The Milton volleyball team came through in some big early season games.
The Red Hawks defeated Oregon, 25-16, 25-17, 25-11, in a Badger South Conference opener, Thursday, Sept. 5, at Milton High School.
Milton then bested Lake Geneva Badger, 19-25, 25-16, 25-14, 25-18, in a critical non-conference match Monday, Sept. 9, in Milton.
“This was a must win in my book,” Milton head coach Wayne Hansen said. “Lake Geneva Badger is in our Regionals, and this win helps us with seeding coming tournament time.”
Milton 3, Oregon 0
The Red Hawks defeated the Panthers in straight sets in the conference opener, with all 14 players on the Milton roster taking the court.
“We played great as a team,” Hansen said. “Everyone on the team got playing time.”
Senior Abbey Falk and junior Juliet Karlen led Milton in kills with seven and six, respectively.
Jordan Karlen piled up 22 assists, which led the Red Hawks. Juliet Karlen, Paige Emerson and Alysse Kuglitsch tied for a team-high in digs with six each.
Jordan Karlen and Juliet Karlen tied for a team-best in aces with four. Cassidy Moe had three.
“Cassidy Moe was our player of the game,” Hansen said. “She had three service aces and one dig, but her unselfishness as a team player garnered her our ‘team rock’.”
Milton 3, Badger 1
After losing the first set, the Red Hawks rattled off three straight sets to defeat Badger.
“I used three different lineups and each girl stepped up to bring out the match win,” Hansen said.
Juliet Karlen led Milton in kills with 10, while Falk paced the Red Hawks with five blocks. Juliet Karlen also had team-high in aces with three.
Jordan Karlen collected 26 assits, while Emerson and Kuglitsch each recorded six digs in the Milton victory.
“We didn’t play our best defense, and our passing wasn’t on point for most of the match, but the girls grit and determination and fantastic play from our setter, Jordan Karlen made our offense work,” Hansen said. “This was a great team win, even when we don’t play our best, we never quit.”
Milton moved to 11-4 on the season with the pair of wins and 1-0 in the conference standings. The Red Hawks will continue Badger South play Thursday, Sept. 12, at Monona Grove at 7 p.m.