DENTON, Texas — With Eastern New Mexico University threatening to get back in the match, Texas Woman’s went on a 10-1 run to close out the fourth set and finish off a 25-8, 25-20, 23-25, 25-15 Lone Star Conference volleyball victory over the Zias on Saturday in the regular-season finale for both teams.
Josie Santos had 19 kills and five block assists and Marcela Alves added 16 kills and eight total blocks (one solo) for the Pioneers (21-9, 11-5 LSC).
Freshman outside hitter Courtney Lawson had 12 kills and eight digs for the Zias. Senior middle blocker Agatha Gibbons added six kills and four block solos.
TWU threatened to blow the Zias completely out of the water early, scoring the first 11 points of the match as Santos had four kills en route to an easy first-set win. The Pioneers also led the entire way in the second, although ENMU cut into a nine-point deficit late before Alves finished it with a kill on set point.
The Zias finally got going in the third set, taking a quick 5-1 lead as Lawson had back-to-back aces, then going on a 7-1 run with five kills from Lawson after the Pioneers pulled into a 7-7 tie.
TWU never caught up, finally pulling to 24-23 on a kill by Courtnee Davis before a bad set by TWU on set point got the Zias on the board. In the fourth set, the Zias pulled even twice at 7-7 and 8-0 before two kills by Santos areound and ENMU attack error gave the Pioneers the lead for good.
A kill by senior Bree Lucero and an ace by freshman defensive specialist Lindsey Bost pulled ENMU to 15-14, but Mallory Kuechle’s kill got the Pioneers off and rolling.
ENMU will be the eighth seed in the LSC postseason toournament at Canyon, Texas, and will face host and top seed West Texas A&M on Thursday in a quarterfinal match.