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Leah Wolf named SWL volleyball player of year

Somrak, Stewart, Rowland, Messier and coach Rifilato also honored
Leah Wolf of Durango High School digs a ball while playing Bayfield High School this season. Wolf was recently named the 4A/5A Southwestern League’s player of the year for her performance this fall. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

Durango senior Leah Wolf was named the 4A/5A Southwestern League’s volleyball player of the year after helping lead the Demons to a league title this fall.

Wolf made plays all over the court for Durango, attacking at the net and from the back row, digging spikes and putting teams on their heels with her serves.

Wolf finished the season with 351 kills to lead Durango, averaging 3.9 kills per set. She also made 472 digs, received 410 serves, was in on 43 blocks and served 38 aces.

Junior Sarah Somrak, sophomore Eva Stewart and senior Mason Rowland joined Wolf on the all-league first team, and junior Brooklyn Messier received an honorable mention.

Somrak kept teams from being able to focus on Wolf too much and finished second on the team with 159 kills, spiking 39.9% of her 398 attacks to the floor. She also led the team with 89 blocks and affected numerous other swings.

Rowland was awarded an honorary first-team selection after suffering a season-ending injury. Rowland earned an all-state honorable mention in volleyball as a junior, but only played a couple of games. She averaged 6.6 assists in the eight sets she played.

When Rowland went down, sophomore Eva Stewart took over as the team’s setter. Stewart grew more comfortable directing the team’s offense and ended up with 698 assists on the year, averaging 7.8 assists per set. She caught teams off guard occasionally too and knocked over 50 kills. Stewart also helped senior Emma Burns (110) and junior Aava Dreger (149) finish with over 100 kills each.

DHS head coach Kelley Rifilato was named the league’s coach of the year for guiding the Demons to the league crown and into the state tournament.

Durango finished 19-8 overall and 7-1 in the league to finish first in the SWL. Durango then won the Class 4A Region VI championship as the No. 19 seed, beating No. 31 Battle Mountain 3-1 and No. 5 Green Mountain 3-2 to advance to the state tournament. At state DHS was reseeded to No. 12, but fell to No. 5 Lewis-Palmer 3-2 and No. 6 Niwot 3-0.

Fruita finished second in the league (6-2), followed by Montrose (5-3), Grand Junction Central) 2-6) and Grand Junction (0-8).

Trinity Hafey and Avrie Waite of Fruita and Maggie Legg and Logen Matoush of Montrose also earned first-team honors. Jordan Brown and Averi Wagner of Grand Junction, Makenna Jaeger and Rhyan Mason of Central and Ryleigh Payne and Brielle Smith of Fuita received honorable mentions.