Zias come from behind for victory

CNJ staff

PORTALES — Freshman Jessica King posted 17 kills and three block solos while senior Nicole Vanderploeg and sophomore Veronica Valdez had double-doubles Tuesday night as Eastern New Mexico University rallied from a 2-1 deficit to upend Wayland Baptist at Greyhound Arena.

ENMU (5-11), which lost earlier this month in five games at Wayland, dominated the fourth game and then scored the final five points in Game 5 — three on Pioneers errors — in a 25-19, 22-25, 18-25, 25-15, 15-11 win.

King, a 6-foot middle blocker from Las Cruces, had two errors on 31 attacks. Meantime, Vanderploeg posted 12 kills and 10 digs while Valdez collected 10 kills and 17 digs.

Sophomore libero Caitlin Murphy had a season-best 37 digs for the Zias, and also led the team in aces with four.

Kimberli Harger had 13 kills and 11 digs for the Pioneers (8-3), while Melrose graduate Audrey Hemminger chipped in with seven kills and four blocks for the Pioneers.

ENMU trailed 4-0 at the outset of the first game, but Vanderploeg’s kill tied it 12-12 and set off a game-ending 14-7 run for the Zias.

Wayland fought off the Zias in the second game, then pulled away with a game-ending 9-4 run in the third. But ENMU trailed only briefly at the start of the fourth game, and a kill by freshman outside hitter Sarah Koch started the Zias on their way to a game-ending 15-6 run.

Wayland took leads of 10-9 and 11-10 on ENMU errors in the fifth game, but Desiree Luevano’s attack error pulled ENMU even and Karen McIntyre’s kill put the Zias ahead for good.