ENMU spikers win two in Lady Buff Classic

CNJ staff

CANYON, Texas — The Eastern New Mexico University volleyball team bounced back from a pair of losses on Friday, beating New Mexico Highlands 26-30, 30-18, 30-27, 30-16 and Oklahoma Panhandle State 28-30, 30-25, 30-15, 30-26 to wrap up their schedule in the season-opening West Texas A&M’s Lady Buff Classic.

The Zias struggled early against both teams, but bounced back from 1-0 game deficits to dominate down the stretch.

Junior outside hitter Vanessa Wilcox had 13 kills and six block assists in the win over Highlands. Vanessa Valdez, a freshman outside hitter from Canyon, added nine kills and 16 digs for ENMU.

The Zias led much of the first game against the Cowgirls, but could never pull away. Trailing 21-19, the Cowgirls went on a 5-0 run capped by a service ace from Gabrielle Vigil and never trailed again.

ENMU pulled away from a 13-13 tie in the second game to square the match. The Zias then won a seesaw third game, taking the lead for good 26-25 on a kill by Wilcox, before dominating the final set.

Junior middle blocker Megan Wietz had 14 kills and sophomore libero Caitlin Murphy led four players in double figures in digs with 17 against Panhandle State.

The Lady Aggies overcame a six-point deficit late to win the first game, but the Zias built a 10-point lead and held on to win the second game and then dominated games 3 and 4.

Senior outside hitter Jessie Macknicki collected 15 kills and four aces for ENMU, while Murphy added a pair of aces.

The Zias return to action on Tuesday with a 7 p.m. match at New Mexico Highlands.