Silver City, N.M. – After struggling in the first set, the Western New Mexico University volleyball team fought back in the second for a win, but fell short in the next two sets giving Texas Woman’s University the win, 3-2, last Saturday.
As a team, the Mustangs hit an overall of .229 with 50 kills and 18 errors, while the Pioneers hit a .225 with 56 kills and 22 errors.
For the Mustangs, three players came away with ten kills or more; Samantha Haupeakui with 12, Kalie Lyle with 11, and Kelli McGhiey with 10. Haupeakui also led the team in hitting percentage with .407. Leading in assists was Cristal Carrizoza with 26.
In the first set, WNMU came out hot as they took an early 10-3 lead thanks to a Hughes serving ace. TWU would eventually fight back to cut the lead to four, 17-13. With the Mustangs ahead with a decent 20-15 lead, the Pioneers would ignite some momentum and went on a 7-1 scoring streak, putting them ahead 23-21. Mustangs fought back with two points of their own after coming up with two blocks, tying the game at 23. This was close as they would come as Texas Women’s University snagged the final two points of the set, 25-23.
WNMU found themselves in a 9-7 deficit in the second set, but two kills from McGhiey tied the game at 9. A serving ace, attack error, and kills from Haupeakui, McGhiey, and Heather Verrill, brought the Mustangs to a 12-9 lead. The lead would not last long as TWU tied the game up, 16-16, after a kill. With Western up 18-17, they would push their lead five, 22-17, following three kills from Lyle and an attack error from Texas. Mustangs would keep their lead and go on to win the set, 25-20.
It was a close set in the third, as neither teams were able to go up three until TWU took an 11-8 lead. Their momentum continued as they went on a 4-1 run, making the score 15-9. The Pioneers kept things rolling as they maintained a three point lead throughout the set and would go on to win the set, 25-20.
In the fourth set, WNMU attained an early 10-7 lead after a Verill kill and then an attacking error from TWU increased their lead to four, 15-11. The lead quickly diminished as the Pioneers went on a 6-1 run, pushing themselves in front, 17-16. With both teams even at 21, TWU broke the set open scoring the next four of five points, which would give them set win, 25-22.
With only three games remaining, the Lady Mustangs currently hold a 16-12 overall record and 8-9 conference record. Their next task will be this Tuesday at home as they face Eastern New Mexico University with the game starting at 6 p.m.