Lady Rams looking for fourth title in five years

By Dave Wagner

Juniors Morgan Hill and Megan Kabrick believe they have a lot more to accomplish before they leave Portales High.
“Megan’s and my goal is to get at least seven state championships before we graduate,” said Hill, a 6-foot middle hitter for the Lady Rams.
They’re off to a good start, with two basketball crowns and one volleyball title. Whether they can add to it in other activities, Hill said, remains to be seen.
“We’ll see if we can do anything in spring sports,” she said.
Portales, which took state volleyball honors in Class 3A last year despite a modest 14-10 overall mark, returns three starters — Hill, Kabrick and junior setter Ashleah Richards.
While that appears to be a good starting point, fifth-year Portales coach Ruth Chavez is quick to point out that the rest of her team has little varsity experience.
And Kabrick is coming off ACL surgery from an injury suffered during the basketball season in December.
PHS, with three volleyball titles in the past four years, is used to coming into its District 4-3A schedule with a mediocre record. Still, Chavez said she can’t remember the last time her team lost a district game, and added that an overall record is not something that concerns the Lady Rams.
“We don’t talk about our record,” she said. “We just try to use every game to get better for our district.”
PHS opens the 2004 season on Friday in the 16-team Clovis Invitational.
“We’re just going to try to get our kids some experience,” Chavez said. “The (returning players) we have are really solid.”
Hill said as one of the more experienced players she’ll have to step into a leadership role.
“But I like that; I can do it,” she said. “We’re kind of young this year; last year we had a bunch of seniors, and now we’re the ‘older’ people.
“I think we’re going to be a close-knit team this year.”
There are only three teams in the district, with New Mexico Military not fielding a volleyball program. Chavez thinks Ruidoso could provide her squad a stiff challenge.
“We know Ruidoso is strong,” Chavez said. “I don’t know too much yet about Lovington.”
Still, she’s not about to put another state championship run past her squad.
“I think we’re going to be all right,” Chavez said. “We’re young, which means we have a lot of room for improvement by the time we get to the state tournament.”