RUIDOSO – It’s been a long season for the Ruidoso Warrior volleyball team, there’s no denying that.
A number of misfortunes have hit the Warriors, and it’s all added up to a 2-16, 0-4 record in District 4-4A.
Their latest loss was a 25-4, 25-7, 24-9 loss at home to Portales – Ruidoso’s final home game of the season.
“When we played them in Portales, we only scored single digits against them there,” said Ruidoso coach Kellie Smith. “We told them not to worry about the scoreboard, let’s just compete.”
It’s not easy to win when three of your players – Hailee Blake, Calli Patterson and Lauren Denney – are sitting on the bench with injuries. Also, another seniors – Miranda Huband – was playing with an injury.
That kind of attrition contributed to the Warriors’ struggles on the court this season.
Smith had to bring up younger players like Annani Rojos, LaKeisha Rocha, Amanda Marquez and Lexie Miller from junior varsity to fill in, and those girls have performed admirably, even though they were taking on a Portales team (14-4, 4-0) with serious height and talent at the net.
“They wanted to get out there and compete, but when they saw those powerful hitters and have so many tools, they were overwhelmed,” Smith said.
There were times the Warriors turned in some good plays do blunt Portales’ attack, but those times were too rare.
While the home season is likely done, that doesn’t mean Ruidoso’s season is. They’ve got two more matches on the road at Hope Christian and Moriarty this week, then they’ll play in the first round of the district tournament the week of Oct. 30.
“They’ve got to get in there and be leaders now, shaping themselves for the team in the future,” Smith said. “It’s not like we’re already looking to next year, but I don’t want them to be discouraged right now.”