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Artesia wins district volleyball crown

An Artesia High School player goes for the score against Goddard High School Saturday in Artesia. (Steve Notz Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

ARTESIA — ”We didn’t come out at all.”

That’s how Kristi Hager head coach of the Goddard Lady Rockets summed up the play of her team after losing to Artesia in the District 4-5A volleyball tournament Saturday night at the Bulldog Pit.

Artesia (19-2) defeated the Lady Rockets (10-13) 3-1.

Artesia won 25-15, 25-8, 21-25 and 25-19 taking home the championship trophy.

In the opening game, Artesia was able to gain an early lead as the Lady Rockets tried to get within striking distance, the Lady Dogs were able to hold their ground with the visitors.

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Game two was close early until Artesia senior Alexa Riggs got hot at the serving line. The Lady Dogs had a 12-3 lead until the Lady Rockets were able to turn Riggs’ final serve into a cold plate.

The momentum went back to Artesia as the Lady Dogs coasted to the victory.

Game three was a different story for the Lady Rockets as they grabbed an early 4-0 lead.

Both teams went back-and-forth, Goddard was able to maintain the lead for the victory.

“(Goddard) finally decided to come out and play set three,” Hager said. “But, it’s little bit too late, you just can’t come out at the end of the match, after you’ve literally just given away two sets.”

The fourth and deciding game was tight early as Artesia and Goddard again went back-and-forth.

Leading 8-6, the Lady Dogs were again able to get hot at the right time scoring a number of points, before the Lady Rockets broke the momentum.

Toward the end of the match, the Lady Rockets tried to get in striking distance, Artesia was able to outmaneuver Goddard.

“I thought we played outstanding, especially in those first two games,” said Artesia head coach Alan Williams.

“That was about as good as I have seen us play,” he added. “I’m proud of the girls there.”

In the third game Williams said, “we kind of let down a little of our momentum (and) played hard in the fourth game. It was tight (and) we did what we needed to do (and maintain) a three to four point lead and then kind of trade points with them.”

Williams said Artesia could be a high seed at the 5A state volleyball tournament next week in Rio Rancho.

“Max Preps has us ranked second right now(in 5A) and I think with our record (and) district championship, I don’t see us going anywhere but second,” he said.

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