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Wolverines in thick of IML volleyball mix

BHS loses at Centauri, stuns Alamosa
Bayfield senior K'Lee Stuffelbeam-Jolly disposes of an Alamosa over pass during IML action Saturday inside AHS Gymnasium. (Joel Priest/Special to the Herald)

ALAMOSA – Unable to complete a sweep despite erasing a 17-9 deficit in Game 3, the Bayfield Wolverines remained in the Intermountain League volleyball title picture on Saturday as they ended Alamosa’s five-match winning streak while atoning for their own loss the previous night in La Jara.

Paced by K’Lee Stuffelbeam-Jolly’s run at a triple-double – 12 kills, 9 blocks, 6 digs – BHS offset a 25-19, 25-25, 25-21 setback at Centauri with a rejuvenating 25-21, 25-23, 19-25, 25-22 victory at Alamosa.

“I think we did really good,” said Kaydence Hunter (6 kills, 7 digs, 3 block assists). “We’re just, like, still building on what we’re creating so it’s … a little messy here and there, but we’re striving to be the best ‘Bayfield.’ We’re still finding that, but we’re getting there.”

After trailing the Mean Moose 16-12 early, Bayfield (4-8 overall, 2-2 IML) rallied to tie first set at 19 and took the lead for good when Meili Lovejoy sent over a serve AHS couldn’t control. Tanna Owens (13 assists) set Stuffelbeam-Jolly for a kill to bring up game point, 24-21, and the Wolverines went up 1-0 in the match when Alamosa spiked a ball out of play.

Bayfield senior Kaydence Hunter challenges Alamosa's Morgan Ortega at the net during IML action on Saturday inside AHS Gymnasium. (Joel Priest/Special to the Herald)

The Moose came out aggressive in Game 2 and led until junior Allia Connell put down a ball that gave BHS a 10-9 lead. Able to block Alamosa’s Charley Higham before and after a timeout, Kenasea Byrd increased Bayfield’s lead to 13-9. BHS went up 18-12, but AHS fought back to 22-21.

Christiana Sutherlin, however, responded consecutive kill shots for BHS, including a clinching kill off an Alamosa (7-5, 3-1 IML) block.

“We kept building,” Hunter said. “I think the camaraderie we had in the second set just kept growing, took its course.”

The Moose battled back to grab Game 3 by going on a 7-0 spree after Bayfield briefly went up 19-18.

Pagosa started Game 4 with a put-away, but BHS pressed ahead to 5-4 and grabbed its biggest lead at 23-16 after a Sutherlin kill. Alamosa responded with a 6-0 burst, but Stuffelbeam-Jolly struck again through the middle. Kody Rey then concluded the contest by tooling a ball off Mary Masias’ block at the antenna.

Byrd finished with 11 kills and Sutherlin eight while Bailey Martinez, platooning with Owens, totaled 19 assists.

Defensively, libero Myrah Abdallah-Boehm totaled 37 digs, and four assists, while Kori Jenkins logged 12 digs and Rey 11. Martinez totaled nine digs and Lovejoy seven. Byrd was in on four total (one solo) blocks, Connell aided on three, and Sutherlin two.

“At the net, that’s just something we’re forging forward on,” said BHS head coach Terene Foutz. “The whole team is really on the same page when it comes to playing as a unit, building consistency and being reliable on offense. Honestly, we’re getting a lot better.”

Against CHS (7-5, 2-1 IML), Sutherlin led BHS’ offense with seven kills while Stuffelbeam-Jolly totaled five. Martinez was credited with 12 set assists and Owens eight.

Defensively, Stuffelbeam-Jolly had two solo and three assisted blocks, while Byrd tallied two and two. Abdallah-Boehm came up with 27 digs and Martinez made 11 to get a double-double.

The Wolverines will next host 5A Farmington, New Mexico, for its homecoming game on Thursday.

Bayfield sophomore Tanna Owens sets an attack during IML action Saturday inside AHS Gymnasium. (Joel Priest/Special to the Herald)