Portales sweeps Lovington for state championship title

Mike Linn

The Portales Lady Rams have no love for Lovington.
Not in Portales. Not in Lovington. Not even in Roswell.
The Lady Rams capped off their season in style Saturday night after sweeping Lovington in three sets in Roswell to win the 3A state volleyball championship.
The Lady Rams defeated Lovington four times this season, including two matches at home and one away before the state playoffs. The Lady Rams also defeated the Lady Wildcats to clinch the district championship on Nov. 1.
The victory was a pleasant end to a season marred by a less-than-stellar start. The Lady Rams began the year in a 5-10 pinch before accelerating through a nine-game winning streak the final six weeks of the season.
On Friday, the Lady Rams avenged two regular season losses to West Las Vegas in the semifinal match. Down 2-0, the Lady Rams led an emotional comeback to defeat West Las Vegas 3-2 and carried over the momentum to Saturday night’s state championship match.
The Lady Rams have owned their district for the past seven years, and last year fell one game short of a state championship.
Senior outside hitter Kelly Parkey capped off her final season with flair, playing “like there was no tomorrow” and along senior Erika Cook led the lady Rams with eight kills.
“I felt confident that we’d step it up,” Parkey said. “I knew we could do it.”
This is the fifth title in Portales volleyball history. That puts them tied for fourth overall and second in Class 3A (behind Hot Springs, which has nine).
The Lady Rams will lose six players to graduation, but head coach Ruth Chavez said there should be no reason the Lady Rams won’t make a repeat run next season.
“I lose six players, but I have six solid players coming back,” Chavez said.
“We’ll be back.”

Staff writers Kevin Wilson and Tony Parra contributed to this report.