They finally ended the long drought last season.
Two teams — Ransom Everglades and Westminster Christian — won Miami-Dade County’s first state championships in girls’ volleyball since 1995.
Both programs are still in good shape to compete for back-to-back state crowns a year later.
But several of the county’s biggest stars in recent years graduated.
Westminster Christian’s Sylvia Hernandez, a three-time Miami Herald Player of the Year, is a freshman at the University of Miami.
So is TERRA’s Brooke McDermott, a first-team All-Dade selection and last year’s Miami Herald Class 8A-6A Player of the Year.
Ransom Everglades’ Nikki Colonna, a three-time All-Dade first-teamer who led the Raiders last season, is playing at Lynn University.
So who’s leading the next wave of talent?
It could be sophomore Michelle Cuervo at Ferguson.
Cuervo, a 5-10 outside hitter, is coming off a stellar freshman season in which she earned All-Dade first-team honors and led the Falcons to the Class 8A state final four.
Cuervo is regarded as one of the top overall players in the county and is already receiving letters from over a dozen Division-I schools.
Cuervo was a key contributor for the Falcons last season and showed it at the state final four when she finished with a team-high 16 kills.
Cuervo earned a national ranking among Prepvolleyball.com’s “Frosh 59” a list of the top 59 freshmen in the nation. The only other Dade players to earn the honors were Sylvia Hernandez and former Palmer Trinity star Paulina Prieto.
Cuervo leads a Ferguson squad that graduated a couple of key starters, including first-team All-Dade selection Annika Reczek, but still returns a strong group capable of making it back to state.
Westminster Christian has a core of underclassmen that will be led by 5-11 senior outside hitter Sammy Ceballos, already a big contributor for the Warriors the past couple of years.
At Ransom, senior 6-1 setter/middle hitter Caroline Sklaver could be the top middle blocker in the county and is committed to Princeton University.
The Raiders also have freshman Sydney Bent, who played for the USA 14-under national team and showed her prowess last season during their Class 4A state championship run.
2013 state champions
Players to watch
OH Sydney Bent, Ransom, 5-10, Fr.; OH-RS Sammy Ceballos, Westminster Christian, 5-11, Sr.; OH Michelle Cuervo, Ferguson, 5-10, Fr.; OH Gianna Dunand, Lourdes, 5-5, Sr.; OH Ellie Nosich, Palmer Trinity, 6-0, Sr.; OH Lauren Potter, Gulliver, 5-11, Fr.; OH Ashley Reid, Killian, 5-7, Jr.; S-OH Kristine Rios, Coral Reef, 5-8, Sr.; OH Alejandra Rodriguez, Divine Savior, 5-6, Jr.; S-MH Caroline Sklaver, Ransom, 6-1, Sr.; OH Sheyanne Sullivan, Southwest, 5-10, Sr.