Oct. 27, 2010

Courtesy of West Texas A&M Athletics

PORTALES, N.M. - The West Texas A&M Volleyball team won its 77th consecutive Lone Star Conference match, sweeping past Eastern New Mexico (25-19, 25-17, 25-21) in at Greyhound Arena on Tuesday to tie its own record for the longest winning streak over a conference opponent in NCAA Division II history.

Erika Dupree dished out a career-high 35 assists and added 10 digs to record her team-leading 15th double-double of the season, while Lauren Thedford tied a career-high with 17 kills to go along with 13 digs as she posted her 10th double-double as well.

The Lady Buffs improved to 19-8 overall and 11-0 in conference play, while the Zias fell to 12-13 overall and dropped to 4-7 in the LSC.

The Zias opened the first set with a 5-0 run before Erin Dougherty put down a block to give the Lady Buffs their first point. Down 8-4, Thedford recorded one of her five first-set kills that led to a 5-0 run from the Lady Buffs to give WT a 9-8 lead. Leading 15-13 midway through the set, the Lady Buffs turned in another 5-0 run that pushed the Lady Buffs lead to 20-13. The Zias trailed 24-15 before putting together a stretch of four straight points, Haleigh Cearleys kill ended the run and gave WT the first set win, 25-17.

The second set began with both teams exchanging ties up to the 11-11 mark before a small 3-0 run from the Lady Buffs made it 14-11. ENMU got back to within a point down 14-13 until Dupree registered a kill that helped spark off an 11-4 run from the Lady Buffs to end the set at 25-17 and go up 2-0 in the match.

The Lady Buffs took a 4-2 lead to open the third set before the Zias got back into it with a 3-0 run and retake the lead at 5-4. ENMU never sustained a lead by more than two points and the Lady Buffs took advantage, going on a 7-0 run a few moments later to take a 14-9 lead. WT would go up by as many as seven points later in the set to take a 19-12 lead, but the home team scored eight of the next 11 points and found themselves down by just two points at 22-20. Dupree and ENMUs Kristen Beck traded kills to make it a 23-21 game, but back-to-back kills from Keidra Williams and Thedford finished off the Zias at 25-21 to give WT the win.

Along with the career-tying 17 kills, Thedford posted a new career-high hitting percentage in a single match, hitting .552 with just one error in 29 attempts. Dupree had eight kills and finished hitting .375 on the night as WT hit .288 as a team. Ashley Davis recorded nine kills and hit .292, while the team combined to hit .288. Williams led the Lady Buffs at the net with three blocks and Dougherty added another block to finish with two on the night.

ENMUs Jessica king tallied a team-high 11 kills while hitting .314, but the Zias finished hitting just .188 as a team. Veronica Valdez-Kent led the Zias with 35 assists and Dallas Russell led all players with 22 digs.

For the first time all season, WT failed to record a service ace in a match, but the defense held the Zias without an ace as well.

The Lady Buffs winning streak ties the one the program set from Sept. 18, 1999, to Oct. 10, 2003, when it lost in four sets to Angelo State. WT will next attempt to break the record this Thursday when the team travels Stephenville to face the Tarleton State TexAnns. First serve is set for 7 p.m. inside Wisdom Gym.