Permian Basin edges ENMU in five games

ENMU outside hitter Marcie LeGrand goes up for a kill against Texas-Permian Basin in Thursday’s matchup at Greyhound Arena. (CNJ staff photo: Andy DeLisle)

By Mickey Winfield: Freedom Newspapers

PORTALES — Eastern New Mexico University’s volleyball team couldn’t end its early-season slide Thursday night.

The Zias went five games with Texas-Permian Basin before dropping a 25-30, 30-23, 30-28, 17-30, 15-7 decision to the Lady Falcons at Greyhound Arena.

Veteran Zias coach Mike Maguire acknowledged that there’s plenty of room for improvement for the Zias (3-8), who have lost six in a row.

“I just think we’re not clicking,” Maguire said. “We’re in some kind of funk. We’ve covered things in practice, and then we come out here and do the exact opposite.”

The Zias won’t have long to get revenge on the Lady Falcons (3-7). ENMU plays Permian Basin again today in a tournament hosted by West Texas A&M in Canyon.

Junior outside hitter Jesse Macknicki led four Zias in double figures in kills with 16. Junior Caitlin Murphy had 20 digs.

The Lady Falcons took a quick lead in the first game before the Zias rallied back. They used a 7-1 run to pull even 12-12 and eventually finished off the game on a kill by senior outside hitter Marcie LeGrand.

ENMU led 8-5 after scoring six consecutive points in the second game, but Permian Basin used a 6-2 run to take control and even the match. The Lady Falcons erased a one-point deficit to pull out the third game.

ENMU dominated game 4 to square the match, but Permian Basin was in control most of the way in the deciding fifth game.

Permian Basin coach Steve Aicmena said his team is ready for today’s rematch with the Zias.

“It was a good match (Thursday),” Aicmena said. “We’re really looking forward to (the rematch).”

Maguire said he didn’t know what to expect today.

“Until we eliminate the errors, its going to be like this,” he said. “I can’t read (the players). We’ll see.”