Special to the PNT
LOVINGTON — The match was just as one would expect from the first meeting of the season between arch rivals. Each game between Lovington and Portales was close and intense, with three of the four being settled by three points or less.
When everyone’s pulses returned to normal, it was the visiting Lady Rams who had the victory 25-23, 18-25, 25-22, 26-24.
After losing a tight third game Lovington got flustered early in the deciding stanza, falling behind 7-1. But the Lady Wildcats regrouped to take a 17-16 lead, then had game point at 24-23. But a hitting error and then a service reception error opened the door for Portales.
“I’d called my two timeouts and they only had 14 points (in the last game),” Lovington coach Melissa Frazier said. “But they got right back into it. Right at the end, leading 24-23 on offense, we should have pounded the ball. We might have been a little bit timid just to keep the ball in play.”
The Lady Wildcats had trouble with Portales’ hitting in the first game, but their blocking was more effective throughout the match.
“I thought our blocking was much better,” Frazier said. “This is probably the best hitting team we’ve seen since the Clovis or Roswell tournaments.”
Portales improved to 8-10 with the win, 2-0 in District 4-3A. The Lady Rams are idle until Tuesday, when they host Artesia.