RUIDOSO — Portales pulled away in the third game Tuesday night on the road to keep control of the District 4-3A volleyball race.
Senior outside hitter Kristen Wagner had a solid all-around effort with 18 kills, four blocks and 13 digs as the Lady Rams cruised to a 25-14, 25-21, 25-17 victory over Ruidoso.
“In the second game, we went point for point a little bit and we were able to pull it out,” Portales coach Ruth Chavez said. “In the third game, we were able to serve a few in a row.
“And when Kristen can hit it, she can really change the momentum; people start to back away. She’s one of the best players in New Mexico right now, in (any class).”
Senior setter Pari Cox had three of Portales’ six aces, but she wasn’t the only one who excelled in the serving department.
“We had a good serving night by Francis Armijo; I think she served (10 points) in a row,” Chavez said. “Kristen Wagner, they just didn’t have an answer for her. She had a great hitting game.”
The Lady Rams (12-5, 2-0 district) controlled the first and third sets, but struggled a bit in the second, Chavez said. Then, after a side-out to take the lead, PHS ran off another 10 points with Armijo on the service line to lead 18-7.
“I thought the second game we quit playing our game and things got a little sloppy back and forth,” Chavez said. “If something gets sloppy, we correct it, but I thought we struggled doing that.
“In game 3, we talked about that. Then we just had a heck of a server (Armijo) back there. I felt we had the right person (back there) to pull away.”
Portales hosts Clovis on Thursday night at the RAC. The teams have split two matches this season, with Portales winning in five sets on Sept. 10 at Clovis and the Lady Wildcats returning the favor with a 3-1 win in PHS’ Peyton Chavez Tournament in early October.