The young Lady Ram volleyball team knows it has plenty to learn, but after Tuesday night, the players also know they can compete against the best in the state.
The Roswell Lady Coyotes defeated Portales 25-21, 25-19, 22-25, 25-19 on Tuesday at the Portales High School gymnasium, but all four games were competitive.
“I am proud of them. We’re getting better and we’re getting more competitive,” Lady Rams coach Ruth Chavez said. “I thought we battled. We almost had them there.”
“I think we played a lot better than what we have been,” freshman hitter Macy Mitchell said. “We were on our toes and we were ready. We did good.”
The home team built an early 9-6 lead in Game 1, before Roswell took control scoring 10 straight points — highlighted by several Chantale Riddle kills, to take a 16-9 lead. Riddle has given a verbal commitment to play at the University of New Mexico.
The Lady Rams managed to take 12 of the next 20 points to challenge, but Roswell held on to take a one-game lead.
Game 2 was competitive throughout, as the lead changed hands several times, but Roswell finished it by scoring five of the last six points.
Portales led nearly wire-to-wire in Game 3, jumping out to an early 7-4 lead. Roswell took seven of the next nine points to take an 11-9 advantage, but the Lady Rams scored 8 of the next 11 points to open a 16-12 lead.
Portales junior Alexis Orcutt played a key role in the run, scoring several points.
Portales also led for most of Game 4, building a 16-11 margin midway through the game on the strength of several kills from junior Jenna Wagner and Mitchell, but Roswell scored 13 of the last 17 points to wrap up the match.
Riddle puzzled the Portales defense all night, but Chavez said her girls did well against Riddle, who has given a verbal commitment to play at New Mexico.
“I thought we adjusted well,” Chavez said. “We put a double block on her and rotated our defense around and I think that slowed her down a bit.”
“We shut her down pretty good this game,” Mitchell said.
The Lady Rams travel to Roswell Tuesday to face Goddard, before returning home Oct. 2 to host Artesia.
“From now on, we’re going to go back to work,” Chavez said. “We’re not going to have any excuses as to why we failed — we’re just going to work hard.”