Zias’ Murphy sets mark in setback

CNJ staff

PORTALES — Eastern New Mexico University got off to a fast start Thursday night, but the Zias were overtaken by Tarleton State and dropped a 28-30, 25-22, 25-18, 25-15 Lone Star Conference volleyball decision to the TexAnns at Greyhound Arena.

ENMU junior Caitlin Murphy collected 25 digs in the loss, though, and broke the school record for digs in a season with 641. She moved up from third place, passing Tamera Moorehead and Stacy Tapper, who finished with 636 and 635, respectively, in 1989.

The Zias (6-27, 0-12 LSC) rebounded from a 14-10 deficit to pull out the first game, getting kills from sophomore Veronica Valdez and freshman Sarah Koch on the final two points. They then opened a 15-13 lead in Game 2 when freshman Jessica King put down a kill, but the TexAnns (21-8, 10-2) took the lead for good with three consecutive points to snap out of a 19-19 tie.

Tarleton pulled away late to win a competitive third game, then jumped out to a 10-4 lead in the fourth set and maintained control.

Shay Gracy posted a match-high 14 kills for the TexAnns, while teammate Emily Richardson added 10 kills, three aces and four total blocks (three solos). King had 12 kills for the Zias, while Koch had 11 and senior Megan Weitz finished with nine kills and three total blocks.

ENMU wraps up its season with a 2 p.m. conference match on Saturday against Texas A&M-Kingsville at Greyhound Arena.