Wolves begin volleyball season at Albany tourney

Milaca’s volleyball team opened its season Friday at the Albany Tournament, where it lost all four of its matches.

The matches were the first for the Wolves under Jamie Taylor, Milaca’s new head coach.

“We had a tough pool of teams to start out with,” said Taylor. “It included Maple Lake and Sauk Centre, two veteran teams that played each other at the state tournament last year.

“Both look extremely tough again this season. We struggled against both in serve-receive and running an offensive attack.”

Maple Lake topped Milaca 25-8, 25-13 while Sauk Centre topped the Wolves 25-11, 25-13.

The Wolves lost to Rocori 25-15 in the opening game but won the second 25-16 before dropping the deciding game 16-14.

“Rocori was similar to us in talent and I was pleased to see us do some things we’ve been working on in practice,” said Taylor. “We came very close to winning the match and it was a nice bounce back after the first two matches.”

Watertown-Mayer defeated Milaca 25-13, 25-21 in the match for seventh place.

“I think fatigue became a factor after playing four matches in a row,” said Taylor.

Senior Emily Herbert was impressive in the middle and she notched 13 kills and had nine blocks in the meet. Senior Megan Kolb was 20-for-20 serving and had four aces in the tournament and senior Sadie Hunt led the team with 16 kills.

“Our serving was excellent, close to 90 percent,” said Taylor. “We need to improve our serve receive – we struggled with the other team’s top server too many times. We need to finish our rallies and we need more offense and kills.

Taylor also cited the passing skills of senior Ali Prince.

Milaca returns to action with a Granite Ridge Conference match at Becker Thursday night, Sept. 6, at 7:15 p.m.