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Head coach Alan Williams had been hoping to see his volleyball squad deliver a slightly-less-stressful match Tuesday in Portales than they did Sept. 14 against the Ramettes at Bulldog Pit.

He didn’t quite get his wish… in fact, the contest wound up a bit more intense, with Artesia – who won the opening two games in the squads’ last meeting – dropping Games One and Two to force a come-from-behind effort.

But in exchange, the team learned another valuable lesson: That they’re capable of coming from that far down, setting their teeth, and stealing a win. And with their 3-2 victory Tuesday (26-28, 20-25, 25-18, 25-20, 15-10), Artesia improves to 12-1 on the season.

“The first two games were pretty close, but we came up short,” Williams said today. “But we just kept battling. We didn’t give up, we got the momentum on our side, and we were able to win the last three games.”

Being edged out in the opening bouts didn’t sit well with the ‘Dogs, and despite struggling slightly from the line, they were able to make the adjustments necessary to pull out the win.

“I thought we did some really good things defensively,” Williams said. “I also felt like, in the last few games, we started hitting the ball where we needed to to take advantage of their defense.

“We struggled with our serving throughout the match, and I think that kind of hurt us. Our serving seems to come and go from one match to the next, but I think we can fix that. And overall, it was just good for the team to know that they can persevere.”

Bailey Pearce finished with 15 kills on the match for Artesia, followed by Stacia Martinez with 12 and Mattie McCombs with nine. Alexa Riggs came through with 22 digs and Kacey Thurman 14, Elliott Harrison and Kyrah Gonzales posted 24 and 19 assists respectively, Malori McSpadden delivered a trio of blocks, and Martinez, Gonzales and Riggs all had three aces on the night.

The Bulldogs will now prepare to close out their 2017 regular-season schedule Thursday against Alamogordo in Alamo. Artesia defeated the Tigers in three Sept. 12 at home.

“We’re still looking forward to getting everybody healthy and trying to get everybody some playing time,” said Williams. “Hopefully, we can fix our serving and just try to focus on staying positive and doing what we need to do to get ready for district.”