Steve Lewis/Durango Herald file photo
Bayfield High School senior Jen Phelps, who started every varsity volleyball match for four consecutive seasons, was named the All-Intermountain League Player of the Year for 2012.
“She’s worked really, really hard,” said Bayfield head coach Kelley Rifilato, who was voted the All-IML Coach of the Year after leading the Wolverines to the CHSAA Class 3A Volleyball State Championships for the fourth consecutive season.
“I think Jen’s all-around play was the difference,” Rifilato said. “The fact she can play multiple positions was key.”
The all-conference selections were made by the IML coaches.
Rifilato said she was pleased the other coaches in the league agreed that Phelps was the conference’s top player. Phelps also was selected for the annual Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports All-State volleyball match last weekend.
“A lot of college coaches talked to me about Jen after (the state tournament),” Rifilato said. “We ... moved her outside against Gunnison. And I think the coaches saw that. They saw she can play well there.”
Phelps also excelled in the middle for the Wolverines.
Teammate Kirstie Hillyer, a 6-5 sophomore, joined Phelps on the All-IML first team. Hillyer recently made a verbal commitment to play volleyball at Colorado State University after high school.
“Kirstie has improved so much since last year,” Rifilato said. “She has taken it to the next level. I’m excited to watch her continue to develop.”
Two more Wolverines were voted to the All-IML second team this year: senior Layne Bulwan and sophomore setter Suzie Rhodes.
Kayla J. McCoy, a BHS senior, was named honorable mention.
Bayfield posted a 23-4 overall record this season with a split of two matches at the state tournament. The Wolverines won their fifth consecutive IML title without losing a league match.
A pair of Pagosa Springs players – Angie Gallegos and Gabby Pajak – were voted to the all-conference first team. They were joined by Annette McMichael of Alamosa and Kathleen Ruybal of Centauri.
Second-team selections featured Neena McBaer and Blake Faucett of Alamosa, Taylor Wilson of Centauri and Alyssia Torres of Monte Vista.
Honorable mentions selections included Megan Davey of Pagosa Springs, Katie Lepp of Alamosa and Taylor Bond of Monte Vista.