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The Bulldog volleyball team got their three-match district road trip off to a positive start Tuesday in Lovington, defeating the Wildcats 3-0 in the teams’ first meeting, 25-21, 25-17 and 25-18.

The victory puts the ‘Dogs back on the plus side in D4 play, 2-1, as they prepare for two key rematches in the Alien City.

“I thought we did well,” head coach Alan Williams said today. “Winning a district game is always important, and winning one on somebody else’s court is a good thing.”

The Artesia girls stumbled a bit in the first game of the match, primarily due to a few miscues from service, but came back to control the final two sets.

“We struggled with our serving in the first game,” said Williams. “We missed about six serves, which wasn’t good, but we fixed that as the match went on. Offensively, we were doing good things.”

Jenna Butcher and Stacia Martinez led the way on that end for the Bulldogs, notching 12 and 11 kills apiece, with Martinez committing no offensive errors on the night.

“Stacia had an outstanding game,” said Williams. “For somebody to swing at the ball 20-something times and not have an error is impressive.”

The ‘Dogs also had 31 assists from setter Justena Galindo and 10 digs from libero Kayla Ledezma, the MaxPreps player of the week.

Artesia (12-5, 2-1) will now look to complete the sweep of Goddard at 7 p.m. today in Roswell. The Bulldogs bested the Rockets in four games Oct. 13 at Bulldog Pit, 25-17, 25-21, 18-25 and 25-17.

“This is an important game,” Williams said. “If we win this game, it guarantees us no worse than second in the district, and that gives us a really good chance of making it into the playoffs. So we’re focused on that.

“We played well against them the first time, and we’ve hopefully gotten a little better since then.”