By Dave Wagner
West Las Vegas didn’t let the Portales Lady Rams have much of a chance Thursday.
The Lady Dons, victimized several times during Class 3A state competition in recent years by Portales, jumped on top quickly and led most of the way in a 25-11, 25-17, 25-16 win at the PHS gym.
Senior Jillian Trujillo led a balanced WLV hitting attack with nine kills, helping the Lady Dons improve to 10-2 for the season. Senior Livinia Gallegos and sophomore Vera Bustos both had eight kills.
“I like to see it when we have three or four hitters up there,” Lady Dons coach Dawn Cdebaca said. “When they’re all even like that, I know we’re playing as a team.”
Portales has beaten West Las Vegas three times at state in the past four years, including in the finals in 2000 and in the semifinals in 2001 and 2003. Cdebaca said she expected a tough match.
“We just played really solid,” she said. “Portales is always right there, but everyone passed really well today. I knew we’d have to hit really well because they’re so much bigger than we are.”
The Lady Rams (3-10) fell behind 5-0 in the first game and never made a run at West Las Vegas, but they did open three-point margins early in each of the next two games.
The Lady Dons took care of that in the middle game though, going on a 14-1 run to build a double-digit lead before steadily pulling away in the third game.
Junior Megan Kabrick led the Lady Rams with nine kills and two block. Junior Morgan Hill added six kills while junior Rebekah Gonzales had two of the team’s six aces.
“They’re a good team, but we just had a lot of blocking errors,” PHS coach Ruth Chavez said. “I thought Morgan Kabrick had a good game. It just didn’t all come together.”
Portales begins District 4-3A action on Saturday at Ruidoso, and Chavez expects a tough match from the Lady Warriors.
“We’ve just got to go in there and take what we’ve learned from (predistrict),” Chavez said. “We’ll have to work hard to beat Ruidoso; they’ll be ready for us.”
In Thursday’s preliminary, the Portales JV improved to 9-3 for the season with a 25-13, 25-11 victory over the Lady Dons.
West Las Vegas 3, Portales 0
West Las Vegas 25 25 25
Portales 11 17 16
Kills — West Las Vegas, Jillian Trujillo 9, Vera Bustos 8, Livinia Gallegos 8. Portales, Megan Kabrick 9, Morgan Hill 6. Blocks — West Las Vegas, Valerie Trujillo 1. Portales, Kabrick 2. Aces — West Las Vegas, Bustos 2, four tied with 1. Portales, Rebekah Gonzales 2, four tied with 1. Records — West Las Vegas 10-2, Portales 3-10.