The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Portales hosts tourney for younger spikers

 

September 10, 2017

Eric Murray

Kenzie Davis of Portales' freshman team goes up for a spike in the team's Saturday win over Roswell.

PORTALES - The annual Portales Rams Junior Varsity Volleyball Tournament is a much-anticipated event for many local players who have yet to crack the varsity lineup at their respective schools. This year, eight teams - including Portales, Goddard, Roswell and Texico all competed in the tournament, held this past Friday and Saturday at Portales High School.

The goal of the tournament is not only to develop young players, but also, to showcase them. Rams junior Abby Brown, who was playing in her third JV Tournament, said that it's an exciting event for her and her teammates every year.

"It's always about varsity - people always go to the varsity games," Brown explained. "But in tournaments like these, we have a lot of students and parents come and support (us). It's always a good tournament to look forward to."

Rams varsity head coach Charity Gomez - now in her second year as Rams coach and a former junior varsity coach herself, agrees with that sentiment. For her, the tournament's ability to provide positive exposure for her girls is certainly important. Plus, she can see how her players are doing without distractions.

"I don't get to see them that much in practice, so I can watch and kind of see what we need to continue to work on," Gomez said. "Or, if I gave them a goal for the week (I can see) if they're trying to reach those goals, or if they're really trying to be mindful of some of the things that we have been working on. It's always good because I want to make sure our program's developing from the bottom to the top. It allows me to relax - I don't have to worry about coaching, I'm just able to watch everybody."

According to Gomez, the JV Tournament is a competitive one, as teams like Roswell and Goddard are higher classification programs, while Texico is a perennial Class 3A title contender.

Friday's matches begin with pool play, before moving into bracket competition. Saturday is bracket play. For the record, Texico won the tournament title, as it's JV team defeated its freshmen - or 'C' team, 3-0.

Portales, meanwhile, sent both of its JV and freshmen teams to the consolation, or third place game. Ultimately, the JV squad pulled it out in three sets, 25-10, 24-26 and 17-15, giving them some sort of bragging rights against their younger teammates.

"We play a lot of games (in this tournament)," Brown explained. "It always helps to play at the beginning of the season, so then we get a lot of playing time and then we also get to play teams for the rest of the season, so we know what they're like."

 

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