CHS VOLLEYBALL: Lady Cats sweep Artesia

Clovis High’s Siobhan Flatow (2) jumps to block an attack by Artesia’s Tory Burnett during Tuesday’s volleyball clash at Rock Staubus Gym. (CNJ staff photo: Andy DeLisle)

By Greg Price: CNJ sports writer

After dropping two straight matches on the road, the Clovis Lady Wildcats snapped their skid Tuesday night with a 25-16, 25-20, 25-17 victory over Artesia.

Clovis struggled in the middle game, but dominated the first and the third games against the Lady Bulldogs.

Junior Lainey Flatow led the Lady Cats with 16 kills, followed by her sister, senior Siobhan Flatow, with seven.

Freshman Antiesha Brown recorded a team-high five blocks for Clovis (8-7), while senior Britni Montague tallied five aces.

The victory comes at a good time for Clovis, which was coming off huge losses against Roswell High and Goddard.

“We really wanted to get a win before we get into district,” Lainey Flatow said. “So it does feel really good to win.”

After handily taking the first game, Clovis saw a 12-2 lead in the second game dwindle to 19-17. The Lady Cats then pulled away, taking advantage of errors by the Lady Bulldogs.

“I was a little upset the way game 2 turned,” Clovis coach Darrell Ray said. “We got (the lead) too easy. I preach not to have any kind of letup, but I think when they made that run our kids kind of relaxed.”

Down 4-0 early in the first game, the Lady Cats roared back with a 7-2 run to keep pace with the Lady Bulldogs. They then fought off a push by Artesia, highlighted by Montague diving to the floor in front of the net for a dig that turned into a pass to Lainey Flatow for a kill and a 12-10 advantage.

Artesia (7-10) pulled even at 13, but Clovis went on a 6-1 tear to take the lead for good. Siobhan Flatow cranked out three aces on the run, including one that sailed past Aretsia’s back line to the left corner of the court for the point.

Clovis pulled away late in the third game. With the Lady Cats leading 15-12, junior Jasmine McDonald and Brown combined to stuff a Lady Bulldogs attack for a point.

McDonald followed up her defensive stop on the next play with a powerful kill down the middle, giving the Lady Cats a 17-12 lead.

“Tonight we had a simple goal,” Ray said. “Let’s talk, serve and pass so we can get every body started in the ball game and control the middle early.”