Gardner-Webb has been hit hard by the transfer market so far in the offseason as they’ve now lost three players to other teams. The newest addition to that group is Emma Milstead, a 5’7″ defensive specialist/libero, was a redshirt sophomore in 2017 and will progress to a junior with two years left of play.
Milstead played in 248 sets in her three years with Gardner-Webb. The opening season totaled just 26 of those sets as she took a medical redshirt with injury. Then she appeared in 116 sets as a redshirt freshman when she logged 4.97 digs per set followed by 4.49 digs per set in 106 games as a sophomore.
Each of the last two seasons, Milstead has been the leader in terms of digs, finishing fourth in the Big South for the 2017 season.
The other two transfers leaving Gardner-Webb are outside hitter Joy Rhodes and middle blocker Keira Moore. The Milstead loss specifically leaves Gardner-Webb with two returning defensive specialists who are set to be juniors in 2018.
Butler is coming off of a 23-8 season in which they finished 13-5 in conference play before ending their season in a loss to Marquette in the conference tournament. Their 2017 roster featured a libero and a defensive specialist who were both juniors, meaning they will likely be back in 2018 to join Milstead at the position.