Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Texico tops Lady Rams in finals of tournament

link Joshua Lucero: Staff photo

PHS junior Bailey Rowley gets low for the dig during Saturday’s gold bracket semifinal match against Sandia Prep on Saturday at the RAC. Portales beat the Sundevils in four games, but lost to Texico in the championship match 25-20, 22-25, 25-19, 25-22.

link Joshua Lucero: Staff photo

Portales junior Amanda Schmidt knocks one over the net during the Rams semi-final game against the Sandia Prep Sundevils Saturday afternoon at the Ram Athletic Center.

By Derek Major

Staff writer

[email protected]

The Portales volleyball team hosted the Peyton Chavez volleyball tournament Friday and Saturday and after finished pool play as the No. 1 seed. The Lady Rams made it to the championship game before falling to Texico in four sets 25-20, 22-25, 25-19, 25-22.

Portales (5-7), which beat Sandia Prep 15-25, 25-19, 25-14, 25-23 in Saturday’s semifinals, played most of the day without junior outside hitter Kambrey Blakey, who was involved in a rollover car accident on Saturday morning and saw only limited time during the day, mainly as a precautionary measure.

“I thought we battled hard,” PHS coach Ruth Chavez said. “Sandia Prep played good as a team and we had to make some adjustments. We had one player who was dealing with an injury, so we limited her playing time, but we had some kids step up today.”

Things looked grim for the Lady Rams early on Saturday as they lost the first game against Sandia Prep. They didn’t quit, though, and took the next three games to advance to the finals.

Senior Brooke Lopez was happy with the strides the Lady Rams made during the tournament.

“We definitely progressed throughout the tournament,” she said. “We lost our first (pool match) to Clovis and after that we just got better in every aspect of the game. Our serving, our hitting, passing, everything looked really good.

“We also learned a lot about keeping or energy up and keeping positive. We also learned that communicating make the game so much easier.”

That win over Sandia Prep propelled the Lady Rams into the finals against Texico, which the Lady Wolverines beat Clovis in the first semifinal match.

In the finals, the Lady Wolverines took the first game with dominating serving and passing to stay in front of a close game, but in the second set the Lady Rams pushed back to even the match as they found a way to keep Texico off-balance throughout the game.

In the last two games, the Rams couldn’t overcome their own mistakes and lost leads in both games in settling for second place. Chavez knew the errors cost her team the match.

“We just made too many errors and we didn’t get our serves there at the end,” she said. “It just didn’t happen for us. It was just one of those games.”

Despite the loss, middle hitter McKenzie Bucksath knows her team learned a lot about itself in the tournament.

“I thought we played well and improved each game,” she said. “Now we know what we need to work on to be successful the rest of the season.”

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