Dishing out payback quite Shakespearean in nature – think the controversial character Shylock’s “...And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?” line in “The Merchant of Venice” – to Durango High School on Tuesday evening, the Bayfield volleyball team sent a message that Wolverine pride was merely dinged and not damaged by the Demons’ 55-0 football romp inside Wolverine Country Stadium days earlier.
“I think there definitely was kind of a factor of sportsmanship,” said BHS junior Melissa Roberts, in alluding to the fact BHS’ trademark golden rock by the football field’s interior north gate had briefly fallen victim to rival pranksters’ red and black the night before kickoff, with pitchforks also painted on the ground for good measure. “If you’re going to disrespect us, we’re going to show you that you need to respect us.”
In sweeping the Class 4A Demons 25-23, 25-18, 25-12, the Wolverines also declared their intent to reclaim their program’s place atop the 3A Intermountain League.
Having lost a competitive four-gamer at current front-runners Alamosa the day after Durango’s football win, Bayfield volleyball head coach Terene Foutz knew her crew was going to have to bring even more intensity into Durango in order to not only face DHS but pick up steam to rejoin the IML title race going into Saturday’s match at Centauri.
Since losing to 4A Windsor at the Lewis-Palmer Invitational, the Wolverines have now won five of six, leaving them 9-3 overall and 4-1 in the IML. Led by former Wolverine Candace Shaw, Centauri (7-5 overall) also stands 4-1 in league after easily sweeping Monte Vista on Tuesday.
Besides showing a 2-2 record in five-set matches, the Falcons’ schedule shows quality wins over 2A Sargent and Hoehne, plus a pool-play win over Niwot (25-4 in 2018, Class 4A state runner-up) at the Lewis-Palmer event.
Centauri features 5-foot-10 senior Dynae Johnson, senior libero Kaitlyn Quinlan and 5-6 senior captain McKenna Bagwell, but the roster shows a junior-heavy core including 5-10 Courtney Hamilton, 5-9 setter Ashtyn Haslett, 5-9 Torissa Huffaker and 5-9 Brynli Sowards.
Sophomore outside hitter Marissa Johnson also provides punch for Shaw, whose side was stout against the Wolverines last fall with a pool-play win at the L-P tourney, then a four-set win against BHS in in La Jara before losing inside BHS Gymnasium in five and thus splitting the season series.
Wronged twice by the Falcons in 2018, the Wolverines expect another spirited effort in the teams’ first meeting of 2019.
“We’re going to bring our A-game; I know it,” Roberts said. “I mean, after (Durango) we’re like, ‘We can do this.’ I think all of us are super pumped for it, and I think we’re going to be just fine.”