ENMU freshman Rhea Wortman places a kill between the defense of Lubbock Christian’s Ashley Dyer (left) and Noelle Christensen in the second game of Tuesday’s match at Greyhound Arena. (Freedom Newspapers: Kevin Wilson)
By Dave Wagner: CNJ sports writer
PORTALES — Facing a fifth game for the second consecutive match, the Eastern New Mexico University volleyball team got it right this time.
The Zias stayed in control for most of the fifth game Tuesday night to turn back Lubbock Christian 25-30, 30-27, 24-30, 30-25, 15-12 at Greyhound Arena.
ENMU coach Mike Maguire said the Zias didn’t do anything that much different than they had in a five-game Lone Star Conference South Division home loss to Texas A&M-Kingsville on Saturday, except play harder.
“I think the effort was better,” Maguire said after the Zias (5-9) avenged an early-season three-game sweep at the hands of the Chaparrals (14-7) in Lubbock. “If we’d had that kind of effort against Kingsville, I think that result might have been different.”
Senior middle blocker Lindsay Schiely led five Zias in double figures in kills with 24. Senior outside hitter Kristi Britain and freshman libero Vanessa Wilcox each collected 21 digs.
“Our main focus was to just come out and play with heart,” Britain said. “We were slow starting off, but we got our momentum going.”
Schiely’s powerful kill put the Zias ahead quickly in the fifth game, and ENMU took command with a 6-1 run for a 10-5 lead.
The Chaps staved off match point with two consecutive blocks before Schiely’s tip into the middle went down for the clinching point.
“I thought Lindsay Schiely played another really good match for us, and Vanessa Wilcox did a nice job,” Maguire said. “We didn’t do anything different. The effort changed the complexion of the match. We were blocking some balls and getting some touches.”
Senior outside hitter Meagan Kamplain and junior outside hitter Denise Brensing had 15 kills apiece for the Chaps (14-7). Freshman middle blocker Brittany Hix collected nine total blocks, including two solos.
ENMU 3, Lubbock Christian 2
Lubbock Christian 30 27 30 25 12
ENMU 25 30 24 30 15
Kills — Lubbock Christian, Denise Brensing 15, Meagan Kamplain 15, Kenee Carter 14, Ashley Dyer 12. Eastern New Mexico, Lindsay Schiely 24, Grace George 15, Kristi Britain 11, Amber Davis 11, Rhea Wortman 11. Block solos — Lubbock Christian, Brittany Hix 2, three tied with 1. Eastern New Mexico, George 1, Wortman 1. Block assists — Lubbock Christian, Kamplain 7, Brensing 5, Dyer 5. Eastern New Mexico, Schiely 6, Marcie LeGrand 5, George 4. Digs — Lubbock Christian, Hayley Whiteside 23, Kamplain 18, Carter 17, Noelle Christensen 12. Eastern New Mexico, Britain 21, Vanessa Wilcox 21, Wortman 16, Kara Killian 13. Aces — Lubbock Christian, Chrstensen 2, four tied with 1. Eastern New Mexico, Wortman 2, four tied with 1. Assists — Lubbock Christian, Christensen 52. Eastern New Mexico, Kathryn McConnell 37, Killian 31. Records — Lubbock Christian 14-7, Eastern New Mexico 5-9. T — 2:09. A — 150.