Eagles soaring back to the top of volleyball heap
MILANO—Winning district championships is nothing to be taken for granted, but three years is a veritable lifetime for a team that made four straight trips to the state tournament just a couple of years ago.
The Milano Lady Eagles volleyball team will look to repeat as district champions this season after going undefeated in loop play and going three rounds deep in the postseason during 2008.
Wendy King, in her 16th year as Milano's head volleyball coach, is looking for a good showing from her team in 16A district.
"I'll be real disappointed if we don't win (district)," King said. She returns five starters and six lettermen off last year's 26-17 squad.
The Lady Eagles haven't missed the postseason since 2000 and had its best season in school history in 2005 when the team went 40-5 and were silver medalist at the state tourney, losing to powerhouse Windthorst in a four-set state title game. Last year was Milano's only winning season since 2005.
Joining Milano in District 16A are Bremond, Buckholts, Calvert, Chilton and Mumford. The district is in Region II, a region that Milano dominated in 2002-2005, making four straight trips to the state volleyball tournament.
The veteran coach King said that she looks for the Lady Eagles' only competition in district to be from the Mumford Lady Mustangs.
"Mumford has some tall girls. They gave us some competition when we played there last year," King said.
Mumford was second place to Milano last season in the district race, with Chilton finishing third. Both the Lady Mustangs and Chilton lost in the first round of the playoffs.
King said the team returns a majority of players from last year's regional quarterfinalist team.
This year's team will look to senior Sarah Jane Alexander for leadership, along with juniors Allison Dodd and Macey Turnage.
Other key returnees, Taryn
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Love and Stephanie Philpott,
along with seniors Brittany Compton and Jenna Morgan, round out Milano's varsity roster.
Love and Philpott were second team honorees and Dodd earned honorable mention.
There were 22 girls who came out for high school volleyball in Milano this season. That is about average, King said.
The Lady Eagles opened up the season on Tuesday at Geneva Paceley Gym by losing to Rosebud Lott in five sets (23-25, 25- 20, 24-26, 25-20, 13-15).
Sarah Alexander and Taryn Love each recorded 12 kills to lead Milano.
The varsity squad will play in the Cameron Tournament on Thursday and Saturday and also host Anderson-Shiro on Friday for three games beginning at 3 p.m..
Milano traveled to Lexington Saturday for scrimmages.
MILANO LADY EAGLES
Coach: Wendy King (16th year at
2008 record: 27-16
District record: 10-0 (champion)
Last playoff appearance: 2008,
lost to Cayuga in regional quarter
Last winning season: 2008
State tournaments: 2002, 2003,
Key losses: Devon Young, Vanessa
Vargas, Katy Walker.
Key returnees: Sarah Alexander,
Macey Turnage, Allison Dodd,
Stephanie Philpott, Taryn Love,
Key newcomers: Brittany Compton,