The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Dave Wagner
Staff writer 

DBU edges Hounds in five


Last updated 11/13/2021 at 4:50pm

Jordan Alexander

Dallas Baptist's Alyssa Parks lobs the ball over Eastern New Mexico's Adriana Puni for the point. The Patriots defeated ENMU in five sets.

PORTALES - Eastern New Mexico University's volleyball team may appear to be fading a bit after its late-season, five-match winning streak.

The fact is, the Greyhounds are probably playing even better now as they wind down the season.

ENMU suffered its third consecutive loss since then - coming against teams with a combined record of 54-15 - and saw its LSC postseason tournament hopes put in jeopardy on Friday night when Dallas Baptist notched a 25-27, 26-24, 25-23, 19-25, 15-5 Lone Star Conference win at Greyhound Arena.

The Hounds (6-18, 6-10 LSC) went into Saturday's conference and regular-season final against Texas Woman's at Greyhound Arena likely needing a win over the Pioneers (10-17, 5-11) to assure themselves of at least the 12th seed in next week's 12-team tournament.

A loss would make that possibility much less likely, and force ENMU to rely on tiebreakers to get in.

Still, there's no mistaking the Hounds are easily playing their best volleyball of the season. They've taken four games against their latest three foes, including the first set of each match.

Eighth-year coach Sia Poyer just wishes his team could've done a little more against the Lady Patriots (13-6, 10-6).

"We had too many service errors (11)," he said. "And we're not the best passing team, but I didn't think we were that bad."

ENMU had the better of it in a number of statistics, posting a 13-3 margin in total blocks and committing only 19 attack errors to DBU's 35.

"We've gotten tremendously better, compared to the beginning of the season," Poyer said.

After the first three sets went down to the wire, the Hounds led the entire fourth game except for two ties. But the Lady Patriots, who clinched the No. 6 seed in the LSC tourney with the win, quickly erased a 1-0 deficit in Game 5 with a six-point run that included four of senior middle blocker Sofia Black's match-high eight aces.

"I think Eastern New Mexico played outstanding," first-year DBU coach Jordan Fish said. "Our team definitely stepped it up from the service line in the fifth set."

Junior outside hitter Halee Van Poppel had 12 attack errors, but led DBU with 18 kills. She also had 12 digs.

"They're definitely a good team," Poyer said. "(Van Poppel) is No. 1 in the conference in kills per set. I thought we did a pretty good job on her, but their middles did just enough to keep them in the match."

Black and freshman outside hitter Audrey Nunes added 12 kills each for DBU.

Fish said the Lady Patriots, who closed at West Texas A&M on Saturday, are looking forward to the LSC meet.

"We've got really big goals," she said. "I think we showed tonight we have multiple weapons on offense."

For ENMU, senior outside hitter Jasmine Gannon posted her 11th double-double of the season with 16 kills and 20 digs, the latter leading five Hounds in double digits in that category. Sisters Rae and Qitana Sapiga also had double-doubles with digs and set assists.


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