By Mickey Winfield: PNT sports writer
The Eastern New Mexico University Zia’s Lone Star Conference volleyball match against Angelo State began at 2 p.m. Saturday at Greyhound Arena, but by ENMU head coach Mike Maguire’s estimation, his Zias didn’t arrive until about 3:30.
After dropping the first two games, the ENMU women took the final three games to beat Angelo State three games to two; 28-30, 21-30, 33-31, 30-26 and 15-13.
“I’m happy that they found it within them to come back like that,” Maguire said. “First of all, we shouldn’t have put ourselves in that position, unforced errors again, not thinking, not getting after it, just walking around, but it’s kind of nice to see they hung in there, we caught a few breaks.”
Junior middle blocker Vicki Charvat credits team communication.
“We talked a lot, we blocked the ball, we were just quick on our feet,” Charvat said.
The Zias took control of the fifth and decisive game with a 10-5 scoring run, to take a 13-10 lead, the Zias won the fifth game, 15-13 to put the finishing touches on the comeback.
Earlier in the afternoon, however, the Zias dug themselves into a deep hole.
The visiting Angelo State Rambelles (3-14, 1-4) ran out to a quick 16-9 lead in the first game, before the Zias (6-13, 1-2) won nine of the next 11 points to pull even, 18-18. The Rambelles went on another scoring run to take a seven-point lead, 27-20. The Zias took eight of the next 11 points, but never led in the first game, as Angelo State won 30-28.
The Angelo State women began the second game with a 17-10 lead, and took five of the next seven points to stretch their lead to 22-13. That nine-point lead would hold up, as Angelo State won the second game 30-21.
Down two games to none, Charvat says the Zias remained positive.
“We just kept being positive, and it worked out for us,” Charvat said.
The Zias rolled to a 12-5 lead in the third game, charged by three consecutive service aces by junior libero Stephanie Willett, and two straight aces by freshman Caitlin Murphy. The Zias won the final three points of the game, surviving two Angelo State match points, and the ENMU women won their first game of the match, 33-31.
The Zias led for most of the fourth game as well, winning six of the last eight points, to win 30-26, and tie the match at two games each, extending the match to the fifth game.
Maguire said the Zias made some changes, to try to get momentum on their side.
“We changed the lineup a little bit there and did some different things,” Maguire said. “Momentum is a big force, that’s for sure.”