Episcopal Academy is both the reigning Inter-Ac League and Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association champion.

That's good.

The Churchmen no longer have Megan Quinn, the reigning two-time Daily Times Player of the Year

That's not so good.

Now at Villanova, Quinn averaged more than 18 points and 10 rebounds as she led EA to a 23-3 record last season and set the career scoring record at the school.

She leaves a 6-foot-2, large-sized void.

Moreover, EA coach Chuck Simmonds is looking to make up for the key losses of guards Kristen Hinckley and Meghan Hubley.

"There will be minutes to be replaced, but the team has high hopes for the returning players to make a smooth transition,' Simmonds said.

Even with the departure of three crucial players, Simmonds has a somewhat experienced crop of returning players led by 5-6 senior guard Lexie Curry, 5-11 junior guard/forward Maria Kilcullen and 5-10 junior guard Meghan Pickell.

At Episcopal, it's not a full-blown rebuilding phase. Simmonds fully expects his players to make steady progress and be there in the end, going after another Inter-Ac and PAISAA title.

On the other hand, Academy of Notre Dame is undergoing a major makeover.

For four seasons, the Irish have been carried by All-Delco guards Megan McGurk and Kathleen Fitzpatrick. McGurk moved on to Bucknell while Fitzpatrick is at St. Joseph's. Together, McGurk and Fitzpatrick scored 947 points last year, or 71.6 percentage of the Irish's total output during a 21-5 season.


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Notre Dame lost all five starters and eight seniors to graduation.

Mary Beth McNichol, who is beginning her 23rd season at Notre Dame, is preaching patience.

"The team is rebuilding,' she said. "The team is young and inexperienced, but we think we'll be competitive.'

Among the key returnees are junior Sam Sacchetta (5-9 forward), and sophomores Caitlyn Clark (5-4 guard), Alex Kane (5-7 guard) and Rachel Ryan (6-0 center).

Agnes Irwin was plagued by so many injuries last winter, the Owls chose not to participate in the independent schools tournament. This year, third-year coach John Novarina hopes his squad can stay healthy and make a run at the Inter-Ac title. It's not inconceivable to suggest Agnes Irwin could be a dark horse to challenge the likes of Germantown Academy, Episcopal, Penn Charter and Notre Dame.

Back in the fold are seniors Madison Schmidt and Autumn Wedderburn, who is returning from a season-ending knee injury. Novarina said that 5-4 junior guard Lauren Spinelli will be the on-court captain.

"Our team will go as far as our defense and execution take us,' Novarina said. "I have a group of kids that want to work very hard and are looking forward to competing with the teams in our challenging conference.'