Baker’s dozen: Jags win 13th in a row
BY RICH PALZEWIC
DE PERE – There’s a first time for everything.
In this case, it was the first time that the Ashwaubenon volleyball team won a match at De Pere High School.
Behind 22 kills from Purdue recruit Maddie Koch, the Jaguars (19-4 overall, 2-0 FRCC) dropped the Redbirds 25-14, 23-25, 25-22 and 25-14 in a Fox River Classic Conference contest Sept. 13 to win their 13th match in a row.
“It was a huge win for us,” said Ashwaubenon head coach Megan Wierschke. “It’s always been a traumatizing place to play for us. The girls knew the history with De Pere and not winning here. We had beaten them last year, but that was on our home court. We came out with fire in the opening set, but we can play even better than that. The girls are in a good mental state this year and don’t dip down when they’re not playing well.”
De Pere (8-14, 0-2) was hoping for a better start to the conference season, but head coach Stephen Gladwell knows his young team will find its groove.
“We know that Ashwaubenon is a tough team,” Gladwell said. “With Maddie (Koch) on the outside, we knew they’d go to her as often as they could. We tried to adjust, but they were just the better team tonight. This conference is tough. We are still trying to build our chemistry, so it was tough playing against a team that already has its chemistry. We had our moments, but I wish they would last just a little bit longer.”
The Jags jumped out to a 9-1 lead in set one and cruised from there.
They appeared all set to go up 2-0, but the Redbirds showed some fight in the second set.
With Ashwaubenon leading 16-10, De Pere scored 15 of the last 22 points to win the game and seize the momentum heading into set three.
The Redbirds carried over their strong play in building a 12-8 lead, but Koch helped the Jags score seven straight with her serve. She also closed out the set with a kill.
Set four was much like the first – Ashwaubenon pulled away early and won going away.
“In the end, we were able to accomplish our end goal, but we are still looking for those little roller coaster rides in the middle to evaporate,” Wierschke said. “You never know who other teams play in tournaments, but last year we didn’t come out very well in our first few, this year we did. We will see how long we can keep our winning streak going.”
Brianna Geurts and Kaity Coisman had 9 and 8 kills respectively for De Pere.
Koch added 17 digs and 6 aces, while Maddie Crowley had 8 kills, 4 aces and 12 digs. Emily Pludeman also had 14 digs and Maria Scherer led the Jags with 37 assists.
De Pere will try to get back to its conference winning ways when they travel to Green Bay Preble Sept. 20, while Ashwaubenon will host Bay Port (12-6, 2-0) the same night.