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It was a rough road trip to Roosevelt County Tuesday for the Bulldog volleyball team.

The Artesia netters were looking to complete a series sweep of Class 4A Portales, having topped the Ramettes 3-2 Sept. 15 at Bulldog Pit. Instead, the ‘Dogs found themselves on the short end of a shutout loss for the first time this year.

The 3-0 defeat (24-26, 21-25, 13-25) wasn’t without its bright spots for the girls in orange, however, and head coach Alan Williams is confident his athletes will find the lessons before turning their sights elsewhere.

“In the first two games, I really felt like we played well,” Williams said today. “If you’d told me before the game we were going to come out playing that well, I’d have thought we were going to win it, but Portales just had a great game.

“They definitely did what they needed to do to beat us. I wasn’t disappointed in the way we played in the first two, but I felt like we could’ve done better in the third.”

Artesia was able to bound out to a big win in the first game of their Sept. 15 match against Portales to put the Ramettes on the defensive. But Portales gained the upper hand Tuesday in extra points, 26-24, and gutted out another close victory in the second bout, 25-21.

The ‘Dogs needed to come out swinging to stave off the sweep, but unfortunately, it didn’t happen, and the Ramettes rolled to a 25-13 decision in the third and final set.

“Hopefully, we take some tenacity away from this one,” Williams said. “We have to dig down deep and fight for wins, and win you lose the first game by two and the second game by four, you just have to do a little bit more to get over that hump.

“We struggled with their height. They’re a tall team, and that always gives us trouble, because we’re a short team. But we did some things really well. We served the way we wanted to, we did a good job of passing, and we played some good defense.”

The Bulldogs will have to put the loss out of their minds as Alamogordo comes to town Thursday for a 6 p.m. rematch of a 3-0 loss to Artesia Sept. 13 in Alamo. Following that outing, the ‘Dogs will open District 4-AAAAA play Oct. 11 on the road against Roswell High.

“It’s a quick turnaround, and we’re going to have to get used to that, because that’s the way district is,” said Williams. “We’ll talk a little bit about the game today and then just move on.

“We want to encourage all the fans to come out to the game Thursday. It’s going to be Parents’ Night, so we’ll introduce the parents and the seniors, and hopefully people can come out and support these girls.”