Zia volleyball wins two at West Texas tourney

Freedom Newspapers

CANYON, Texas — The Eastern New Mexico University volleyball team bounced back from a pair of losses on Friday, beating New Mexico Highlands 26-30, 30-18, 30-27, 30-16 and Oklahoma Panhandle State 28-30, 30-25, 30-15, 30-26 to wrap up their schedule in the season-opening West Texas A&M’s Lady Buff Classic.

The Zias struggled early against both teams, but bounced back from 1-0 game deficits to dominate down the stretch.

Junior outside hitter Vanessa Wilcox had 13 kills and six block assists in the win over Highlands. Vanessa Valdez, a freshman outside hitter from Canyon, added nine kills and 16 digs for ENMU.

The Zias led much of the first game against the Cowgirls, but could never pull away. Trailing 21-19, the Cowgirls went on a 5-0 run capped by a service ace from Gabrielle Vigil and never trailed again.

ENMU pulled away from a 13-13 tie in the second game to square the match. The Zias then won a seesaw third game, taking the lead for good 26-25 on a kill by Wilcox, before dominating the final set.

Junior middle blocker Megan Wietz had 14 kills and sophomore libero Caitlin Murphy led four players in double figures in digs with 17 against Panhandle State.

The Lady Aggies overcame a six-point deficit late to win the first game, but the Zias built a 10-point lead and held on to win the second game and then dominated games 3 and 4.

Senior outside hitter Jessie Macknicki collected 15 kills and four aces for ENMU, while Murphy added a pair of aces.
The Zias return to action on Tuesday with a 7 p.m. match at New Mexico Highlands.

Lady Buff Classic
Saturday at Canyon, Texas

ENMU 3, New Mexico Highlands 1

ENMU 26 30 30 30
NMHU 30 18 27 23

Individual statistics
Kills — Eastern New Mexico, Vanessa Wilcox 13, Veronica Valdez 9, Megan Wietz 8. New Mexico Highlands, Ashley Murray 14, Jasmine Morris 10. Block solos — Eastern New Mexico, Wietz 1, team 1. New Mexico Highlands, Tiffany Neeley 1, Kristina Petty 1. Block assists — Eastern New Mexico, Wilcox 6, Karen McIntyre 4, Weitz 3. New Mexico Highlands, Petty 1, team 1. Digs — Eastern New Mexico, Valdez 16, Caitlin Murphy 14, Nicole Vanderploeg 13, McIntire 11. New Mexico Highlands, Vanessa Garcia 13, Gabrielle Vigil 13, Livinia Gallegos 12. Aces — Eastern New Mexico, Wildox 4, Murphy 2, Valdez 2. New Mexico Highlands, Garcia 2, Petty 1, Vigil 1. Assists — Eastern New Mexico, McIntire 36, New Mexico Highlands, Amber Pohl 39. Records — Eastern New Mexico 1-2, New Mexico Highlands n/a. T — n/a. A — n/a.

ENMU 3, Oklahoma Panhandle State 1

ENMU 30 25 30 30
OPSU 28 30 15 16

Individual statistics
Kills — Eastern New Mexico, Wietz 14, Wilcox 11, Valdez 10. Oklahoma Panhandle State, Stormy Smith 11, Krisha Roach 10, Lindsey Patton 9. Block solos — Eastern New Mexico, Wietz 1, Wilcox 1, Murphy 1. Oklahoma Panhandle State, Roach 2, Smith 1. Block assists — Eastern New Mexico, Grace Brandt, Wilcox. Oklahoma Panhandle State, Cheryl Coldwell 2, Roach 2, Patton 1, Smith 1. Digs — Eastern New Mexico, Murphy 17, Jessie Macknicki 15, Vanderploeg 12, Brandt 10. Oklahoma Panhandle State, Heather Helton 13, Smith 13, Coldwell 12. Aces — Eastern New Mexico, Macknicki 4, Murphy 2. Oklahoma Panhandle State, Coldwell 5, Alicia Sims 2, Allison Patterson 1. Assists — Eastern New Mexico, Brandt 40. Oklahoma Panhandle State, Coldwell 39. Records — Eastern New Mexico 2-2, Oklahoma Panhandle State n/a. T — 1:45. A — 45.