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The Bulldog volleyball team completed a clean sweep of their initial run through District 4-AAAA Tuesday, blanking the Ramettes of Portales in three straight games on the road.

The girls in orange spent their first two matches of the “second season” battling to 3-1 wins over Lovington and Goddard, but despite a lag here and there Tuesday, head coach Alan Williams said the team’s progress was clear.

“In the first two games, we dominated for about three-fourths of the game,” Williams said today, “and then in the last quarter, we kind of eased up a little bit and started making a few errors. But we were able to catch it and control it.

“In the third game, they came out to a big lead, and we just had to fight back, trading points and playing hard – it was a good game for us.”

Williams said the Bulldogs’ defense was solid overall and its hitting strong in the victory, which was secured by scores of 25-15, 25-14 and 25-20. Dezaray Boyce posted a double-double with 11 kills and 14 digs, Kyrah Gonzales finished with 23 assists, and Paityn Houghtaling had four blocks.

“I felt like this was one of our better defensive games of the year,” Williams said. “We did a good job of digging and also hit the ball really well in our attack.

“There weren’t a whole lot of service errors, either.”

The ‘Dogs will now have just two days to prepare for the start of the second round of district play, which begins at 7 p.m. Thursday in Lovington. They’ll be looking for an improved performance this time around against the Wildcats.

“There’s been a history of us kind of letting down against teams we played real well against in the first half of district, so I’m hoping we’ll come out better this time,” said Williams. “There are definitely some things we can look at that we didn’t do so well in our first meeting, and we’ll try to improve on all of that.

“But I think last night showed a lot of improvement from our first couple of district games. I expect to see the same in our game tomorrow.”

Williams also expressed appreciation for the crowd that was on hand Tuesday to support the netters in Portales, which included the Bulldog soccer team – fresh off their 4-2 victory over the Rams – and several Artesia High School alumni currently attending Eastern New Mexico University.

“We had a fantastic crowd there,” said the coach. “We really appreciate them for coming out and the boys’ soccer team for making a lot of noise.”