By Dave Wagner
Facing a fifth game for the second consecutive match, the Eastern New Mexico University volleyball team got it right this time.
The Zias stayed in control for most of the fifth game Tuesday night to turn back Lubbock Christian 25-30, 30-27, 24-30, 30-25, 15-12 at Greyhound Arena.
Coach Mike Maguire said the Zias didn’t do anything that much different than they had in a five-game Lone Star Conference South Division home loss to Texas A&M-Kingsville on Saturday, except play harder.
“I think the effort was better,” Maguire said after the Zias (5-9) avenged an early-season three-game sweep at the hands of the Chaparrals (14-7) in Lubbock. “If we’d had that kind of effort against Kingsville, I think that result might have been different.”
Senior middle blocker Lindsay Schiely led five Zias in double figures in kills with 24. Senior outside hitter Kristi Britain and freshman libero Vanessa Wilcox each collected 21 digs.
“Our main focus was to just come out and play with heart,” Britain said. “We were slow starting off, but we got our momentum going.”
It didn’t start out well for the Zias. With Lubbock Christian’s Noelle Christensen starting off on the service line, the Chaparrals ran off to a 9-0 lead — getting at least three of the points on Zia errors.
ENMU, though, bounced back to make a competitive game of it, then rallied from a 20-15 deficit to take the second game.
LCU scored 13 of the final 21 points in game three, but the Zias put together a solid effort in the fourth game to square the match.
Schiely’s powerful kill put the Zias ahead quickly in the fifth game, and ENMU took command with a 6-1 run for a 10-5 lead.
The Chaps staved off match point with two consecutive blocks before Schiely’s tip into the middle went down for the clinching point.
“I thought Lindsay Schiely played another really good match for us, and Vanessa Wilcox did a nice job,” Maguire said.
“We didn’t do anything different. The effort changed the complexion of the match. We were blocking some balls and getting some touches.”
Senior outside hitter Meagan Kamplain and junior outside hitter Denise Brensing had 15 kills apiece for the Chaps (14-7). Freshman middle blocker Brittany Hix collected nine total blocks, including two solos.