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

Portales sweeps Clovis for first victory


September 5, 2018

Eric Murray

Aaliyah Austin attempts a jump-serve in the first set of Tuesday's win over Clovis. The Rams swept Clovis to move to 1-1.

PORTALES — Sometimes, you have to see what you’re doing wrong, rather than just being told. That’s exactly what Portales volleyball coach Charity Gomez did this past week, and thus far, it’s been a success.

Gomez’ Rams, coming off of a season-opening loss to Roswell last Thursday, earned their first win on Tuesday night against Clovis. Portales swept the match in three sets, 25-22, 25-10 and 25-16.

“After we lost to Roswell, we just watched film on Friday — we didn’t practice,” Gomez explained. “We just kinda watched it and went over some things that we’ve been talking about. I think once they could really see it and visualize it, it helps. We got into the gym on Monday, and just worked on some attacking things, and just being more efficient attackers.”

Portales (1-1) wasn’t afraid to attack early on, as the Rams found open pockets on the outside of Clovis’ (0-2) front row, earning some easy points. The Wildcats consistently stayed within two to four points throughout the opening set, but the Rams found a way to hang on and win by three points.

The second set, however, wasn’t nearly as close. Portales quickly got up, 5-0, before ending the game on a 10-2 run. The third set, meanwhile, was much of the same to start, before it became a back and forth affair.

The Wildcats rallied to tie it at 8-8, while both squads briefly exchanged leads. In the end, the Rams finished the set on a 13-4 run.

"I just thought we lost the passing game. They served well against us, and we didn’t backup and pass the ball, the way that we practiced,” Wildcats coach Ruth Chavez explained. “If you can’t pass the ball, you’re not gonna win ballgames. Our errors on serve-receive cost us.

“If we had passed the ball, it would have been a different ballgame. They just served well, and we errored ourselves out of the game. It’s frustrating.”

Chavez says that working on passing will be key in the coming practices. Her team is young, having returned just two players from last year’s squad. And although she expects some bumps in the road, she emphasized it’s a must that her team gets better soon. Clovis, by the way, will host Artesia next Tuesday in a rematch of the season opener for both teams.

As for the Rams, they’ll now embark on the Moriarty Tournament this Friday and Saturday. For Gomez, it’s an exciting tournament, and she feels that Tuesday’s win will go a long way toward this weekend.

“That’s always a good tournament for us. Lots of good competition and it’s a fun day,” Gomez said. “It’s a great facility and it’s just a ton of volleyball going on. I think this win really helps them go into that tournament with a little bit of confidence.”


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