Savage Storm tops Zias

CNJ staff

PORTALES — Southeastern Oklahoma scored the final two points of the third set on Eastern New Mexico University attack errors, and the Savage Storm went on to claim a 25-22, 22-25, 26-24, 25-9 Lone Star Conference volleyball win over the Zias on Saturday at Greyhound Arena.

The Zias trailed 20-11 in the third game, but went on a 12-3 run to pull even, then tied it again 24-24 on an attack error by the Savage Storm.

After Southeastern (20-11, 5-4 LSC) got the last two points to go up 2-1 in games, the Savage Storm scored the first eight points of Game 4 and had no problem closing out the Zias (5-20, 0-10) in ENMU’s home finale.

Destiny Brown had 16 kills hile Brittany McDonald added 11 kills and six total blocks. Sophomore middle blocker Jessica King compiled 15 kills and six total blocks (three solos) for the Zias, while freshman outside hitter Madison Rhoades added 12 kills.

The teams went back and forth in the opening game. The Zias opened a 15-13 lead on an ace by Grace Brandt, but the Savage Storm scored 10 of the next 14 points to move back in front.

ENMU got within 23-22 on a kill by freshman Rocio Ovalle, but King’s service error and an attack error by Carpenter finished out the game.

The Savage Storm erased a 14-7 deficit in the second game, pulling even 17-17 on an ace by Lunden Azuara and leading 20-19 after an ace by Raelynn Beaty. The Zias then scored the next three points and squared the match with King’s kill on set point.

Junior Veronica Valdez-Kent had a career-best 40 assists for ENMU, while senior libero Caitlin Murphy had 26 digs and two aces.

The Zias finish the season with four road matches, including LSC outings at Texas A&M-Kingsville on Thursday and Tarleton State on Saturday.