Pirate volleyball season ends at Bayfield tournament

The Pirate 2008 volleyball season ended Saturday as the team posted a 1-2 record at the league tourney at Bayfield and failed to advance to further playoff competition.

Pagosa started the tourney with 3-0 losses to Monte Vista and Bayfield, and finished the year on a positive note, defeating Centauri 3-1.

Monte Vista had Pagosa’s number in the regular season this year, taking both matches from the Pirates for the first time in recent memory.

Saturday, the team from the San Luis Valley continued the string, getting a 25-15, 25-23, 27-25 win over the Pirates.

“We just couldn’t get over the hump against Monte Vista,” said Coach Andy Rice. “We had two close games and it came down to the end in each and, in both cases, our mistakes cost us. It wasn’t a matter of Monte beating us as much as it was us beating ourselves. In the playoffs, you need an extra level of enthusiasm and desire, and we just didn’t get there.”

Shelby Stretton led Pagosa on offense with nine kills. Fellow senior Jennifer Low had seven kills in the match. Senior setter Allison Hart put up 25 assists; Low had four solo blocks, Hart three. Sienna Stretton contributed seven digs to the Pirate effort.

The second match of the tourney was against the host, Bayfield, which came into the tourney sporting a gaudy regular season record with only one loss (to Piedra Vista). The Wolverines had no trouble with Pagosa, winning 25-17, 25-13, 25-14.

As it was in the second regular season match between the two teams, Bayfield’s service game was the deciding factor, and that ability to score on the serve reversed a solid Pagosa lead in game one and sent the Pirates on a downward spiral.

“We came out strong and went up twelve to six in the first game,” said Rice, “but Bayfield evened up the game with jump serves. Our lack of ability to handle the serve hurt us. Our offense and theirs, and our defense and theirs, were relatively equal. Their serve versus our serve receive was the big difference in the match. Once we blew the lead in game one, they steamrolled over us. They didn’t lose a game all day; they were definitely the best team at the tournament.”

Junior Kala Matzdorf had six kills against Bayfield; Shelby Stretton and Breezy Bryant each had four. Hart had 17 assists. She also tallied three solo blocks; Low had two. Bryant and Hart each had six digs against the Wolverines.

The 25-27, 25-14, 22-25, 25-20 win over Centauri provided a winning exit for this year’s Pirates.

“I was proud of the way we ended it,” said Rice. “It was a meaningless match in that the two teams that would advance had been determined. Last year, we had a similar situation with Bayfield, and they beat us. This year, we came out and won.

“Our seniors had a fine match. Allison Hart probably set the best of her career. Shelby Stretton and Jen Low had good efforts. Our seniors came out firing and took care of business.”

Low had eight kills against the Falcons; Hart put up 35 assists. Low finished with three stuff blocks, Megan Bryant with two. Breezy Bryant scored with five ace serves. She had eight digs; Sienna Stretton had 11.