Despite the loss of six seniors the Redwood Valley girls basketball team will open up the 2018-19 campaign with optimism Nov. 27 in Morgan against Cedar Mountain.

The Cardinals said goodbye to All-Big South performer Rose Frank as well as contributing players like Nichele Mannz, Nicole Stoen and Amanda Johnson but return a nice group of athletes.

Leading the way is sophomore quartet of Sydney Sommers, Haley Garman, Aubree Hicks and Hannah Schjenken.

Sommers was an honorable mention All-BSC selection and along with Garman will enter this season with plenty of varsity experience over the past two seasons.

Hicks and Schjenken will step into bigger roles this year after strong seasons in track and volleyball. Seniors like Amy Martius and Caitlyn Johnson will provide leadership to a younger group that will be looking to build on their finish of a season ago.

Head Coach Taya Kockelman’s girls struggled to a 1-9 start a year ago but lost several close games in that stretch. Later in the season the Cards – who finished 8-19 – put together a strong postseason run, upsetting Jackson County Central 67-54 in the Section 3AA playoffs to avenge a pair of close regular season losses.

They then took number two seed Martin County West down to the final seconds, having a shot at a game winning bucket before losing 46-42. Redwood Valley has its home opener Dec. 7 at 6 p.m against Pipestone Area.