Freedom New Mexico
East Central scored five of the final six points in the third game with Eastern New Mexico University at set point, and the Lady Tigers went on to a 21-25, 25-13, 27-25, 25-17 Lone Star Conference volleyball victory over the Zias Thursday night at Greyhound Arena.
Holly Hicks had match highs of 15 kills and 24 assists and added nine digs for East Central (14-15, 5-3 LSC), while Rachel Watson added 10 kills and Jacqueline Sparks contributed nine kills and 12 digs. The Zias (5-19, 0-9) got 11 kills from freshman Megan Carpenter, nine kills from freshman Rocio Ovalle, seven kills and 10 digs from freshman Madison Rhoades and 29 digs from senior Caitlin Murphy.
ENMU led virtually the entire first set, pulling away from an 11-11tie with the help of four consecutive attack errors by the Lady Tigers. ECU pulled to 22-21 on a kill by Watson, but the Zias closed it out on kills by soplhomore middle blocker Jessica King and junior setter-outside hitter Veronica Valdez-Kent before the Lady Tigers had an attack error on set point.
An 11-0 run featuring three kills by Hicks snapped a 6-6 tie and gave East Central control in the second game, but the Zias bolted to a 6-0 lead in the third get with two kills each from Carpenter and Ovalle and one from King.
East Central rallied back for a 7-6 lead and the set seesawed the rest of the way. The Zias led 25-24 on Hicks’ attack error, but Hicks came back with a kill and ECU won the game on an attack error by Valdez-Kent and another kill by Hicks.
After two early ties, the Lady Tigers opened a 9-4 lead in the third game. The Zias pulled to 9-8 on Murphy’s service ace, but East Central scored 10 of the next 14 points and cruised down the stretch.
ENMU closes its 2009 home schedule on Saturday with a 2 p.m. conference match against Southeastern Oklahoma at Greyhound Arena.