Cardinals hand Zias 3-0 loss

Clarence Plank: Freedom New Mexico ENMU senior Grace Brandt digs out a shot by an Incarnate Word player on Saturday at Greyhound Arena. The Cardinals posted a three-game sweep of the Zias in Lone Star Conference volleyball.

Freedom New Mexico

Portales — Incarnate Word took the lead for good early in the first set and the Cardinals never trailed after that in beating Eastern New Mexico University 25-21, 25-22, 25-20 Saturday night at Greyhound Arena.

UIW (8-10, 5-5 LSC) erased a 7-6 deficit with four consecutive points in the first game. ENMU (12-12, 4-6) managed five ties early in the second game before going ahead for good 10-9 on a Zias service error.

ENMU pared a 19-11 deficit to one point twice on kills by junior middle blockers Kristen Beck and Jessica King, but the Zias could not get over the top. A kill by Chelsea Grayson gave the San Antonio-based Cardinals a 2-0 lead.

Incarnate Word opened a 10-3 lead in the third game. The Zias got as close as 12-10, but the Cardinals scored the next four points and were able to finish it out.

Stephanie Bonura led UIW’s balanced attack with 10 kills, while Beth Soukup posted nine kills and 10 digs. ENMU got 11 kills from Beck, 15 digs from sophomore Amber Durand and 34 set assists from senior Veronica Valdez-Kent.

ENMU hosts LSC rival West Texas A&M in a 7 p.m. start on Tuesday.