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Friday, February 23, 2024

Bulldog netters win state title

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Members of the Artesia Bulldog volleyball team celebrate their Class 4A state volleyball championship Saturday at Rio Rancho's Santa Ana Star Center. (Brienne Green photo)
Bulldog volleyball team nets first championship since 1978

By BRIENNE GREEN
Sports Editor

In 1978, the members of the 2010 Bulldog volleyball team were, as the saying goes, nothing more than a twinkle in their fathers’ eyes.

That season, just a few years after the inception of the sport at Artesia High School, the Bulldogs won the Class 3A state title for the second consecutive time. But in the years that followed, the sport slowly but surely slipped into relative obscurity — at least as far as the rest of New Mexico was concerned.

The AHS netters made occasional appearances at the state tournament but did not get far, and after joining Class 4A in 2000, the ’Dogs found themselves in the midst of a hyper-competitive district that included the likes of Goddard, Roswell and, at the time, Albuquerque Academy and Moriarty.

And Artesia dropped further off of the state’s radar.

It was 2008 when head coach Stacy Gowen and a young but scrappy group of athletes began rebuilding the AHS volleyball program from the ground up. As the freshmen from that year’s squad became sophomores in 2009, the progress being made became clear. … For the rest of the story, subscribe in print and on the web.

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