The Portales Lady Ram volleyball team swept Lovington 25-20, 25-11 and 25-11 Tuesday night at Ram Gym.
The dominating Lady Rams’ win sets up a Saturday showdown at District 4-3A leading Ruidoso.
Lady Ram coach Ruth Chavez said her team had a swagger Tuesday night.
“(They played with) lots of confidence,” Chavez said. “Even when they made an error (tonight), they came right back the next point with a lot of confidence. That makes all the difference in the world.”
“We did really good,” junior hitter Jenna Wagner said. “I think we got a lot of confidence after the win against Clovis, and we played tonight like we’re capable of playing.”
Game 1 was the most competitive of the three. Portales built a first game 11-7 lead, before Lovington scored four of the next six points to crawl to within 13-11. But the Lady Rams (10-8, 4-1 district) closed out the first game on a tear.
“They’re starting to play really well as a team,” Chavez said. “Which is supposed to be happening right now.”
The Lady Rams dominated Game 2 after spotting Lovington (8-12, 2-4) the first two points.
Portales had their largest lead of the night midway through Game 3, taking a commanding 17-5 advantage highlighted by several kills from Portales freshman Macy Mitchell and Wagner.
“Our confidence was up against Clovis — which was a good team,” Chavez said. “And our confidence was good tonight. So, I think just the more they mature and the more they feel good about what they’re doing, the more confident they are in each other.”
Portales senior setter Dallas Russell re-injured a dislocated pinkie in the middle of the first game. She returned to play Game 2 and Game 3.
“I really thought that the first game that we had to play without her — LeAnne Blaeser and Ashley Hernandez stepped in and never skipped a beat. They played well,” Chavez said.
Ruidoso swept the Lady Rams on Oct. 21 in Portales to take the outright district lead. To claim the regular season district championship, the Lady Rams must sweep Ruidoso Saturday and win each game by a wide margin. The District 4-3A tournament begins Nov. 3.
“If we play like we played against Clovis, then I think we can beat anybody,” Wagner said.
Her coach agrees.
“If we come out and play Ruidoso like we played Clovis and like we played tonight, it’ll be a whole different game,” Chavez said.