There was good reason for celebration Oct. 15 for the Pewaukee girls volleyball team. The No. 8 seeded Pirates stunned the competition at the Woodland Conference tournament by winning the championship with a 25-22, 25-18, 25-20 upset over favored Wauwatosa West.
Winning the championship was one thing, but it became even more special because it was the first tournament championship for a PHS girls volleyball team in 25 years.
But the celebration last Saturday was nothing likes the ones that took place in 1974 and 1976. Those celebrations were special as both took place after the Pirates had captured WIAA Class B state championships. They were the first two state titles in school history. Some of the best female athletes in school history were members of those teams.
In 1974, just the second year the WIAA sanctioned girls volleyball, the Pirates seemingly came out of nowhere to defeat Omro in the finals, 15-3, 13-15, 15-10. Coached by the hard-working Joan Neuser, the Pirates finished the season with a 14-0 meet record and a mark of 44-6 in individual games.
In the title game, Pewaukee displayed outstanding balance, both offensively and defensively. The game winning point was delivered by junior Sandy Story.
Pewaukee enjoyed that success despite having just one senior, Judy McCormick. Other members of that team included juniors Nancy Becker and Story, sophomores Jean Opie, Shelley Michael, Stacey Schaeffer and Colleen Murphy and freshmen Sue Esty and Sue Schmidt.
Two years later, on Saturday, Oct. 30, the Pirates made more history, winning their second state championship in three years. Pewaukee stopped powerhouse Lancaster in the finals, 15-13, 11-15, 15-5. Michael delivered the game winning kill after two good plays by Opie and Schaeffer set up the game winner. Neuser also coached that team.
Once again, Pewaukee had outstanding talent and balance. In the six state-tournament games, Schmidt was brilliant, recording 12 points and 21 kills. Others chipping with big performances were Opie with 20 points and 18 assists, Lisa Vallone with 16 points and 12 assists, Schaeffer with 13 points and 17 kills and Michael with 12 points and eight kills.
As a team, the Pirates had 54 kills.
Pewaukee had quite the weekend, also winning the Woodland football title and girls cross-country title Oct. 13 and clinching the boys soccer title Oct. 12.