1. Lynden Christian (preseason rank: 1): The defending 1A state champs have the best hitter in the NWC in Kara Bajema and a very good one in Hannah Rusnak.
2. Burlington-Edison (preseason rank: 4): The Tigers are a state contender that beat Sehome handily. They are still one of the best in the NWC.
3. Sehome (preseason rank: 3): The Mariners are still churning out talent and are again a threat to win a state title.
4. Ferndale (preseason rank: 2): There’s not a coach in the league that thinks Ferndale isn’t a great team with a ton of talent. The key will be responding to adversity.
5. Lynden (preseason rank: 5): The Lions have been really gritty and competitive against top-tier opponents this season. It’s a positive sign early.
6. Anacortes (preseason rank: 6): There’s not a ton to go off here but the Seahawks were competitive with Ferndale and beat playoff contender Squalicum.
7. Squalicum (preseason rank: 8): Two new coaches of two city schools squared off in the conference opener and Squalicum topped Bellingham.
8. Bellingham (preseason rank: 7): The Red Raiders are 3-1, so that’s the positive, but dropping a game to Squalicum puts Bellingham in a tough position.
9. Meridian (preseason rank: 10): The Trojans already have more wins this year than last season. Coach Shannon Claeys is hoping that trend continues.
10. Blaine (preseason rank: 11): After taking four matches to five sets last year, the Borderites are showing again their propensity to go the distance.
11. Nooksack Valley (preseason rank: 9): The Pioneers are still waiting to face a 1A opponent to get an accurate measure of the strength of this squad.
12. Sedro-Woolley (preseason rank: 13): After losing a heartbreaking five-set match to Blaine, the Cubs came back and topped Mount Baker.
13. Mount Baker (preseason rank: 12): It’s been rough so far for the Mountaineers, and they face three state teams in the next two weeks.
NOTE: Result of Burlington-Edison vs. Sehome match corrected on Sept. 24, 2015.