South beats Bay Port for first time since ‘07

SOUTH’S VOLLEYBALL team has had plenty to cheer about. – Photo by Lisa Reed

The South volleyball team, which hadn’t beaten Bay Port since 2007, rallied for a 3-2 victory against the Pirates on Thursday.

“It was one of the most exciting games I’ve ever watched,” coach Abby Sigler said. “We lost the first set, won the second, lost the third and then won the fourth and the fifth. We were down a lot and we never gave up.”

Lucero Velazquez recorded nine aces and Lizzy Calixto compiled 21 digs.

Maddie Ognacevic finished with 11 kills, 12 assists, 12 digs and six block kills.

Corinne Pfeifer tallied 12 digs, eight block kills and six kills.

Naomi Harder ended with 13 digs and Sierra Ertman added 12 assists.

South, which tries to beat North for the first time in awhile on Tuesday, already has won two Fox River Classic Conference games after totaling only two victories the previous two years.

“They’re really fired up about this season and we’ve got a great team whose ready to kind of turn around this program,” Sigler said.



Match held on Sunday

Nothing is normal about the alternative fall season, which included South opening its campaign against Pulaski on a Sunday (March 14).

It’s a result of availability at Sports Core, and the Redwings will also play there this Sunday against North.

“Our conference preseason meeting stressed flexibility in getting the matches played in March,” South coach Peter Kautzer said. “We are adjusting to COVID protocols and the change in season, but thankful we have a season at all. Last year at this time, everything was cancelled.”

Against Pulaski, not only did freshman Lauren Binversie win her first match, junior Rakshya Bhatta got a victory in her varsity debut.

Other great starts

North opened its season March 12 by beating Bay Port, 6-1, and the highlight was at No. 1 doubles. Maddie Roth and Estelle Leonhard, playing together for the first time, rallied for a 6-3, 6-4 win after trailing, 4-1, in the second set.

“They started making some good serves, they started getting a little more aggressive on the volley, and it worked out. They got the five in a row,” coach Sam Hopp said.

“I think a match like this, where you have a comeback as your first match, is really good to establish like ‘if we can do this against this team when we hadn’t played together before, this can turn into something good.’ So I have high hopes for that partnership as the season goes on.”

It was also Hopp’s debut as Golden Raiders’ coach.

“I couldn’t be happier,” he said. “But even the one we lost, it was a three-set match and was close the whole way.”

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