Published: 10:39 am, Wed. Sep. 21st, 2016Updated: 10:37 am
The Bulldog volleyball team turned a night at the gym into a day at the office Tuesday at Bulldog Pit, making efficiently short work of the Warriors of Ruidoso in a three-game sweep.
Artesia delivered overall sharp volleyball on the match, acquiring comfortable leads in all three sets and seeing them through to the end, 25-16, 25-17 and 25-10.
“It was probably the best we’ve played all season long,” head coach Alan Williams said today. “We kind of put it all together last night.”
The ‘Dogs came out strong in the opening bout Tuesday, having little trouble en route to a 24-16 win, and the squad got off to an equally quick start in the second set.
On top 21-10 late, Kyrah Gonzales and Kacey Thurman each tallied an ace from service to take Artesia to game point. The Bulldogs’ only real hiccup of the night would ensue, as a few defensive miscues and powerful kills by UNM-bound Warrior Lia Mosher fueled a 6-0 run by Ruidoso. But a spike by Gracie Puentes ended the rally and the game, 25-17.
A five-point service by Gonzales and six from Thurman – punctuated throughout by aces and kills from Puentes and Dezaray Boyce – gave Artesia yet another commanding lead in Game Three, 12-2. Ruidoso logged only two points from service in the contest, and following two- and three-point services by Kamryn Esquibel and Kaylea Lopez that made it 21-7, the Bulldogs were able to ride side-outs to the 25-10 win.
“We did all the important things,” said Williams. “We served really well, and we were really impressed with how the girls were able to execute the offense, which is something we haven’t been doing a lot of. And against a team with a strong hitter, our defense really performed well.
“I think we did a great job in all aspects of the game.”
Stacia Martinez and Puentes finished the evening with six and five kills respectively for Artesia, Gonzales logged nine assists, Alexa Riggs and Thurman delivered 14 and 10 digs respectively, and Thurman had four aces from service.
The Bulldogs (8-1) will now prepare to head north for the annual Rio Rancho Jamboree Friday and Saturday.
“We’re going to have a lot of tough competition this weekend, so that’ll be good for us,” said Williams. “We have to go over there and play well, so it will be nice to be coming off a good win like this one. We’re playing well, and hopefully, we’ll continue to build on that.
“This tournament consistently has a lot tougher teams than the other tournaments we play in, so it should be a good challenge for us.”