Sure, she had a cumbersome brace shrouding much of her left leg.
But what mattered most to spectators was that Jade Pascale was also wearing her uniform.
With no other choice but to remain on the court, vulnerable in the back row after launching her second serve Tuesday night, the senior probably wouldn't have had a second thought leaping, diving, or even kneeling to play any sort of return. However, she is recovering from a multi-ligament knee injury sustained earlier this season.
Watching on pins and needles, the exchange couldn't end fast enough for head coach Danica Frost.
And though just as stoked as any Wolverine supporter to see Pascale in the lineup one last time inside BHS Gymnasium, Frost had no choice but leave her in after Pascale's first serve got the varsity match versus Montezuma-Cortez underway in the most storybook way possible.
"Jade had an ace tonight!" exclaimed Frost, who admittedly became nervous when the service-line gem afforded Pascale more playing time than initially envisioned. "We got her in to start, and that was pretty awesome."
Most awesome of all was that Bayfield's seniors, Pascale, Sydney Gabbard, Courtney Bayles, Kylee McCoy and Ashley Mottin, went out winners in their final regular-season 3A Intermountain League contest at home, as BHS ripped the Panthers 25-21, 25-12, 25-10.
"First set we started off a little slow," Frost said, of her team working to properly channel the extra Senior Night energy gained by Pascale's appearance, "but we kicked it into gear the second set."
McCoy finished with a reported nine kills, three blocks and an impressive 13 digs to lead the way.
"Kylee had a great night," said Frost. "There might be a hole in the floor; she hit this one overpass, and it was...it was a statement."
Mottin and sophomore Mavis Edwards pounded down six kills each, and while Mottin was in on four stuffs defensively, Edwards logged 12 digs as M-CHS (6-10, 2-6 IML) actually vied for more clean kill shots than the scores would indicate. Gabbard dug up 18 balls, and junior libero Tymbree Florian an outstanding 22.
Bayles recorded at least 30 assists as Bayfield improved to 10-5, 6-1 prior to two key contests awaiting them this weekend.
"It's Centauri that we're preparing for, actually," said Frost. "Really, that's the focus now."
Victorious in five (22-25, 25-19, 25-12, 21-25, 15-10) over Alamosa Tuesday night in La Jara, Centauri, which swept Bayfield 25-22, 25-18, 25-19 out in Conejos County on Sept. 30, will go into the event standing 15-0 overall and a first-place 8-0 in the Intermountain.
The Falcons started the week at #7 in the CHSAANow.com Class 3A poll, while the Wolverines slipped from #10 into the 'Others Receiving Votes' bubble group following a five-game loss Oct. 3 at 6A Piedra Vista in Farmington.
BHS will face Cortez again at a triangular to be held Saturday, Oct. 14, at Montezuma-Cortez High School.