BY RICH PALZEWIC
SUAMICO – It may have taken five sets, but the Bay Port volleyball team outlasted Sheboygan North Oct. 4 on senior night.
The Pirates won a hotly contested 23-25, 25-22, 25-22, 20-25, 15-11, Fox River Classic Conference match over the Golden Raiders at Bay Port High School.
“That was a very exciting win for us and should give us some confidence moving forward,” said Bay Port head coach Brendan Baier. “We talked earlier in the week that when we’ve faced challenges this season, we have struggled with that. For us to rise up and play well against a really good team, it shows everyone what we can do.”
A talented North squad (24-14 overall, 5-2 FRCC) jumped out to a commanding 15-7 lead in set one, but behind the strong serving of Alyssa Koska, the Pirates (21-12, 5-2) went on a 12-3 run to jump ahead by one. In the end, the Golden Raiders managed to squeak out the win in the set, but the momentum shifted back to Bay Port going forward.
“I really liked seeing us make that push in set one,” Baier said. “Even when teams make runs, we are certainly capable of putting ourselves in position to be successful. We did a really good job of that the rest of the match. It was a good night for us defensively as well.”
Using that momentum, the Pirates won sets two and three by identical scores, with Brooke Clement closing out each game with a booming kill.
“Brooke really played well tonight,” said Baier. “She did a good job of using the block and putting balls away for us – especially when we needed it most. She was a constant out there and did an awesome job both at the net and from the back row.”
The junior Clement led Bay Port with 27 kills and 24 digs.
After North won set four in relatively easy fashion, Bay Port dug deep to win the decisive fifth set. The Pirates jumped out to a 2-1 lead and never trailed again.
The night also showcased the two seniors on the team – Olivia Schaut and Sidni Walgurski.
“It was a cool win for us on senior night,” Baier added. “It was great for Olivia and Sidni that we could pull through for them in such a big match against a good team.”
Raegan McIntyre had 44 assists and 23 digs, while Koska had 8 kills. Shelby Stelzer added 22 digs.
Bay Port will next be in FRCC action when they travel to De Pere Oct. 9.