By Mickey Winfield, PNT Staff Writer
The Portales Lady Rams went the distance Tuesday night against the Roswell Lady Coyotes and came out on top in five games at the Portales gymnasium: 25-16, 13-25, 25-20, 23-25, 15-8.
After the visitors opened the tiebreaker with two straight points, the Lady Rams scored eight consecutive points to take an 8-2 lead. Portales was sparked in the rally by senior Bethany Self’s two kills and sophomore Shandi Walker’s two service aces. The Lady Coyotes fought back and scored six in-a-row to tie the score once more before Portales recorded the final seven points to win the fifth game 15-8, and the match three games to two.
“They started tipping the ball at us. We knew they were going to do that,” Chavez said. “After they got that run on us, that tipping started and I think that’s when we were able to take control.”
“We just kept hitting at them,” Portales junior setter Dallas Russell said. “They were tipping at us so we just put it down.”
Portales (4-1) and Roswell kept the first game close, going point-for-point until the score was tied 12-12. The Lady Rams earned 13 of the final 17 points highlighted by four Self kills and two consecutive kills from sophomore hitter Jenna Wagner.
The Roswell girls kept the lead for most of the second game on their way to a dominating 25-13 win.
The Lady Rams took a quick 11-5 lead in the third game as Walker scored on two service aces and a kill. Roswell never got closer than three points, as Self contributed six kills and the Lady Rams won the third game 25-20
Portales opened the fourth game with a 7-2 lead, but Roswell scored 10 of the next 14 points to take a 12-11 advantage before Portales rallied.
“Our conditioning shows up,” Chavez said. “I look to see who can handle the pressure. It’s a good opportunity, because in Game 5 you’ve got to pull out and get ahead, and I like to see who’s able to make things happen.”
According to Chavez, her girls are still trying to work out the kinks in their defense.
“I still think our defense has a long way to go,” Chavez said. “We’re not where we need to be. We need to shift better. We should look like a machine moving out there and we’re not there yet.”
The Lady Rams travel to the Roswell volleyball tournament Sept. 14.