The defending state champion Portales Lady Rams needed just over an hour to dispatch Dexter in three games Tuesday night 25-11, 25-12, 25-15. The match was the District 4-3A opener for both teams.
Portales head volleyball coach Ruth Chavez believes her girls played their most complete match of the season.
“We played well,” Chavez said. “We passed the ball a lot better tonight, and we were able to run our offense.”
“We’ve been working really hard in practice,” junior Alexis Orcutt said. “Tonight, I think it showed.”
The home team set the tone early, jumping out to a healthy 18-9 lead in the first game, then cruised to a 25-11 win, capped by two consecutive kills from junior middle hitter Jenna Wagner.
The Lady Rams kept momentum on their side in Game 2, quickly building a 16-8 lead, then riding that wave to their 25-12 victory.
Dexter dominated the first half of Game 3, building an 8-4 lead, highlighted by senior Lauren Bogle’s service ace.
But back came the Portales girls, going on a 17-4 run, to take a commanding 21-12 advantage, before Wagner and Orcutt closed out the sweep with two kills each to end Game 3.
“When you play (Dexter) you could get beat,” Chavez said. “(Dexter) is good at playing at their speed, that’s what they do well. If you try to play at someone else’s speed, you could get beat. So I thought we did a good job of keeping everything quick.”
“After (losing at) Goddard, we really thought things through,” Orcutt said. “We really changed the way we played, and I think that will carry us through the rest of the season.”
The Lady Rams (7-10, 1-0 District 4-3A) have four of their next five games on the road, taking a break from district play Thursday at Artesia, before resuming district play Monday at Lovington.
“We’re not where we want to be,” Chavez said. “We still have a long journey, but we’re getting better. We put the idea in their head that it’s not just going to happen — you have to make it happen.”