Sophomore outside hitter Amber Durand and junior middle blockers Jessica King and Kristen Beck combined for 34 kills Tuesday night as Eastern New Mexico defeated Texas-Permian Basin 25-18, 25-17, 25-18 in a non-conference volleyball match at Greyhound Arena.
The Zias (7-7) trailed only briefly early in each game before quickly taking control and pulling away from the Lady Falcons (4-10). They now have their most wins in a season since 2005.
Durand had 14 kills and nine digs, while Beck and King each added 10 kills. Sophomore libero Dallas Russell had a match-high 21 digs for the Zias.
UTPB led 2-1 in the opening set, but a kill by Beck started a 5-0 Zias run. ENMU broke the game open with a 5-1 surge for an 18-13 lead and cruised from there.
The Lady Falcons got a pair of aces from Sara Torres and led 4-0 in the second set, but ENMU pulled even 6-6 and took the lead for good at 15-14 on a kill by Durand, starting a set-ending 13-3 run.
ENMU trailed early in the third set 4-1 and still led 15-12 on a kill by Keely Brogdon. Senior setter Veronica kill then sparked a match-ending 13-3 run for the Zias with a kill, with Stacey Main earning a kill on match-point.
ENMU plays three matches this weekend in a tournament hosted by UTPB at Odessa, Texas. The Zias’ opening match on Friday is against Fort Hays State.
Lady Buffs shut down ENMU — West Texas A&M’s Becky Peth scored with 48 seconds left in the first half and the Lady Buffs went on to a 2-0 win over ENMU in the Lone Star Conference women’s soccer opener for both teams at Canyon, Texas.
WT (5-1-2) didn’t get its other score until Berklee Watson found the back of the next from up close with just over three minutes to go in the match.
Sophomore goalkeeper Sierra Cardenas turned away seven WT shots on goal. The Zias managed four shots on goal, two by sophomore forward Brook Serrano.
ENMU returns home for a 2 p.m. conference matchup on Friday against Texas Woman’s.