Best of the bunch are three seniors: guard Joyce Arevelo (5-1), center Jerri Barron (5-11), and forward Crystal Holmes (5-10); and junior guard Jaime Steiner (5-7).
St, Margaret's: 17-5, 10-0 in 1995-96. Coach: Brady Lock (eighth year, 89-50). Prospects: The Tartans owned the Academy League last season. But it would be too much to expect them to go undefeated this time. Lost to graduation were stars Jean Freeman and Shay Trette. Only two starters are back, guard Abbey Arnold (5-7), and center Lauren Halsted (5-11).
Southern California Christian: 5-14, 2-8 in 1995-96. Coach: Eric Cameron (second year, 5-14). Prospects: Now that the 32-game losing streak is in the past, things should continue to improve at SCC with nine players returning. Among them are a trio of senior second-team all-league picks, guard Kami Horvath (5-4), forward Sheeba Mathews (5-6), and forward Emily Lambert (5-6).