WALNUT CREEK -- Putting it lightly, the Las Lomas High girls volleyball team had a good year in 2012. If using hyperbole, the Knights had a magical season.
But in actuality, the Knights had the best season in the program's history.
The Knights won their first-ever North Coast Section championship, their third-ever Diablo Foothill League title and finished with a record of 37-8.
"It was a very special season," Las Lomas coach Jim Changaris said. "The way we came together at the end of the year was incredible."
The 37 wins were the most in school history. They ended the season by winning 34 of their last 38 matches, winning 20 in a row at one point.
However, this year will feature a new cast, as Las Lomas graduated five starting seniors, and they will look to keep the program considered one of the best in the East Bay.
"It's a very different team this year," senior Lauren Fitterer said. "But we're gonna feed off that confidence from last year, we're gonna put in a lot of hard work and get better this year."
Fitterer joins fellow senior Yuki Bradley and junior Hailey Glass as the three key returners for the Knights in 2013. Fitterer will be playing opposite, Glass will be on the outside while Bradley moves from libero to the outside as well.
Middle Kelsey Angus and right side Jilian Cabornay will also play big roles after seeing some playing time a year ago.
"We gained some really valuable experience last year," Fitterer said. "We came together like a family and we're hoping that happens again this year."
Repeating as Division II champs will not be easy, but Las Lomas has the schedule that could get them ready to do just that. The Knights have three nonleague matches with Division I schools and will once again be facing a grueling DFAL schedule. In addition, they will be in the Deer Valley, Dougherty Valley and Northgate tournaments where they will see numerous playoff teams from all divisions.
"This year is gonna be a scramble, but the girls can do it, I know they can," Changaris said. "This year we're gonna be very well-rounded, and the girls came in wanting to do really well."
Las Lomas has nonleague matches with Division I foes Granada and Freedom, then starts DFAL play on Sept. 24 at Campolindo.