Mean Moose give third-ranked Wolverines a tough go

After a pair of straight-sets victories against the Alamosa Mean Moose already under their belts this season, the third-ranked Bayfield Wolverines weren’t supposed to have such a difficult time in a third go-round.

That’s exactly what happened, though.

Bayfield High School defeated Alamosa 20-25, 25-20, 25-17, 32-30 in Friday night’s Intermountain League match at Alamosa.

“Not to take anything away from them because they had a great game plan,” BHS head coach Kelley Rifilato said.

Alamosa hit everything deep – maybe not clean or crisp – but deep enough that the Wolverines’ back row was sprinting to the endline for digs all night long.

“It really affected our kids. They started second-guessing what we were trying to do on defense,” Rifilato said.

Alamosa, whose only IML loss this season has come by Bayfield’s hand, were hitting balls off the Bayfield block and out of bounds, deep to the endlines and even punching some with their fists.

“They had three or four hard hits, but most of them were (alternative) shots,” Rifilato said.

Alternative, and effective.

“They played well,” Rifilato said. “They played great D, too. ... They were scrappy.”

Bayfield’s block worked – “We did well blocking,” Rifilato said – to the tune of eight block assists and seven solo blocks, but “we had a ton of hitting errors.”

Jen Phelps, however, did not. She moved from middle blocker back to outside hitter and finished with 23 kills against just four errors. Kirstie Hillyer had 14 kills against just three errors. Jordyn Harrison finished the match with 22 digs.

Bayfield “served tough,” Rifilato said – 14 service aces. But it was Alamosa’s game plan that led to the Wolverines’ distracted, “disruptive play.”

“It was just difficult to get in the flow of the game,” Rifilato said.

BHS (16-2, 7-0 IML) will finish its conference season at home against Monte Vista at 7 p.m. Thursday.

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