By Chris Mannara
The Pagosa Springs High School Lady Pirate volleyball team was able to pick up one win in three games played recently, bringing the team’s overall record to 3-6.
On April 9, Pagosa was able to pick up a win against the 2A Dolores Bears (7-4 overall) on the road in four sets.
Dolores started off strong in the first set, taking it from Pagosa by a score of 25-20, but Pagosa came back to win three straight sets by margins of 25-22, 25-17 and 25-20.
Pagosa finished with a season-high 44 kills against the Bears, with Kori Lucero and River Pitcher notching 12 kills each.
Molly Graham registered eight kills, while Lynelle Bartz added another seven for the Lady Pirates.
The Lady Pirates registered 12 serving aces against the Bears, with Bartz registering a team- and career-high six assists.
Graham led the Lady Pirates’ defense with four total blocks while Chloe Bridges added another three.
Pitcher led the team in digs with 22 while Keira Torrez added another 16 for the Lady Pirates.
Unfortunately for the Lady Pirates, a second win was not in the cards when they faced the undefeated 4A Durango Demons (8-0 overall) on April 10, as the Demons won in four sets.
After losing the first set by a narrow margin of 25-22, Pagosa was able to take the second set against Durango, also by a score of 25-22, to tie everything at one apiece.
The Demons went on a two-set streak, winning both sets by margins of 25-14, to capture the victory over the Lady Pirates.
Of Pagosa’s 26 total kills, Pitcher led the team with seven and Bartz added another five.
The Lady Pirates finished with six serving aces against the Demons, with Bridges and Torrez notching two each.
Graham finished with a season- and career-high in blocks against Durango, sending back six total Durango attempts.
Four Lady Pirates finished with double-digit digs against Durango, with Torrez leading the charge with 22.
Bridges added 19, Lucero added another 16 and Pitcher contributed 12.
Coach Caitlin Forrest wrote in an email to The SUN that, despite the loss, the girls felt great about taking a set from Durango, and noted how much the Lady Pirates have improved from the start of the season.
On Tuesday, Pagosa took on the Bayfield Wolverines (7-3 overall, 5-3 in league play) to conclude the regular-season series between the two Intermountain League (IML) foes, with Bayfield winning in five sets.
Bayfield had previously defeated Pagosa in three sets on April 2.
To begin the first set, the Wolverines jumped out to a 16-9 lead on Pagosa and were able to extend it to 23-12 and, ultimately, 25-12 to win the first set.
However, Pagosa came back in the second set and took an early 16-11 lead on the Wolverines.
The Lady Pirates were able to extend the lead to 22-15 in the second set and won the second set by a score of 25-16.
In the third set, it was a back-and-forth affair between the two IML foes, with Pagosa taking an early 11-9 lead.
The two IML fires were knotted up at 18 apiece, with Pagosa then pulling ahead for a 23-20 lead.
Pagosa was able to hold off Bayfield to take the third set by a score of 25-23.
Bayfield came back strong in the fourth set, however, winning by a score of 25-13 and eventually taking the match-sealing fifth set by a score of 15-12.
Stats for the matchup against Bayfield were not available by press time on Wednesday.
Forrest noted in her email how well Pagosa has played against tough opponents this season, noting that the final set against Bayfield came down to a “judgement call.”
Currently, Pagosa sits in sixth place out of six teams in the IML standings with an overall record of 3-6, which includes an 0-5 record in league play.
Pagosa will look to notch a few more wins against two more IML foes starting tomorrow at home against the IML-leading Montezuma-Cortez Panthers (9-0 overall, 7-0 in league play).
Varsity action is set to tip off at 6 p.m.
The Panthers bested the Lady Pirates in the first matchup between the two teams by a score of 3-0 on March 30.
Next up for Pagosa will be a road test against the Alamosa Mean Moose (7-3 overall, 4-3 in league play) on April 17 at 6 p.m.
Alamosa defeated Pagosa in the season opener on March 18 in four sets.
Currently, Alamosa sits in fourth place in the IML standings.
“With only a few matches left, I know my girls are hungry for a win. We will be working on defending the middle and picking up our serve receive passing a bit,” Forrest wrote. “Overall, the adjustments I have asked the girls to make have been made and I am so proud of them. The outsides are more versatile in their hitting than ever, and the middles have improved the timing and form of their block. I can confidently say our defense is one of the best in the league, and our upcoming opponents better be prepared!”