Bayfield High School volleyball player Mavis Edwards looked at the scoreboard Tuesday night against Montezuma-Cortez High School inside the BHS gym, and it suddenly dawned on her: Emily Nelson had gone on a 20-0 service run.
“It was clutch, for sure,” Edwards said of her teammate’s second-set run. “It was so awesome of her, and they called timeouts to trip her up, but she just got back out there and was so focused.”
The sophomore recorded 10 service aces, while two Wolverine outside hitters finished with double-digit kill totals en route to a 3-0 set sweep against the Panthers, 25-17, 25-8 and 25-22.
Lana McKee had 17 digs for Bayfield. Meghan Youngblood had 29 assists, and Annie Fusco and Edwards had 10 kills each.
The Wolverines (8-2, 4-0 3A Intermountain League) controlled the match from the opening point, as Nelson recorded her first two aces of the night to make it 4-1 in the first set and force an early Cortez timeout.
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you the work these kids put in,” BHS head coach Terene Foutz said. “It’s paying off. There’s a confidence that comes with experience, hard work and dedication – that expresses my team this season. They have a lot and are trying to prove why. Tonight was a prime example of that.”
In the first set, the Wolverines got off to a quick start and were able to maintain at least a five-point lead throughout most of the set. Edwards set up outside hitter Macee Schulz for a cross-court kill to make it 19-14. The Wolverines then ended the set on a 6-3 run.
In the second, the Panthers (3-4, 0-4 IML) got off to a quick 4-0 lead behind a kill from Myka Glover and three attacking errors from the Wolverines. After an attack error on Cortez, Nelson took over at the line with Bayfield down 6-4. She then went on her remarkable run.
“I just really did not want to miss my serve,” Nelson said. “I was really happy that my team was able to protect the serve, as well. I was really proud of that. I’ve definitely not been a part of a run as large as that. I think, once I got on a roll, I just didn’t want to end it with a service error, and, thankfully, they all stayed in play, and my teammates were incredible during it.”
Foutz said in all her years of coaching, she’s never been a part of a run that large.
During the 20-point run, Cortez called two timeouts but did not disrupt Nelson’s flow. It finally came to an end after the Wolverines were unable to win the first set point after a kill attempt from Edwards went long. Still, BHS would take the set three points later on an attack error from the Panthers.
In the third, Cortez fought valiantly through its outside hitters, Glover and Avery Wright, who kept Cortez in the match with their timely kills. Wright had four kills in the set, while Glover recorded three.
The Wolverines had a five-point lead at 15-10, but Cortez went on a 5-2 run to make it 17-15, which forced Foutz to burn a timeout. BHS was able to close it out after a back-and-forth battle.
The win came on the heels of going undefeated in three matches last week without four starters.
“We reset every match, so tomorrow coming into the gym, we’re going to attack our weaknesses,” Foutz said. “I’m super proud of our effort tonight, but we know that we’ve got a big match this weekend.”
Cortez head coach Maddie Wright declined to comment or provide team statistics.
Bayfield will travel to Alamosa on Saturday for a heavyweight clash against the Mean Moose (10-1, 3-0 IML) at 2 p.m. at Alamosa High School.