Freedom New Mexico
PLAINVIEW, Texas — After three tight games, Wayland Baptist overcame a 2-1 deficit with a dominating fourth set Tuesday night and the unbeaten Pioneers went on to a 26-28, 25-20, 23-25, 25-7, 15-10 volleyball victory over Eastern New Mexico University.
Desiree Luevano had 16 kills and Jennifer Wyatt added 15 for the Pioneers (6-0), ranked 16th in the NAIA. Wayland had 11 aces in the match, including five for Hailey Clark and three for Wyatt, to two for the Zias (2-7).
ENMU got double-doubles in the match from senior outside hitter Vanessa Wilcox (13 kills, 10 digs) and sophomore outside hitter Veronica Valdez (10 kills, 26 digs). Freshman outside hitter Sarah Koch added 10 kills.
The Zias took a close first game, going up 27-26 on a Pioneers serving error and then getting a kill from senior Nicole Vanderploeg on game point.
Neither team led by more than three points in the match until the end of the second game, when the Pioneers went on a 6-1 run to break away from a 19-19 tie.
The Zias then put together their own run in the third game, scoring six consecutive points to reach match point at 24-20 as Vanderploeg had an ace and a kill in that sequence.
Wilcox then put the Zias ahead with a kill on game point.
But in game 4, Wayland rolled to a 10-1 lead, then put together another 10-1 surge after three points by the Zias. The teams exchanged side-outs on the first 11 points in the fifth set, but Melrose graduate Audrey Hemminger gave the Pioneers the lead for good at 6-5 with a kill.
The Zias play their home opener on Thursday, hosting Wichita, Kan.-based Newman University in a 7 p.m. start at Greyhound Arena.