JANESVILLE — Recovering from being a “little shell-shocked” early in their Class 1A Region 3 semifinal volleyball match, Baxter’s Bolts pulled together at the end of the first set, according to head coach Scott Ranck.
“Janesville is an outstanding team, and obviously, the best team — by far — we have seen all season. The score isn’t so much an indication of how we played, but more an indication of how awesome Janesville is,” Ranck said after the Bolts lost 25-5, 25-17, 25-10 to top-ranked and defending 1A champion Janesville on Oct. 26.
He said the Bolts played with a lot of heart and fight in what would be their final match of the 2017 season.
The Bolts finished 14-14 in their first season as a Baxter High team. Baxter used to play as CMB with Collins/Maxwell.
“The girls could have packed it in after the first set, but came out on fire in the second set, being ahead by as much as 11-6,” Ranck said. “The last time Baxter had the lead was 15-14 before Janesville’s all-stater rolled off 9 straight serves to give Janesville a 23-15 lead.”
Baxter kept the third set close early, down 5-4. Janesville went on a serving run to take control 13-4.
Sophomore Amber Weltha delivered 10 kills at the net for the Bolts.
Senior Jordynn Wesselink had four kills and one solo block and senior Mary Schabilion had two kills.
Junior setter Sydney Schmidt had 12 set assists and went 6-of-7 serving for the Bolts. Watt was 5-of-5 serving with the lone ace serve of the match.
“The girls fought hard until the end, never giving up. I am very proud of this team this year with what they have been through the last couple of years, what they have accomplished, what the four seniors — Lexi Ewing, Sailor Hinegardner, Mary Schabilion0 and Jordynn Wesselink — have provided through their leadership and efforts, and to the extent to which the underclassmen now want to elevate the program,” Ranck said.
Hinegardner was 7-of-7 serving and Ewing was 4-of-4 serving.
Wesselink went 5-of-6 from the service line as the Bolts were 31-of-34 serving for the match.
Hinegardner was credited with seven digs and Wesselink had four digs.
“One last thing I want to mention is the appreciation both myself and the players have towards the crowd that came out to our matches, not only during the season, but especially during our tournament games,” Ranck said.
“At Garwin, we had twice the crowd GMG did, and at Janesville, an hour and 45 minutes away, facing the No. 1 team in 1A, our crowd was nearly the same size as Janesville’s. It was just awesome to see that kind of support for Baxter Bolts volleyball.”