Outlook: Coach Tony Hajjar will probably deny it, but Lawrence is the team to beat in the MVC.
The Lancers have four starters returning from last year’s 17-4 team, including three players who earned all-league honors.
“They’re hands-down the best team in the league, there’s no question about it,” said Methuen coach Matt Twomey.
Andover, with new coach E.J. Perry, Methuen and Haverhill should be competitiv but they all may lack the experience to overtake Lawrence. Central Catholic should be vastly improved and Chelmsford could be a darkhorse.
2012: 12-11, lost in North first round
Returning starters (3): Billy Baldwin, 6-0, Sr., outside hitter; Alec Dean, 5-9, Jr., defensive specialist; Kenny Doherty, 6-3, Jr., middle
Returning lettermen: David Stein, 6-3, Sr., middle hitter- T.J. Norton, 6-2, Sr., setter; Ryan Tjalsma, 5-10, Sr., libero; Kyle Surehan, 5-10, Jr., opposite; Eddie Powers, 6-1, Jr., outside hitter; Sam Doskocil, 5-10, Jr., libero; Jon Bakies, 6-1, Jr., outside hitter
Promising newcomers: Shashank Kaul, 6-0, Sr., middle hitter; Jared Goldstein, 6-2, Jr., outside hitter; Sagar Kaul, 6-1, Jr., outside hitter; Adam Yee, 6-2, Soph., middle hitter; Terence Norton, 6-3, Soph., outside hitter
Captain: Billy Baldwin
Returning honorees: Alec Dean, All-MVC; Kenny Doherty, MVC All-Star
Fast facts: Andover football coach E.J Perry replaces Dave Kuykendall, who had a 30-35 record in five years. Perry, who also coached at Methuen for four years, had a stunning 112-0 record with six state titles as the boys coach at Salem. ... There are five more candidates than last year. ... Assistant Matthew Montiero is a former player for Andover who assisted at Methuen.
Assistants: Matthew Montiero
Coach E.J. Perry (1st year): “Alec Dean is a good all-around player. He’s the guy we’ll hinge on. How far he goes is how far we’ll go. T.J. Norton is the biggest surprise of the preseason and Adam Yee is very athletic for a young guy.”