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Bayfield volleyball books state tournament berth with dominant performance

Wolverines advance to state for first time since 2016
The Bayfield High School volleyball team is heading to the state tournament for the first time since 2016 after the Wolverines won both matches at Saturday’s Class 3A Region 11 tournament in Cedaredge.

The Bayfield High School volleyball team is heading back to the state tournament for the first time since 2016. The Wolverines swept Buena Vista and Cedaredge to book its place in the Colorado High School Activities Association’s Class 3A State Championships next week at the Denver Coliseum.

Bayfield (17-8) came into the regional as the No. 14 seed and had tough competition against the No. 26 seed Demons and No. 11 seed Bruins, but took care of business in classic BHS fashion. In the opening match against Buena Vista (13-11), Bayfield won 25-17, 25-20 and 25-17. In the regional championship match, the Wolverines toppled the Bruins, 25-7, 25-19 and 25-11.

BHS head coach Terene Foutz said the Wolverines stepped up to the challenge and delivered in stunning fashion.

“We had a heck of a day today,” Foutz said. “It was Bayfield volleyball in the truest sense. I loved how the team came together. They were relentless, and everyone did their job. It was really amazing to watch all six cylinders on the court work well.”

Three Wolverines recorded double-digit kills against Buena Vista, as Mavis Edwards had 14, Annie Fusco had 12 and Melissa Roberts had 10. Edwards also recorded a double-double as she added 11 digs. Lana McKee led BHS in that category with 25, while Meghan Youngblood dished out 41 assists.

Edwards recorded her second double-double of the day against Cedaredge, even after she tore her fingernail in the win against Buena Vista. She recorded a team-high 16 kills and 16 digs alongside five service aces. Emily Nelson led BHS with 18 digs, while McKee chipped in 16. Youngblood added 42 assists. Brooke Merchant led BHS in kills with nine, Fusco had eight and both Roberts and Macee Schulz had seven. Schulz also served up four aces.

After missing out entirely on last year’s playoff action for the first time in over a decade, the Wolverines banded together this year with a mix of young and experienced veteran players. BHS went 8-2 in 3A Intermountain League play, and had a strong non-conference portion of its schedule.

“It’s pretty amazing because they are learning that their hard work really does pay off, even with some hiccups along the way,” Foutz said. “They’re in pursuit of a higher level of volleyball, and it’s so fun to watch this journey. Today, it just came together, and one of the key words we used was ‘magic.’ In Greeley in our off-season tournament, there was some magic on the court, and one special play could change a match. Everyone was full of special points today.”

The Wolverines advanced to state with strong defense, and a lethal service game.

“Offensively, we were strong along with our defense,” Foutz said. “We attacked strong, served really well and that was the game-changer. The whole lineup brought their serve game. Meghan Youngblood did a great job of distribution, and they didn’t have an answer for Mavis Edwards.”

The state tournament will begin Thursday in Denver.

bploen@durangoherald.com