By Rich Palzewic
SUAMICO – The Bay Port High School volleyball team had one of its most successful seasons ever in 2017.
The Pirates will be looking to take another step up after winning their first-ever WIAA regional title last season before dropping a 3-1 match to Kimberly in the sectional semis.
Bay Port will open its Fox River Classic Conference slate on Thursday, Sept. 6, when they travel to Green Bay Preble.
“Expectations are always high,” said head coach Brendan Baier, whose team finished 24-14 overall and 7-2 in the FRCC in 2017. “We are talking about goals, and I’m sure conference will be at the top of the girls’ list. How we achieve that is working hard throughout the season and taking advantage of our time in the gym now. The conference will be tough this year with some awesome challenges.”
Baier tabs Sheboygan North as being the main team to watch but also says De Pere, Ashwaubenon, Green Bay Notre Dame and Manitowoc Lincoln should be right in the mix – along with his Pirates.
Bay Port won’t play North, De Pere or Notre Dame until late in the season but will get Manitowoc and Ashwaubenon in its second and third FRCC matchups respectively.
Gone are all-conference players Maura McGinnity (first team, setter), Mady Schroeder (honorable mention, libero), Erin Ross, Bri Clement and Sara Karas.
McGinnity was second in the conference with 255 assists, while Schroeder – who is now playing at UW-Stevens Point – led the FRCC with 138 digs.
“Every year we have some pretty significant turnover in what we lose in skill and leadership,” said Baier. “When players graduate, that creates holes for others to step up and fill in – I’ve liked what I’ve seen so far.”
The Pirates have just two seniors returning in Olivia Schaut (second team, right side) and Sidni Walgurski (middle hitter), so they are relatively young without a ton of experience.
Schaut was third in the conference in kills with 129, while Walgurski contributed 62 kills in her junior year.
Junior Brooke Clement (honorable mention) will also return after finishing in the top ten in kills with 106.
Juniors Kealey Bleser, Chloe Dahlke, Hailey Dickie, Shelby Stelzer, Kenzie Nolle, Kyleigh Schuette and Raegan McIntyre, along with sophomores Alyssa Koska and Sofia Johnson complete the roster.
2018 Bay Port volleyball
Aug. 28: Bay Port Quad – 5:00
Sept. 6: * @Green Bay Preble – 7:00
Sept. 8: @Merrill Invite – 9:00
Sept. 13: * Manitowoc Lincoln – 7:00
Sept. 20: * @Ashwaubenon – 7:00
Sept. 22: @Appleton East – 7:00
Sept. 25: * Sheboygan South – 7:00
Sept. 27: * @Pulaski – 7:00
Sept. 29: @Menomonee Falls Invite – 9:00
Oct. 2: * @Green Bay Southwest – 7:00
Oct. 4: * Sheboygan North – 7:00
Oct. 9: * @De Pere – 7:00
Oct. 11: * Green Bay Notre Dame – 7:00
Oct. 13: @Luxemburg-Casco Triangular – 10:00
* Indicates FRCC game