The Bayfield High School volleyball team fought valiantly in its first-round matchup Thursday at the Colorado High School Activities Association’s Class 3A State Championships inside the Denver Coliseum.
The Wolverines ultimately came up short against Colorado Springs Christian in four sets. The No. 4 Lions (24-2) topped the 12th-seeded Wolverines 26-24, 14-26, 25-14 and 25-14.
“Bayfield played very hard, but it was not our most efficient game,” said BHS head coach Terene Foutz.
It was back and forth in the opening set, as the teams were tied at 7-7, 8-8 and 9-9 before the Lions started to pull away. CSCS took a three-point lead at 12-9 and forced Foutz to spend her first timeout of the match. It did not stop the run, and the Lions eventually had a 23-15 lead. The Wolverines fought back behind a 9-0 run for a stunning 24-23 lead, which prompted the Lions to spend a timeout.
After the timeout, Bayfield gave away two points, as Mavis Edwards’ spike went out-of-bounds and Annie Fusco hit the next shot into the net. CSCS senior Charlie Tidwell slammed home a spike to take the opening set.
In the second set, it was another tight battle, as the largest lead the Lions built was three points at 19-16, but BHS answered with a three-point rally to tie the match. Edwards recorded two kills in the final three points, and sophomore Karyssa Gosney served a clean ace for the Wolverines to take the set 26-24 and even the match at 1-1.
The Lions were able to control much of the third set, as they got out to a 9-5 lead before they inflated the lead as large as 19-9. A CSCS double-block over Brook Merchant ended the third set 25-14.
CSCS was able to close out the match with a wire-to-wire win in the fourth set. Foutz was pressed to spend an early timeout after Jubilee Diamond put home a kill to make it 8-3 for the Lions. CSCS was able to increase its lead to 14-7 after Kayla Merckx blocked Schulz, and two points later, Abby Miller put home a kill past a diving Gosney, and Foutz used her final timeout. The Lions would go on to lead 20-10 before Diamond won the match for the Lions on an emphatic kill.
After tying the match at 1-1, Foutz said the Wolverines were unable to take advantage, as they lacked consistency and committed too many unforced errors.
Foutz said even with the loss, she appreciates the Olympic crossover bracket style.
“We are loving the double-elimination format, and hope to take full advantage of our opportunities tomorrow.”
The Wolverines (17-9) will play at 12:30 p.m. Friday in the elimination bracket against Eagle Ridge.
“At state, all teams should compete for something, void of throwaway matches,” Foutz said. “Tomorrow we have something to play for, and we could not be more excited to get after it.”
Class 2AThe other area team to qualify for the state championships, Dolores, also lost in its Class 2A first-round matchup against Fowler.
The ninth-seeded Grizzlies (19-7) topped the Bears 21-25, 25-21, 25-20 and 25-20.
Dolores (21-5) will play at 11 a.m. Friday against West Grand.