STEPHENVILLE, Texas — The Eastern New Mexico University volleyball team was tantalizingly close to a rare Lone Star Conference road win on Thursday, but the Zias just couldn’t finish the deal.
Tarleton State rallied from a five-point deficit in the second game, then closed out the match with eight of the final nine points in the fourth set to claim a 17-25, 25-23, 25-19, 25-22 win over ENMU.
The Zias (2-9, 1-4 LSC) have lost 37 of their last 38 conference road outings, going back nearly six years. The lone win was a five-setter last October at East Central, snapping what had been a 30-game slide.
ENMU’s previous road LSC triumph came in five sets at Angelo State on Oct. 5, 2005.
Nikki McNorton combined 11 kills and seven blocks (six solos) for the TexAnns (5-5, 1-1), who opened a 5-2 lead in the first set before ENMU went in front for good with a 9-0 run.
The Zias built five-point leads on three occasions in the second game, the last at 15-10, and never trailed until Harrell’s kill gave TSU a 17-16 lead. ENMU led three more times by a point, the last at 22-21, before McNorton’s kill on set point squared the match.
The TexAnns led all the way in the third set, but ENMU erased a 5-2 deficit in game 4 and eventually opened a 21-17 lead. A kill by Harrell and two by Katie Covell pulled Tarleton close, and the TexAnns took the lead for good 23-22 on a setting miscue by the Zias.
Junior Amber Durand had 10 kills and 15 digs for the Zias, while senior Kristen Beck also had 10 kills and senior Jessica King converted eight kills and was in on five total blocks.
ENMU’s next outing is on Saturday in non-conference play at Oklahoma Panhandle State.