Wolverines drink their Pepto-Bayfield

Passing, serving settle BHS nerves, but coach laments ‘inconsistency’

BAYFIELD

Looking for relief from an unsettling roller coaster of a volleyball match against Montezuma-Cortez, the Wolverines turned to a familiar remedy – Pepto-Bayfield.

The Bayfield High School volleyball team, forced to a fourth set in Tuesday night’s nonconference match, settled its nerves with a tried-and-true homegrown concoction – passing, passing, passing and serving.

The Class 3A Wolverines, who won the first two sets 25-18 and 25-14, responded to a 25-23 loss in set No. 3 with a basic, efficient 25-11 win in the fourth set and a 3-1 victory before the happy home fans.

The Wolverines counted six aces in the set (to only three service errors), and they converted kills by six different players against the Class 4A Panthers.

“We’re all very equal ... we’re all utility playes, and we all try to contribute,” said senior libero Jordyn Harrison, who hammered one ace serve in the final set (two in the match).

She also had a kill out of the back row in the deciding game on a set from fellow senior Lindsey Reinmuth.

“I enjoy hitting ... I don’t get to hit out of the front row very much,” said the back-row defensive specialist, the daughter of Drayton and Trish Harrison.

“Back-row attacking is really fun, and Lindsey sets me really well.”

The Wolverines also collected fourth-set kills from Kayla J. McCoy (3), Kirstie Hillyer (3) and Jennifer Phelps (2).

All because they were able to pass the volleyball, Bayfield head coach Kelley Rifilato said.

“Kirstie played phenomenal again,” Rifilato said. “She’s swinging ... at everything.”

The 6-4 sophomore scored off short sets in the middle as well as big swings from the left side.

“She hits well from that left side,” Rifilato said of Hillyer, who led the Wolverines with 12 kills. She contributed three aces to Bayfield’s team total of 18.

Phelps, the most versatile of the versatile BHS roster and a four-year starter, also had 12 kills to go with four aces.

“You know who I was particularly proud of (Tuesday night) ... Jenna Sirios,” Rifilato said. “She served nice at the end ... she’s got a great jump serve.”

Sirios, a junior, blasted two ace serves in the finale as part of a devastating 13-2 Bayfield run.

She also blocked well for the Wolverines, the BHS head coach said.

Bayfield also had kills and aces from Layne Bulwan, Kayla D. McCoy, Micaela Knickerbocker and Katy Funkhouser.

“But we were ... really inconsistent,” Rifilato said. “It bothers me ... the inconsistency to lose a game. We are so up and down.”

Bayfield controlled the first set with Reinmuth sharing kills with six different Wolverines. And they had six aces.

They never trailed in winning the second set 25-14.

But Montezuma-Cortez responded in the third set with a quick 8-2 start paced by kills from Danielle Waltman and Devon Biery along with two blocks by Nickelle Oliver.

Freshman setter Laurel Chappell worked the Cortez offense and added a pair of her own jump-serve aces.

Three consecutive errors by the Wolverines ended the set with a 25-23 Cortez victory, forcing the fourth set.

Bayfield (2-0) will return to action Saturday at Fort Lewis College in the Intermountain League Volleyball Kickoff Classic. The pool-play format tournament will feature two courts in Whalen Gymnasium.

Bayfield’s schedule:

Pagosa Springs, 9:30 a.m.

Alamosa, 10:45 a.m.

Centauri, noon.

Monte Vista, 2:45 p.m.

In between, Centauri will play Monte Vista at 10:45 a.m., Pagosa Springs will play Alamosa at noon, Pagosa Springs will play Monte Vista and Alamosa will play Centauri at 1:30 p.m., Pagosa Springs will play Centauri at 2:45 p.m. and Alamosa will play Monte Vista at 4 p.m.

Matches will be best two out of three.

Montezuma-Cortez, with a 3-0 victory over Pagosa Springs last week, fell to 1-1 with the loss.

Montezuma-Cortez will host Durango in a Southwestern League match Sept. 25, then will play at Durango High School on Oct. 9.

dstrode@durangoherald.com