Lady Cats outlast PHS in five sets

Sep. 2—Clovis High and Portales High are likely going to be seeing a lot of each other in volleyball this season.

The teams got off to a rip-roaring start on Thursday night at the Ram Athletic Center, with the visiting Lady Wildcats finally nailing down a 15-25, 25-16, 25-21, 11-25, 15-7 victory to leave both teams at 1-1 for the young season.

The teams have a rematch set for Portales on Oct. 3, and they could meet again during a couple of upcoming tournaments.

"It was kind of the tale of two games," first-year CHS coach Cristy Hill said. "They had a lot of kills in Game 1. It was just like we were kind of blah."

First-year Lady Rams coach Bailey Greenwalt said who won a set generally depended on who got out of the gates quickly.

"We passed the ball really well tonight," she said. "It was a bunch of small errors that beat us."

Senior outside hitter Kailyn Jefferson had nine kills for the Lady Cats, while senior outside hitter Elizabeth Warwick had four blocks. Senior libero Brienne Romero posted 25 digs and senior Aeryanne Conn 20, while junior setter Amanda De La Rosa garnered 12 assists.

For the Lady Rams, senior Audrey Paden notched 15 kills, junior Evannie Fulfer and sophomore Skyler Massey each had three blocks, while juniors Angel Ornelas, Tya Rippee and Mariah Velasco each collected 15 digs. Junior Myleigh Banda had 19 assists and four aces and senior Brenna Jewell added 11 assists and six aces.

Portales is back in action on with a 6:30 p.m. clash against Dexter on Tuesday at the RAC. Clovis doesn't play again until Sept. 12 when it entertains Lubbock Estacado at Rock Staubus Gym.

Portales 3, Hobbs 0 (Tuesday) — Greenwalt got her career as the Lady Rams' volleyball coach off to a flying start on Tuesday with a 27-25, 14-25, 25-19, 26-24 victory at Hobbs.

Rowley said the team' defense led the way against the Lady Eagles (1-3).

"We were very relentless on defense," she said. "Our defense worked hard to keep everything in play."

Paden collected eight kills and four blocks for PHS. Ornelas had team highs of 21 digs and five aces, while Banda notched a double-double with 14 digs and 12 assists and Jewell added 10 assists, five kills and three aces.

"Hobbs has three big, athletic players," Greenwalt said. "Our defense adjusted to them really well."

It was Portales' first win over Hobbs since beating the Lady Eagles twice during the COVID-shortened 2020-21 campaign.

Portales plays its home opener at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday against Dexter at the Ram Athletic Center.

Palo Duro 3, Clovis 1 (Tuesday) — At Rock Staubus Gym, Clovis High got off to a good start in the opening set, but eventually lost a squeaker to Amarillo Palo Duro 25-27, 25-23, 25-21, 25-23 in Hill's CHS coaching debut.

"They were pretty athletic," she said of the Lady Dons, who have already compiled a 13-7-1 record for the season. "Our serve-receive wasn't great, and we gave them a lot of free balls. We have to be the ones who attack the ball."

Jefferson collected 18 kills for Clovis in the match. Senior outside hitter/setter Erin Creasy compiled six kills, six aces and 18 assists, while De La Rosa had 20 assists and two aces, Warwick had three blocks and Romero notched six digs.

Clovis had six service errors in the final set, Hill noted.

"We've got to be able to take care of things like that," she said. "At one point, we were behind 8-0 in Game 3. I love that we didn't give up."

CHS boys pull away in second half — Junior forward Ihab Mesbah continued to provide the punch with all four Clovis High goals, including three in the second half, as the Wildcats pulled away from Portales High 4-1 on Tuesday at the PHS pit.

Mesbah has scored 10 of the team's 12 goals this season. Clovis (1-3) broke away from a 1-1 halftime tie. Sophomore midfielder Julien Salinas had an assist on Mesbah's go-ahead goal in the second half.

"We had a shaky start, but we settled down and started getting some opportunities," CHS boys coach Greg Trujilo said.

Junior forward-midfielder Elijah Tellez scored late in the half for the Rams (0-1) to tie the score.

Clovis was slated to play in an eight-team tournament at Los Alamos over the weekend. The Cats next outing is on Tuesday in Roswell against New Mexico Military.

Portales traveled to Santa Fe to face Academy for Technology & The Classics on Saturday. The Rams' next outing is on Saturday at Hobbs.

Lady Cats top Artesia in soccer — Junior Ava Crain posted a hat trick and Clovis High's girls blanked Artesia 3-0 on Thursday at Leon Willims Stadium.

Crain scored on an assist by senior forward Sofia Morena about 15 minutes into the half. She got her second goal early in the second half, with senior midfielder Aspen Ulibarri assisting, and added an unassisted tally late in the contest against the Lady Bulldogs (4-2-1).

Senior Aja Gonzales made three saves in notching the shutout for Clovis (3-1-1).

CHS hosts Lovington in a 6:30 p.m. matchup on Tuesday.