Zia volleyball splits four tourney games down the middle

SEASIDE, Calif. — Eastern New Mexico University finished 2-2 after losing twice on Saturday in a volleyball tournament being hosted by Cal State Monterey Bay.

Late Saturday, the Zias (2-6) lost to host Cal State Monterey Bay 25-22, 27-25, 25-11. Senior Vanessa Wilcox had nine kills and sophomore Veronica Valdez seven for ENMU.

The Zias got their first wins of the season on Friday, pounding William Jessup (Calif.) 25-10, 25-18, 25-13 and Cal State Stanislaus 25-21, 14-25, 25-20, 27-25. The Zias then lost on Saturday morning to ninth-ranked Western Washington 25-18, 25-10, 25-19.

Nicole Vanderploeg had four kills while junior libero Caitlin Murphy colleced a season-best 21 digs against Western Washington (3-0). ENMU was dominated in the second game, but hung close to the Vikings for most of the first and third games.

In Friday’s action, Wilcox recorded nine kills — with jut one hitting error — and added eight blocks in the win over Jessup. Vanderploeg added eight kills, while Murphy recorded 20 digs.

Valdez posted 12 kills and Wilcox added eight against Stanislaus, while freshman middle blocker Jessica King was in on eight of the Zias’ 16 total blocks. The Warriors (2-4) had twice as many kills as the Zias (62-31), but also made nearly twice as many attack errors (35-18).