RUIDOSO—The Portales Lady Ram volleyball team will be defending their 2007 Class 3A state volleyball championship this week as the District 4-3A runner-up to Ruidoso after the Lady Warriors claimed the district championship over the Portales girls in four games.
The Ruidoso girls beat Portales for the third time this season Saturday night 25-11, 25-22, 28-30 and 25-15.
“We played them tough all night,” Portales head coach Ruth Chavez said. “We were right there on their tail all night long.”
The third-game victory was a Lady Ram first this season, with the previous two matchups ending in sweeps.
“It was a battle (in the third game),” Chavez said. “We ended up making the big play and winning it. That was a great game.”
Chavez brought Bradi Carthel along from the junior varsity squad and was impressed with the sophomore’s first varsity performance.
“She stepped in and played well tonight,” Chavez said. “She had fun and she played hard. I was really proud of her.”
The Lady Rams (12-10) won seven of their final nine matches to end the regular season, with both losses coming to Ruidoso.
Ruidoso and Portales will both be headed to the state volleyball tournament in Albuquerque this week, as the New Mexico Activities Association will seed the brackets today.
“(The hitting) was better,” Chavez said. “It still has to get better. We have to come up with more options on the front row. They didn’t hit with any fear, and they didn’t worry about the block — they just hit the ball.”
Depending on seeding for the state tournament, the Lady Rams could play Ruidoso for a fourth time this season, with much more on the line.
“After tonight, I think we can give them a run for their money,” Chavez said.