ENMU drops four-game matches in tourney

CNJ staff

SAN ANTONIO — The Eastern New Mexico University volleyball team hung close with its opponents Saturday, but the Zias were unable to break through in the season-opening St. Mary’s/ Texas MedClinic Invitational.

The Zias (0-4) led in all four games against Missouri Southern, but dropped a 27-25, 22-25, 30-28, 25-18 decision to the Lady Lions. They then lost to Rollins College of Florida 25-17, 24-26, 25-19, 25-19.

ENMU’s match with Southern was back and forth much of the way. The Zias overcame a deficit for much of the first game to lead 21-18 with four consecutive points. But the Lady Lions rallied to win it.

ENMU led most of the second game, but had to fight off Southern late. Senior Vanessa Wilcox put the Zias at game point with a kill, making it 24-22, and a Southern attack error squared the match.

The Zias led 18-15 in the third game, but the score was tied eight times down the stretch before Ashley Hill’s kill gave the Lady Lions a 29-28 lead and they closed it out on the next point. The Zias built several three-point leads early in the fourth game, but Southern went on an 18-7 run to take control.

Nicole Vanderploeg led the Zias with 11 kills and 15 digs, while Wilcox added 10 kills. King contributed seven kills, four block solos and three block assists.

Against Rollins (2-2), the Zias won a seesaw second game to square the match. Freshman Jessica King’s kill put the Zias ahead 25-24 and an attack error by Rollins sealed it.

The Zias stayed close in the third and fourth games, but couldn’t mount late comebacks.

Sophomore Veronica Valdez had 10 kills and 24 digs for the Zias.