Bay Port volleyball wins first-ever conference title
By Josh Staloch
SUAMICO – The Bay Port volleyball team made history in defeating De Pere Oct. 17 in straight sets (25-21, 25-13, 25-23) to claim the program’s first-ever conference title.
“We worked hard all season – the girls really deserve this,” said Bay Port head coach Thiago Barbosa. “We talk a lot about how important it is to play together. We get amazing individual play from players, but we’re always talking about if we play together, we’re going to win a lot. The goal was to win the conference and go for state, and the girls understand they need to keep playing together like we did tonight.”
The Fox River Classic Conference began with the fall season of 2007.
The Pirates (9-0 FRCC) were members of the Bay Conference prior to their entrance into the FRCC.
De Pere (4-5 FRCC) stayed with the Pirates in the opening set thanks to the play of Avery Butrym and Jazz Lohman.
A kill from Anna VanWormer brought the Redbirds to within two at 21-19, but Bay Port held its advantage and regained the momentum thanks to a kill on a long point from Kealey Bleser.
Bay Port was too much for De Pere in the second frame.
The Pirates’ Brooke Clement and Saige Valentine were particularly tough up front early in the second.
With a 24-13 lead, Bleser came up with a big block to put the frame away.
Thanks to some solid defense and one big block, De Pere took a three-point lead early in the third at 9-6.
Bay Port, led by the relentless hitting from Clement and Kenzie Nolle, reclaimed the lead.
De Pere tied the third set at 19 on some crafty serving from Anna Heling, but Bay Port closed out the match on a shot from Nolle.
“It feels great,” said Clement, a senior outside hitter for the Pirates. “Going into high school, all of the girls had a plan to put a number on the banner. It’s great we were finally able to do that. Our team chemistry is unreal. All of the girls celebrate for each other and want the best for each other, but we also hold each other accountable. We’re determined and hard-working.”
Bay Port also honored its six seniors: Nolle, Kyleigh Schuette, Shelby Stelzer, Raegan McIntyre, Clement and Bleser.