Experience trumps Bayfield’s youth

Piedra Vista deals BHS volleyball its first loss this regular season

Youth isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be.

The Bayfield High School volleyball team buckled a bit under youthful inexperience Tuesday night against Piedra Vista in its first postseason-type match and first loss of the season.

The Wolverines lost the first set 25-23 to the Panthers, won the second 29-27, then lost 25-23 and 25-16.

BHS head coach Kelley Rifilato said her young team didn’t pass very well, didn’t hit very well and didn’t take control of the court like it will need to in order to succeed in similarly tight games down the road.

Kirstie Hillyer had 11 kills and Jen Phelps 10.

“This is what I told them: They need to own the court – they can’t just go play – they need to own the court,” Rifilato said. “That will come.”

The pace of the game was much different than any of the Wolverines’ first six, Rifilato said, with long rallies and lots of back and forth.

Those exchanges provided too many opportunities for errors, and shifting players around because of injuries didn’t make it easy to adjust, as the Wolverines tried a variety of different looks with setters Lindsey Reinmuth and Suzie Rhodes.

“Whatever worked in Game 3 didn’t work in Game 4, or what worked in 1 did not in 2,” Rifilato said.

Still, there were some bright spots. Even though the Bayfield girls didn’t have as many aces as they usually do, they served tough and didn’t miss many serves, Rifilato said.

Although the defense also struggled to defend against Panthers hitter Katie Hegarty, who’s committed to play at Southern Methodist University next year, Jordyn Harrison was a defensive star, Rifilato said.

“She did a great job defensively,” she said. “I felt like she was the one that was all over the place and made a couple of acrobatic digs.”

The Wolverines will get a second shot at the Panthers when they travel to Farmington on Oct. 6 for another nonconference match; presently, Bayfield (6-1) will play at 7 p.m. today at Mancos.

heraldsports@durangoherald.com