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BHS girls lose second match to Eaton, defeats Lamar on Friday
11/7/2013 By: Joel Priest
Left, Kirstie Hillyer, far left, yells as the BHS Wolverines celebrate their win against Lamar in the opening round of the state 3A volleyball tournament. BHS next plays Eaton Saturday morning.
Photo by Joel Priest.
Round II update: Bayfield loses Round 2. Eaton won the first two games 25-5 and 25-18. BHS battled back to win game 3 25-21. Eaton won Game 4 25-18.
The Bayfield Wolverines had a tough skirmish with Lamar on Friday morning, finally winning the first match of the 3A state tournament three games to two.
Bayfield defeated Lamar 26-24 in the first game, followed by a 25-19 upset in Game 2. Lamar was ranked 12th out of the 12 teams that made it to state.
Lamar then took Game 3 with a score of 25-21, then Bayfield battled back in Game 4, winning 25-22.
Bayfield then came back to defeat Lamar 25-22.
Eaton won in Pool I and now goes on to play Holy Family in the semifinals. The finals are at 7 p.m. tonight. Manitou Spring, Gunnison, Valley and University are still in play for Pool II and Pool III.
Below is Joel Priest's article about Bayfield's win at regionals on Saturday.
"I started crying right then, immediately!" said senior Tessa Powell, of fellow middle Kirstie Hillyer’s vicious solo stuff of Frontier Academy top gun Jenna Cardenas at last Saturday's regional tournament win at home.
Hillyer’s huge hit put Bayfield only a couple points from taking Game 4 and the match, 3 games to 1 over the gritty girls from Greeley.
Recalling the moment after the lengthy celebration and presentation of the championship plaque by BHS principal Scott Story and Superintendent of Bayfield Schools Troy Zabel, Coach Terene Foutz herself couldn’t help but beam about the big block. She noted that in that situation, junior setter Suzie Rhodes would normally have defended the line hit and Hillyer would have assisted by staying in the middle to guard against the cross.
Rhodes, however, had been instead instructed to hold down the middle and hang back a bit in case of a sudden dink—which likely surprised Cardenas, who leapt (with no such notion of delicacy) and found the 6’5” junior right in front of her.
Power versus power. Exactly how the 2013 State Championships berth should have been decided, with Bayfield bouncing back from a stunning Game 3 loss to Frontier Academy’s aptly-named Lady Wolverines to win 25-20, 25-14, 24-26, 25-19 and improve to 20-5 overall.
“I felt it—like, ‘We are going to go to State!’ and I started crying! I was like, ‘It’s going to happen!’” Powell said. “I was on the bench and I was so happy and excited, and it was like a huge relief to me…all of our work had paid off!”
“It was super-intense. I think we were all kind of on each other, making sure that…we, like, held each other reliable to get the ball,” said freshman libero Maddi Foutz, who combined with Rhodes for numerous floor-polishing digs and saves. “We have all season, and today it was just really important…we had to just go for everything, no matter what.”
The 8-seed Lady Wolverines’ day began with an on-off-on-again 25-9, 25-23, 25-18 sweep of #29 Denver Colorado Academy—just two years removed from its second-place finish at State. The Lady Mustangs (final record of 8-16) were then eliminated 21-25, 18-25, 23-25 by #17 Frontier (13-12), setting up the winner-take-all match inside BHS Gymnasium.
“We knew that if we won these…this was our State ticket,” said Powell. “We have been working two-and-a-half months...and we were so excited to go out there. Wanted to give it our all; leave our all for the best [State seed] we possibly could. And we just…wanted it so bad.”
Hillyer smacked 12 kills against Colorado Academy and totaled five blocks. Powell (2 k) totaled two, as did senior Jenna Sirios (3 k). BHS dropped in 13 aces against the Lady Mustangs as well, led by junior Caitlin Phelps’ four. Senior Katy Funkhouser downed seven kills and fired two aces. Rhodes distributed 24 assists, then dished out 31 more against Frontier Academy while also coming up with 15 digs (after 7 against CA).
Hillyer again led in kills with an impressive 20 kills in 31 attempts, with just one error, to go with four total blocks. Funkhouser bashed nine emphatic kills, and Sirios put down eight. Frontier players never let up on their defense, with BHS totaling 76 digs. Phelps came up with 13, and Sirios, Ashlyn Schulder and Martina Moreno each booked seven.
Seeded eighth into the 12-team state 3A championship fray, the Lady Wolverines’ quest for the Gold Ball began bright and early this morning inside the Denver Coliseum with an 8 a.m. battle in Pool I against #12 Lamar.
Lamar stands 22-3 overall, and went undefeated in winning the Tri-Peaks League’s Eastern Division title.
Bayfield takes on Eaton High School, ranked first in the state, on Saturday morning.
Eaton plays Lamar today in Match 3, giving the Lady Wolverines a sneak preview for Saturday.
Following the same format as the completed regionals, only the survivor from each pool will make four-team finals bracket, with the best from Pool I meeting first the best from Pool IV.
“It’s going to be intimidating, I think it’s going to be a challenge…we’re going to rise to,” said Powell. “We work to…eliminate those holes in our system, and push for it? I think we’ll do that at State!”
“For the seniors it’s really special because they’ve wanted to do this their entire high-school career. And it’s just really special that they get to,” Maddi Foutz (56 total digs, 5 total aces) said. “As a freshman, it’s really exciting…but really nerve-wracking!”
“These are, like, the big teams now; we’re not in Bayfield or Durango [anymore].”
RE-MATCH MAYBE, MAYBE NOT: Gunnison, which ousted BHS last year, received the Championships’ 6-seed and was placed in Pool III—meaning the two teams would only face each other this year if it were for all the marbles. Especially the big, golden one atop a wooden base.
Proud coach: Clearly proud to see one of his former stars leading a talented high school squad into the postseason, former Mesa State College head coach Rusty Crick easily blended in amongst the mob cheering on Foutz's Lady Wolverines last Saturday. Crick led Mesa State College, now Colorado Mesa University, from 1982 to 2004 and amassed a 563-291 record—the most wins in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference history.
Not a bad guest of honor to have observing in the seats!