First Bayfield looked dead in the water.
Then Durango appeared to let the match slip away.
Momentum couldn’t decide which sideline to stay on in Thursday’s volleyball match in Bayfield, so the Demons had to take it.
DHS jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the decisive fifth set of a 3-2 (25-15, 25-21, 20-25, 22-25, 15-10), halting a valiant BHS comeback.
“We were in the huddle, we were just talking about not having a letdown,” said DHS senior Ellie Gervais, daughter of Catherine and Paul Gervais.
Two DHS aces and BHS attack errors built that 4-0 lead the Demons eventually extended to 6-1 on a third Wolverine error.
The Wolverines fought back to 8-6 with a huge double block, but a service error killed their momentum.
“I saw a veteran team. We’re senior heavy on the court,” DHS head coach Colleen Vogt said. “They knew how to win.”
BHS (2-5) still is figuring that out as a very young team.
Only two players that saw regular time last season returned, and the Wolverines appeared discombobulated early.
DHS cruised to a 25-15 win in the first set after an early 5-0 run, and the Demons finished the second set strong to win 25-21 after it was tied at 17.
“They’re learning how to battle together, solve volleyball together. When they know that there’s strength in numbers, they’re serving a greater purpose for the team, mistakes are OK because they’re learning from them,” BHS head coach Terene Foutz said. “They made some really great mistakes (Thursday).”
They made some incredible plays, too.
Trailing 2-0 in the third set, BHS came out firing and established an 8-5 lead, its largest of the match.
DHS (2-0) retook a lead at 13-12 and 14-13, but that time BHS executed better and survived 25-20.
A close fourth set made the coming fifth feel inevitable.
The Wolverines committed an almost costly double-contact error to let DHS back to 21-20 in Set 4, but Ashley Mottin settled the team back down with two kills, including one in transition to force the fifth set.
“We just let our intensity drop a little, and they snuck back in,” said DHS senior Maddie Robertson, daughter of Jim and Susie Robertson. “That last game we let them know we were still alive.”
Robertson was the Demons’ heartbeat all night, leading the team with 11 kills, two of them in the fifth set.
Gervais provided a solid second option with six kills and did most of her damage early.
Kylee McCoy continued her breakout season with 10 kills, while Maddie Foutz had eight and two crushing solo blocks when the Wolverines’ defense left her alone on the right side of the net.
“This is a brand new era for these kids. They’re starting to get into their roles now and own them,” coach Foutz said. “I like how they’re stubborn. I like the way they battle, mistakes and all.”
Durango’s next test will be a doozy.
The Demons visit Piedra Vista at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Farmington, while the Wolverines face Farmington High School at 6 p.m. at Farmington.