By Kevin Wilson
CMI staff writer
Santa Fe Indian School’s volleyball squad has a level it wants to get to in November. As August concludes, Portales is already there.
The Lady Rams quickly dispatched the visiting Lady Braves, using giant runs in each game of a 25-5, 25-13, 25-15 win Saturday afternoon at the RAC.
Portales (2-0), led by Kristen Wagner’s 14 kills, opened the first game with 9-1 and 10-0 runs, took control of the second game with a 12-2 burst and opened the third set on a 13-2 run.
“I thought we played really well as a group,” libero Valerie Villanueva said. “We practiced hard all week, and it really showed today.”
Peri Cox had 14 assists to lead a balanced effort for Portales, while the team scored 11 aces on its 65 serves.
Portales coach Ruth Chavez was pleased with her team’s effort throughout.
“I thought we played our game,” Chavez said. “We came in with some things we wanted to get done, and I thought they did a good job just taking care of business.”
The Lady Braves, who don’t have the benefit of a summer program because SFIS is a boarding school, led 2-0 in the second game but were never in front at any other point against a Portales team that seemed ahead of the curve.
“Ruth has built that team pretty well,” SFIS coach Brian Gurule said. “They have really good players. We have to get to that level. Our biggest hitters are our younger ones. You saw glimpses of it; we just need to do it consistently.”
Savannah Vincent and Bailey Rowley each had four kills for Portales, which goes on the road Tuesday to Roswell High and Friday for the two-day Moriarty Invitational.
Chavez said the lineup Portales used Saturday was put together with outside hitter Kambrey Blakey sidelined with a leg injury. Though she was happy with the way the Lady Rams played Saturday, she wants to explore the team’s depth before setting a rotation in stone.
“We have a lot of hitters and things may change from time to time,” Chavez said. “We know our major hitters, but we have a lot of capable hitters. We felt like we could go to everybody today.”
It was a quick afternoon for Portales volleyball overall, with the freshman team posting a 25-9, 25-10 win and the junior varsity following up with a 25-9, 25-14 victory.