Pirates prevail in three over Ashwaubenon
By Josh Staloch
“We’re a new-look team this year,” said Bay Port head coach Kris Pulka-Schuh, whose team moved to 2-2 in the conference and 2-4 overall. “We have a new coach and five sophomores after graduating six seniors last year. I’d say it’s a rebuilding year. We’re starting to come together and mesh as a team. The girls have commented they thought they need to play with higher energy, and they were able to do that tonight. It’s starting to come around. Hopefully, we can continue with that high energy.”
The opening frame saw the teams neck and neck the whole way.
Izzy Grace and Keegan McGlachlin were solid for the Pirates, and the Jaguars were doing well on defense, overcoming a five-point deficit early to tie the set, 14-14.
With Bay Port leading 24-21, a long rally ensued.
Ashwaubenon got a tremendous play from Jamira Olsen, who ran down a dug ball that was heading out of bounds, keeping it in play.
The Jaguars went on to win the point, but the Pirates finished the game on the next serve.
Ashwaubenon came out in the second set with more determination and energy.
Carissa Engebose hammered a big kill for a 2-0 lead, and shortly after, the home team went up 5-1 on a block from Sevaeh Schneider and Sam Holford, which prompted a Bay Port timeout.
The Pirates came out of the break and began reeling the Jaguars back in, evening the score, 10-10.
From there, Bay Port outscored Ashwaubenon 15-3.
The second set closed with Grace finding the open court with a touch shot.
The third set, like the second, saw some close competition initially.
The turning point came on a huge kill from McGlachlin to give the Pirates a 9-7 advantage they wouldn’t look back from.
The match was capped by an ace from Kyla Hendricks.
“We’re still recovering a little – it’s been a bit of a down year,” said Ashwaubenon head coach Megan Wierschke. “We had a conference championship two years ago, and we’re still trying to find our rebuild, that route back. I saw tonight we’re improving with our communication, our coverage and our blocking.”