By Dave Wagner
The Clovis and Portales volleyball teams took turns beating up on each other in the first two games of Tuesday’s match at the PHS gym.
Both looking for momentum heading into district tournament play next week, it was the visiting Lady Wildcats who emerged down the stretch for a 25-15, 14-25, 25-21, 25-22 win over the Lady Rams.
For Clovis, it was a chance to build on a District 4-5A win over Carlsbad last week. With one match left, the Lady Cats (5-14) are trying to earn a first-round district tournament home game.
“It helps to have a (match) right in the middle of district that’s not so stressful,” CHS senior Annie Tweedy said. “The seniors don’t have much left (in their careers). We just want to go out and not hold anything back.”
Clovis had an almost all-new team from last season when it lost in five games in the regional round at Las Cruces High.
Sophomore middle hitter Siobhan Flatow recorded 12 kills for the Lady Cats. Meantime, junior Kim Perkins had four blocks — three in Game 4 when Clovis put the match away.
“Kim had a good night tonight,” Clovis coach Darrel Ray said. “We sat her down early, and when she came back in Games 3 and 4 she played real well.
“I thought the kids grew up a lot tonight. They’ve been showing some improvement, but tonight’s probably the most complete match they’ve played so far.”
Portales (4-14) dominated the second game behind junior Megan Kabrick, who had five kills and a block in that one. Kabrick finished the night with 12 kills, four blocks and three of the Lady Rams’ six aces.
PHS coach Ruth Chavez, though, said her team let the third game get away.
“We just made too many service errors (six), or we’d have had that game,” Chavez said.
The Lady Rams led 7-5 in the fourth game, but Laura Berning’s kill and Laura Wood’s service ace tied it, and Clovis went on to open a 15-9 lead. Portales didn’t get closer than three points after that.
The Lady Rams finish their regular season at Lovington on Thursday, needing a win over the Lady Wildcats to get the No. 2 seed in the District 4-3A tournament and a first-round tournament home match next week.
In Tuesday’s preliminary, the Portales junior varsity defeated the Clovis “C” team 25-20, 25-16.
Clovis 3, Portales 1
Clovis 25 14 25 25
Portales 15 25 22 21
Kills — Clovis, Siobhan Flatow 12, Laura Berning 10, Roxanne Luera 9. Portales, Megan Kabrick 12, Briana Hernandez 8, Ashleah Richards 8. Blocks — Clovis, Kim Perkins 4, Flatow 2. Portales, Morgan Hill 4, Kabrick 4. Aces — Clovis, Laura Wood 4, Luera 2, Jessica Russell 1. Portales, Kabrick 3, three tied with 1. Records — Clovis 5-14, Portales 4-14.
Lady Tigers lose at home — Fort Sumner dominated from the get-go and the Vixens handed the host Lady Tigers a 25-8, 25-11, 25-11 setback Tuesday night in a District 3-1A match.
Fort Sumner (16-3, 7-0 district) clinched the top seed in next week’s district tournament. Elida (14-5, 5-2) should be the second seed.
“Fort Sumner played very, very good; I think they missed one serve the whole night,” Elida coach Darrell Chenault said. “They’re just a very good team.”
The teams split preliminary matches, with Fort Sumner taking the JV clash 25-22, 25-16 and Elida winning at the junior high level 18-25, 25-20, 15-5.