Tough Competition: Bay Port Volleyball Preview
By Rich Palzewic,
SUAMICO – The Bay Port girls’ volleyball will be looking to move up two spots in the Fox River Classic Conference after having their most successful season ever in 2016.
The Lady Pirates finished in third behind Notre Dame and De Pere with a 7-2 FRCC record. Their two conference losses came in back-to-back matches with the Redbirds and Tritons to open the season, before running off seven wins in a row to end the year.
“We had a really tough start to our season a year ago just with who we had to play first,” said head coach Brendan Baier. “After that, we had a really good stretch of both conference and non-conference games against some good opponents.
“This year is going to be the toughest the conference has been since I’ve been here. There are a lot of quality players and teams throughout the FRCC. Sheboygan North, De Pere, Notre Dame and Ashwaubenon will all have talented teams.”
Senior second-team selection Maura McGinnity returns after leading the FRCC in 2016 with 305 assists, which was 41 better than any other player in the conference.
Other key returnees are senior Mady Schroeder (149 digs) and junior honorable-mention choice Olivia Schaut.
“We have some really strong players returning,” Baier said. “We have a good setter (in Maura McGinnity) coming back who does a really good job of running our offense. Mady (Schroeder) made some really big gains over the offseason and I’m really impressed with what I’ve seen of her so far – she’s being vocal in the gym and setting a good example for the others. Olivia (Schaut) will be back in the middle and doing a really good job working in there, too.”
Bay Port lost first-team all-conference selection Paige Hostetler (113 kills), Alexa Schroeder (74 kills), Madison Biebel, Ali Bouschart, Clarissa Younkle and Taylor Arbour to graduation.
“We lost a lot of good seniors,” added Baier. “They were not only good players, but also good leaders. Now we will need some of our seniors this year to step up into those roles. I’ve already seen them doing that so far in the gym. I really like what I’m seeing so far.”
Other members of the team are seniors Erin Ross, Bri Clement and Sara Karas; junior Sidni Walgurski; sophomores Brooke Clement, Shelby Stelzer and Kealey Bleser; and freshman Alyssa Koska.
Notes: for a full schedule, visit www.foxriverclassicconference.com, click on the Bay Port link and then navigate your way to the volleyball schedule… the volleyball team is just one of five Bay Port teams never to win a FRCC title, with the others being boys’ and girls’ golf, girls basketball and girls tennis.