The Hamilton volleyball team started the season with a 2-3 record at the Watertown Preseason Invite on Aug. 23. Hamilton beat Germantown, 25-22, 25-21, and defeated Platteville, 25-20, 25-15.
Morgan Gramins led the way with 22 kills and a .259 hit percentage. Sarah Schrader had eight serving aces; Macy Thurler registered 39 digs and 64 serves received; and Nicole Macaluso notched 58 assists. Both Ellie Sumiec and McKenna Packer had five blocks each.
Hamilton lost to Watertown, Arrowhead and Westosha Central. The Chargers are still a young team but have a good amount of experience back from last season's squad. Second-team All-Greater Metro Conference selection Kayla Dowler, who was a freshman in 2015 and also earned honorable-mention All-State honors, transferred out of state.
Thurler will be slotted at libero and received time at that position last season when then senior Tori Speckin was injured.
"(Thurler) is very comfortable in that role, and there will be no issues with her going back to libero this year," HHS coach Traci Buhr said. "She is such a strong vocal leader and brings a energy to the court that is contagious."
Nina Pridavka will share time setting with Macaluso, a junior who is new to the varsity team. Serving will be a strength of Hamilton's this year, along with the middle play of Sumiec and Packer. Serve receive will need to improve, according to Buhr.
"We need to figure out which hitters match up better with each setter," Buhr said. "It will probably take a couple of games to figure out our best lineup, but the girls are learning to adjust and adapt early, which will hopefully help us later in the season."