CNJ staff photo: Kevin Wilson Zia outside hitter Nicole Vanderploeg fields an attack in the second game of Thursday’s match against Newman at Greyhound Arena. The host Zias were defeated in five games by the Jets.
Freedom New Mexico
Angie Bennett got three of her match-high 15 kills in the deciding fifth set, and the Newman Jets rallied from a 2-1 deficit to edge Eastern New Mexico University in a five-game non-conference match Thursday at Greyhound Arena.
Scores were 25-23, 10-25, 13-25, 25-23, 15-12 in favor of the Jets, a first-year NCAA Division II member out of Wichita, Kans.
Chelsey Potter added 13 kills, including a tip kill to start a 5-1 run to turn the tides late and send the Zias to their fourth consecutive defeat.
The Zias (2-8) seemed to have the momentum after taking lopsided wins in the second and third games and a 14-10 lead in the fourth. But a Kelly Larson kill started a 9-3 run for the Jets (4-5), who spent the rest of the night holding off Zia rallies.
After dropping a nailbiter in the opening set, Eastern bolted out to a 5-1 lead in the second stanza behind the hitting combination of senior Vanessa Wilcox and freshman Jessica King, and closed out the error-prone Jets with a 10-2 run.
The Zias finished strong in the third game as well, with a Wilcox block and Veronica Valdez kill sparking a game-ending 11-4 run.
Valdez tied with Nicole Vanderploeg for team honors with 12 kills, while Wilcox scored three blocks. Karen McIntyre posted 28 assists for ENMU to lead all players.
The Zias return to action twice today in the Eastern New Mexico University tournament — noon against Angelo State and 6 p.m. against Fort Hays State. The Zias conclude the tournament Saturday against East Central (2 p.m.) and Grand Canyon (6 p.m.).