BY RICH PALZEWIC
APPLETON – For the first time ever, the Bay Port volleyball team has won a WIAA D1 regional crown.
Playing at Appleton East on Oct. 21, the No. 5 seeded Lady Pirates (24-13) came home with a 25-19, 25-16, 25-18, sweep to advance to sectionals on Thursday, Oct. 26, at Ashwaubenon. Bay Port will take on No. 1 seed Kimberly at 5:00.
“It was truly a team effort among everyone,” said Bay Port head coach Brendan Baier. “The atmosphere in the gym was incredible and the girls really responded. I loved the way we kept our poise and battled throughout the night.
“Defensively, we really made Appleton East earn their points by keeping the ball off the ground and getting a lot of touches and blocks at the net. Offensively, Maura (McGinnity) did a really nice job setting up our hitters and putting them in successful situations. It was great to put together a complete match when it mattered most.”
McGinnity had 36 assists to lead the Pirates, while Brooke Clement had 12 kills. Alyssa Koska and Olivia Schaut added 10 and nine kills respectively. Clement also led the team with 17 digs and Mady Schroeder chipped in with 12.
Bay Port got to the regional finals with another three-game sweep (25-21, 25-19, 25-14) over Green Bay Preble two days before.
Schaut had 13 kills, Clement and Koska had four serving aces, Schroeder had 15 digs and McGinnity added 28 assists.
“Winning our first-ever regional title is a cool moment these players can share together,” added Baier. “It’s an awesome memory they can carry with them.”