Zias gain split in first day of Lady Buffs tourney

Freedom New Mexico

CANYON, Texas — Eastern New Mexico University rallied from a two-games-to-one deficit Friday to edge Adams State 25-12, 23-25, 14-25, 27-25, 19-17 in the season-opening Lady Buff Classic volleyball tournament, hosted by West Texas A&M.

Earlier, the Zias lost to Missouri Western 23-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-18. ENMU finishes play in the event today with matches at 8 a.m. against Southwest Baptist and at 3:30 p.m. against Colorado-Colorado Springs.

Junior outside hitter Amber Durand had a career-best 22 kills and 14 digs in ENMU’s win over Adams State (1-1), while junior outside hitter Evelyn Escobar added 14 kills and 11 digs and junior setter Tarrah Sweet compiled 48 assists.

Trailing 24-23 in the fourth set, the Zias stayed alive on a Grizzlies attack error. A kill by Durand gave them the lead for good at 26-25, and Adams State committed another attack error on set point.

The fifth set was tied five times coming down the stretch before Escobar’s kill and a Grizzlies attack error provided the final two points.

Durand had 21 kills in the loss to Missouri Western, including six in the opening set to lift the Zias to a one-game lead. The next two sets were tied at 23-23 and 20-20, respectively, before the Griffins pulled away, and Western got a pair of Meredith McCormick kills to snap a 13-13 tie in Game 4 and take the lead for good.

Escobar added 13 kills for the Zias, while junior setter Tarrah Sweet had 44 assists. Junior libero Emily Lubbers had 36 digs for the day, including 22 against Missouri Western.