Steve Lewis/Durango Herald
BAYFIELD – On senior night, the seniors delivered.
So did the rest of the Wolverines as the No. 3-ranked Bayfield High School volleyball team posted a tidy 3-0 victory over Monte Vista on Thursday night, completing another perfect Intermountain League season.
Senior Jen Phelps, who has started every Bayfield match since the first match of her freshman season, led the attack with 10 kills, two blocks, five aces and only one hitting error.
Senior Layne Bulwan, with a handful of diving digs, added six kills, including three in a decisive run in the second set.
Senior Lindsey Reinmuth, the acrobatic Wolverine, dug the first attack from Monte Vista, passing to sophomore setter Suzie Rhodes, who set to Phelps for Bayfield kill No. 1. Reinmuth added a kill of her own later in the 25-10 first-set victory.
Senior Jordyn Harrison, in addition to her hustling digs as the BHS libero, added an emphatic kill from the back row midway through the second set, a 25-13 Bayfield victory.
Senior Kayla D. McCoy, the more diminutive of the Kayla McCoys on the BHS roster, scrambled for a handful of digs, including two key defensive gems in Bayfield’s 25-10 third-set victory.
Senior Micaela Knickerbocker, back from a troublesome ankle injury, drilled two consecutive ace jump serves to end the second set and blasted a back-row kill in the final set as the Wolverines improved to 17-2 overall. They finished their IML season a perfect 8-0.
Senior Kayla J. McCoy, the taller of the Kayla McCoys, hit a trio of kills and teamed with 6-5 sophomore Kirstie Hillyer to put up an impenetrable right-side block for the Wolverines.
“I play right side most of the time; Kirstie plays in the middle,” Kayla J. McCoy said.
“(Coach) Kelley (Rifilato) does that on purpose. She puts me on the outside so we have a huge, huge block.”
The result was a Monte Vista attack that was forced to tip over the blocks or avoid them completely.
“It means a lot that we all get to go in and help each other out,” McCoy said of the BHS seniors, honored in a prematch ceremony.
While the Bayfield seniors closed out the IML regular season with a victory, the Wolverines extended their conference domination to five consecutive seasons without a loss.
Hillyer led all attackers Thursday night with 11 kills – virtually all coming off sets from Rhodes.
“We were decisive. We had a purpose with every ball,” Bayfield head coach Kelley Rifilato said.
“The fact I have kids who are going out with a purpose is important. They are putting the ball in different spots. They are not just hitting the ball,” Rifilato said.
“They are cutting the ball to the left, cutting the ball to the right,” the BHS coach said. “They are reading more.”
She said Rhodes did an outstanding job with her sets against Monte Vista (1-18, 0-8 IML).
“I nagged Suzie and nagged her,” Rifilato said. “She’s only a sophomore, and I ask her to be a floor leader. But the reality is what she does is what makes us go round.”
Rifilato pointed to three critical sets from Rhodes.
“For a sophomore to understand and do that,” Rifilato said of the assists to Hillyer, Phelps and Kayla J. McCoy.
The Wolverines, ranked No. 3 this week by coloradopreps.com and The Denver Post, will wrap up the regular season at the Palmer Ridge Invitational on Saturday in Monument.
Bayfield will open the tournament against Highlands Ranch, ranked No. 5 in Class 5A volleyball this week. The Wolverines next will take on Class 4A volleyball powerhouse Silver Creek of Longmont.
“We are looking forward to Saturday,” said Kayla J. McCoy, daughter of Andy McCoy and Pam Rakes.
“We’ve been practicing hard all week getting ready for it.”