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The Atlanta Harlequins enjoyed a superb season last year, and with the return of coach Jason Payne for his third season will be looking to surpass their 2011 performance, when they made the nationa semifinals.

Longtime stars Heather Hale, Patty Jervey, and Tasha Mannino-Dickson return for another go-round, and the club has added some new talent up front.

"We are raring to go," said club president Rosalind Chou. "We're continuing to build on the foundation [Payne] has set for us."

The Harlequins will field a 2nd side in DII (not playing for a title, but still a full schedule), and that should help them develop depth.

"We are hopeful for a successful season and have great energy going into our first match this weekend," said Chou. "We are coalescing well as a unit. We know that our success lies within how strong we're able to travel. We have some really tough matches on the road and are playing all six league matches in a row so our depth is going to be very important. We will need to utilize our full squad so we can keep our players healthy and fresh."

Atlanta travels to Albany for their opener, and are heavily favored, having beaten the knocks 54-0 in league play last year.

But, as Chou said, it will be a tough season. The Harlequins travel more miles than anyone in CR3, so starting off on the right foot will be crucial.