Hounds top Lions, fall to Patriots to open LSC play
Last updated 9/18/2021 at 4:38pm
COMMERCE, Texas — Senior outside hitter Jasmine Gannon collected 17 kills, 14 digs, four block assists and three aces on Friday night as Eastern New Mexico University won its first match in nearly two years, a 19-25, 25-16, 20-25, 25-21, 15-10 decision over Texas A&M-Commerce in the Lone Star Conference volleyball opener for both teams.
The Greyhounds (1-7 overall) last won when they defeated Western New Mexico in four sets on Nov. 16, 2019 in their LSC and regular-season finale at Silver City. The 2020 campaign was canceled due to COVID-19.
It was also their first win over the Lions (1-4) since Nov. 17, 2016 in the LSC tournament at San Angelo, Texas, and their first road win against Commerce since Oct. 4, 2014, in which they rallied from a 2-0 deficit to win in five sets.
ENMU also got a season-high 11 kills from freshman outside hitter Kali Nelson, while sophomore middle blocker Gracelyn Stubbs contributed 10 kills, two block solos and five block assists. Meantime, junior setter Rae Sapiga established a season best with 23 assists.
Freshman outside hitter/setter Essence Allen collected 14 kills, 13 digs and two block assists for the Lions, while sophomore middle blocker/outside hitter Maiya Dickie added 14 kills.
Commerce led much of the way in the first set and pulled away with a set-ending 8-3 run. ENMU took control of the second game with a 5-1 run for a 13-9 lead, including two kills from Gannon, while Sapiga delivered an ace on set point.
In Game 3, the Lions bolted to a 9-2 lead. ENMU then closed to 12-10, but could never get over the top.
With the fourth set tied 21-21, the Hounds forced the tiebreaker with the final four points, including a solo block and a block assist from Stubbs. ENMU then took control in the fifth set, erasing an 8-7 deficit with a five-point run which put the Hounds on top for good.
ENMU completes its two-game, LSC-opening trip to east Texas in a Saturday afternoon matchup at Texas-Tyler.
Texas-Tyler 3, ENMU 0 — The Hounds finished with a split for the weekend, dropping a 25-22, 25-16, 25-21 LSC decision on Saturday at 25th-ranked Texas-Tyler.
Sophomore outside hitter Evelyn Torres had 15 kills and junior outside hitter Christina Escamilla added 13 for the Patriots (6-0, 2-0 LSC), who were coming off a win over West Texas A&M on Friday and extended their regular-season winning streak to 18. Meantime, Gannon led the Hounds with nine kills and 13 digs while Nelson finished with six kills and three block assists.
ENMU returns to action on Tuesday with a 6 p.m. non-conference matchup against New Mexico Highlands at Greyhound Arena.