The Lady Wolverines didn't finish third at state in 2013.
But #3 is where they'll start 2014 in the CHSAANow.com Class 3A rankings-the preseason poll was released Aug. 11. The Wolverines are going into a difficult opening stretch in their schedule, beginning Tuesday against Four Corners regional nemesis Piedra Vista of Farmington.
First serve is scheduled for about 6:30 p.m. against the now-5A Lady Panthers, coming off a stellar 21-3 season ending with a loss to Roswell Goddard in the state championship.
Just two nights later, BHS' first road trip of the season won't be long, but it will be thrilling as Durango awaits inside the DemonDome. 4A Montezuma-Cortez (9-15-1 overall in '13) then visits BHS Gymnasium on Sept. 2, and Bayfield takes on Piedra Vista at home on Sept. 9.
Also ranked as 5A this fall by the NMAA, the Farmington Lady Scorpions and Aztec Lady Tigers come to town on the Sept. 16 and 18, respectively, before the Lady Wolverines (21-6 in 2013) finally begin Intermountain League play on Sept. 20 at home against Monte Vista.
"We're really excited about it," said senior outside hitter/defensive specialist Martina Moreno. "These are all really great teams, and we're privileged to get to play these teams. It'll make us better."
"We're very dynamic.everyone can play different positions," she continued. "We're lucky to have the people that we have on varsity."
Tomorrow those "people" will give a presentation of their potential at the Pi, toughrate Four Corners Scrimmages in Pagosa Springs. The Lady Pirates, incidentally, have started as "Receiving Votes" in 3A).
Senior middle Kirstie Hillyer will be a season-long focal point, but due attention will need to be paid as well to classmates Moreno, Jessie Roukema, Caitlin Phelps and setter Suzie Rhodes. Sophomore libero Maddi Foutz should again be one of the classification's best back-row beasts, as BHS looks to keep company with preseason kingpins Manitou Springs and #2 Eaton, a perennial powerhouse.
"We're excited," Moreno said of Bayfield's high-up inclusion in the statewide scene. "We remember Eaton a lot, and we want to get back [to State]. Last year when we played them.we motivated each other to play better, and I want to see that as a team again this year."
Providing extra depth on Terene Foutz's roster will be sophomores Emily Bauer and Taylor Morris, and freshmen Kylee McCoy, Courtney Bayles (both already listed at 5'9"), Sydney Gabbard and Jade Pascale. Sophomore Miranda Talbot, along with Bauer, was a late call-up to the varsity last fall and got to experience firsthand the Denver Coliseum experience along with the regulars.
PLAYING CATCH-UP: Behind BHS in the initial top ten were (in order) Gilcrest Valley, Kersey Platte Valley, Greeley University, Sterling, Parker Lutheran, Colorado Springs St. Mary's and Colorado Springs Christian.
Others 'Receiving Votes' were Gunnison, Denver Bishop Machebeuf, Arvada Faith Christian, Lamar, New Castle Coal Ridge and Westminster's The Academy.