PORTALES, N.M – Eastern New Mexico were downed in four-sets, 3-1, by Western New Mexico University, on Friday evening at Greyhound Arena. The Greyhounds move to 1-2 in Lone Star Conference (LSC) play, while the Mustangs boost their record to 1-1 in the LSC.
It was the Hounds that established themselves early in the first set. A slim two-point margin separated the two sides at 12-10, before ENMU found a hot streak. Two errors from WNMU and two Jordan O’Connor-Dempsey kills, gave the hounds a six-point lead on the 4-0 run. However, Western cut the lead to one point at 19-18, which Eastern followed with three consecutive points, putting the score at 22-18. ENMU took the first set 25-21, featuring kills from Jasmine Gannon, Kali Nelson, and Mikaela Garvin down the stretch.
The Mustangs and Greyhounds could not establish an early lead, as both teams went back and forth. Each team established a narrow lead just to have it taken away shortly after. The second set featured 13 tie scores and six lead changes. With the score at twenty points apiece, Western strung together a 4-1 series, putting them on set point, 24-21. ENMU pushed the score to 24-23, but WNMU closed out the second set 25-23.
The third set started with the Greyhounds holding a small lead at 6-3, after a Western attack error. The Mustangs surged right back, keeping pace with the Hounds and setting the teams at 15-15. From that point, WNMU collected six of the next eight points, taking a 21-17 lead. ENMU chipped away at the four-point gap, but eventually fell 25-21, giving the Mustangs a 2-1 lead in the match.
With both teams at 9-9 in the fourth set, Western put together a 4-1 streak to build a three-point lead in the middle of the set. ENMU pushed the score to 16-15, WNMU, to give themselves a chance in the match. However, the Mustangs opened a tear, finishing the set on a 9-2 stretch, closing the final set 25-17, and the match 3-1 WNMU.
Western out hit Eastern with 56 kills, compared to 48 kills. The Greyhounds held the edge in blocks with 12, as opposed to WNMU’s four blocks.
Gannon and Garvin each provided 12 kills on the night. Nelson was next the attack with eight kills.
Eliana Luteru provided 19 assists for the Hounds, while Qitana Sapiga dished out 16 assists.
McKinzie Davis paced ENMU in digs with 11, while Adriana Puni supplied 10 digs for the home team.
O’Connor-Dempsey covered the net with seven total blocks, while Garvin and Gannon were not to far off, with five and four total blocks, respectively.
Luteru earned their first collegiate start, and recorded career highs in assists (19).
Connor-Dempsey found a new career high in blocks (8), Davis notched a new career high in digs (11).
The Greyhounds took on the Mustangs for the first time since 11/16/19, when the Hounds walked away from Silver City, N.M. with a 3-1 victory.
ENMU look to bounce right back the next day, Saturday, Sept. 25, with a conference match-up with University Texas Permian Basin. The match will commence with a start time of 12:00 p.m