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Cowgirls drop RMAC openers

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Mighty Mesa sweeps; Fort Lewis rallies back from 0-2 to win in five

By Dave Kavanaugh

Visiting Fort Lewis fought back from a 2-0 deficit in Saturday night’s volleyball match, winning the last three sets to claim a 3-2 win over New Mexico Highlands on the opening weekend of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference portion of the schedule.

Highlands (6-4 overall, 0-2 RMAC) won the first two sets 25-21 and 25-19 and was on its way to a sweep, leading the third set 5-3 after three early kills by Marina Samoa.

But the Skyhawks scored three straight points and, after breaking an 8-8 tie with another three-point run, took the lead for good. FLC won game three 25-16, finishing with an ace by Heather Danny.

The Cowgirls led much of a back-and-forth game four but their offense stalled at a bad time. Kills by Jazmine Harge and Alicia Moreno pulled Highlands even at 21-21, but Madi Bickle and Ashley Wells each had a kill as part of a 4-0 run by the Skyhawks to close the set, a 25-21 FLC win.

In the decisive fifth set, Fort Lewis won 15-11.

Wells finished with a match-high 25 kills and 15 digs to pace Fort Lewis; Bickle added 10.

For Highlands, Moreno hit for 21 kills at a .350 attack percentage. Mullen and Samoa added 14 and 12 kills, respectively. Jessica Piper had the team high in digs with 22. Lexis Satele had 31 assists and Tarissa Mellin had 19.

The Cowgirls had lost to a strong Colorado Mesa squad on Friday night. Game scores were 25-18, 25-19, 25-19. Mesa — one of the better teams in the league at 8-1  — connected its attacks at a blistering .366 for the three-set match. Erin Perez, Christian Otzen and Abby Ney all had double digits in kills.

Moreno and Samoa had eight kills apiece and Bailey Weidner seven for NMHU.

Highlands and head coach Bryan Crawford were to play at West Texas A&M on Tuesday in a non-conference match, then resume league play this coming weekend at Western State in Gunnison, Colo., and Adams State in Alamosa.