The Durango High School volleyball team had run through its Class 4A and 5A opponents during the 2021 spring season. It was a pair of Class 3A foes on consecutive nights that got the best of the Demons, though.
After a tough 3-1 home loss Wednesday night to Bayfield, the Demons loaded the bus to face another rival at Montezuma-Cortez, which entered the game with an undefeated record.
Durango claimed the first set 25-22 as it looked for a bounce-back victory, but the Panthers rallied to win a tough second set 26-24 before taking the next two sets 25-16 and 25-18 to secure a 3-1 victory.
“Our team served well, but we just struggled with attacking consistency,” DHS head coach Kelley Rifilato said.
The Panthers, ranked No. 7 in Class 3A, improved to 10-0 overall and still stand 7-0 in 3A/2A Intermountain League to play.
DHS, ranked No. 8 in Class 4A, fell to 8-2 overall and stands 5-0 in the 5A/4A Southwestern League with a league title the goal following the end of the Demons’ unbeaten run.
Sophomore Leah Wolf led the Demons attack Thursday, as she posted 15 kills on 41 attempts. Mason Rowland and Kyle Rowland each had eight kills, but Mason Rowland had an off night with 10 attack errors.
Kyle Rowland added four of Durango’s seven aces in the match, and she also had 14 digs. DHS was led in digging by Leah Wesley, who had 21, while Paige Ammerman had 15 digs to go with a team-high 20 assists. Mason Rowland had 13 assists.
The Demons will get back in the swing of league play at noon Saturday at Grand Junction.