The Portales Lady Rams beat an old nemesis on Saturday, but they couldn’t finish off their rivals to the north.
PHS went five sets to beat Class 3A power Pojoaque 25-13, 25-23, 18-25, 23-25, 15-5 in the Gold Bracket semifinals of the Peyton Chavez Tournament of Champions at the Ram Athletic Center before struggling down the stretch in a 21-25, 25-5, 25-21, 25-15 loss to the Clovis Lady Wildcats.
“We just didn’t play very well (against Clovis),” Lady Rams coach Ruth Chavez said. “We had a heck of a (match) against Pojoaque; we’ve always battled them for (Class 3A) state titles. It was fun getting to play them early in the season.”
Chavez said it was her team’s first win over Pojoaque since beating the Elkettes in the 2007 Class 3A state finals.
Senior outside hitter Kristen Wagner pounded out 29 kills against the Elkettes, including six in the deciding fifth set, and added 21 digs for Portales (9-3), one of three Lady Rams with more than 20 digs in the match. Senior Pari Cox had 27 assists and junior Brooke Lopez posted seven aces and 13 assists.
Clovis (8-6) put together a 15-0 run in the second game with senior Kyleigh Guthals on the service line to take control en route to its second consecutive TOC championship. Wagner led PHS with 12 kills.
The Lady Rams are back in action on Tuesday, hosting Artesia in a 7 p.m. matchup at the RAC.