Bay Port sweeps past Ashwaubenon in volleyball action
By Murray Gleffe
SUAMICO—The Bay Port volleyball team needed a big win to turn around a slow start to its season.
The Pirates got that in defeating Ashwaubenon (25-8, 25-13, 25-15) in a Fox River Classic Conference rivalry game Sept. 23 at Bay Port High School.
“This is a big win for us,” Kris Pulka-Schuh, Bay Port head coach, said. “We’ve been playing well. We’ve had some bumps along the way where the kids got down, so it’s nice to get this one in our gym.”
The Pirates opened a 4-1 lead in the first set after Izzy Grace put down a kill.
The home team extended their margin to 14-4 after the Jaguars committed a series of unforced errors.
Defensive specialist Taylor Larsen recorded three consecutive aces to give Bay Port a 15-point before it closed out the set.
“(Larsen) is a good back-row player for us,” Pulka-Schuh said. “She controls her serve well. If we need her to position the ball short, long or in the corner, she is our go-to person.”
Ashwaubenon took an early lead in set two with the play of Elke Scherer.
However, the momentum was short-lived, as the Pirates broke a 4-4 tie and didn’t look back.
With a 12-7 lead, Ally Knutson smashed a kill.
Minutes later, Bella Cornette put down a ball that found the back corner of the court for a 15-10 cushion.
“Some of our girls have long reaches,” Pulka-Schuh said. “We’ve been working on our blocking to get more consistent. It showed up today.”
The Jaguars didn’t come closer than three points the rest of the set, as Bay Port won 10 of the final 11 points, fueled by Kyla Hendricks’ play.
The third set featured several long rallies, as both student sections stayed engaged the entire match with back-and-forth chants.
Bay Port took leads of 7-3, 13-6 and 20-8 before closing out the match with a 10-point victory.
“We have to continue to play together as a team moving along in this tough conference,” Pulka-Schuh said. “I want to see multiple contributors step up when I put them on the floor. They have to play with lots of energy and enthusiasm to continue our winning ways.”
The Jaguars will be back in action Sept. 28 when they host Green Bay Preble, while Bay Port travels to Notre Dame Academy the same day.