The Milton High School volleyball team has a lot to replace in 2019.
The Red Hawks lose six starters from last year’s team, including Badger South Conference Player of the Year Chloe Buescher.
Milton began it’s journey to replace and reload this season with the Madison La Follete Tournament on Tuesday, Aug. 27, in Madison.
The Red Hawks collected a 4-1 record at the tournament and were defeated in the championship game to Platteville, 21-25, 25-23, 15-11.
In Madison, the Red Hawks defeated Edgerton (25-13, 20-25, 15-8), Madison La Follette (19-25, 25-6, 15-5), Sauk Prairie (25-18, 25-18) and Fort Atkinson (25-14, 29-27).
Milton got some more experience on Friday, Aug. 30, and Saturday, Aug. 31, at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Invitational.
The Red Hawks went 5-3 in their matches in Whitewater.
“We got eight matches in, which was nice. We played a lot of games,” Milton head coach Wayne Hansen said. “I kept 14 girls this year, which leads me with a lot of selections, opportunities for kids to play. We’re just so young, it was nice to get this tournament in.”
Milton won their first match of the tournament against Randolph, 25-8, 25-9, but ended Friday with losses to Indian Trail, 29-27, 25-18, and Platteville, 25-17, 25-16.
The Red Hawks started off Saturday with a win over the host Whippets by a score of 25-14, 27-29, 17-15.
Milton ended the tournament with wins over Beloit Memorial (25-16, 25-13) and Stoughton (25-16, 25-21) and a loss to Catholic Central (25-11, 21-25, 15-7).
Overall, Milton took 15th place out of 24 teams at the UW-Whitewater Tournament.
The go-to girls for the Red Hawks this season look to be sophomore setter Jordan Karlen, junior outside hitter Juliet Karlen and senior middle hitter Abbey Falk.
Falk and Jordan Karlen both return as starters from last year’s team.
“I have a quote on quote big three,” Hansen said.
At the Madison La Follete Tounrmanet Jordan Karlen led Milton in assits and aces with 97 and 13, respectively.
Falk led the Red Hawks in blocks at the tournament with 15, and also recorded 25 kills. Juliet Karlen had a tournament-high 35 kills for the Red Hawks in Madison.
“Those are the three I lean on, but we also have excellent contemplatory players that are good in their own right,” Hanesen said.
One of those contemplatory players is junior outside hitter Paige Emerson.
“She’s grown immensely,” Hansen said. “She’ll be an exceptional player soon.”
Emerson racked up 14 kills at the Madison La Follette Invitational.
Milton finished 6-1 in the Badger South Conference last season, a game behind 7-0 Watertown in the Standings.
“I think we’ll be in the top three,” Hansen said.
“I think people are definitely overlooking us because of how much I lost” Hansen said. “I probably had one of the best teams I ever had at Milton last year.”
Despite the young team, Hansen believes a regional title is still in reach for his Red Hawks.
“My goal for us is to win regionals,” Hansen said.
“I think the goal is very attainable,” he added.
The Red Hawks will take on Oregon Thursday, Sept. 5, at Milton High School at 7 p.m.