Local sports events

Following a tight first set, No. 15 Tarleton State University broke loose after that holding the Western New Mexico University volleyball team to just 22 points over the final two sets on their way to taking the 3-0 victory (22-25, 9-25, 13-25) Saturday night in Lone Star Conference action.

 WNMU (5-13, 5-5 LSC) was right there early on, trading points with the top team in the conference. After the TexAnns (17-4, 9-1 LSC) claimed the first set, there was no stopping them. TSU hit .429 for the match, including an impressive .727 in the final set.

After trailing 2-1 entering the fourth set, the Western New Mexico University volleyball team fought back to force a decisive fifth set in which they ultimately won to upset No. 17 Angelo State University 3-2 (23-25, 25-23, 21-25, 25-21, 15-11) Friday night in Lone Star Conference action.

It was the first home win over a nationally-ranked team since the Lady Mustangs took down then No. 24 Regis in 2013, 3-0.
While seniors Alanna Watt (15), Kelli McGhiey (12) and Heather Verrill (11) combined for 38 kills to lead the team, junior Kijana Best had a huge impact off the bench as she played late in the fourth set and all of the fifth to pile up eight big kills to help lead in the upset. McGhiey had the top hitting percentage posting a .379 clip with just one error in 29 chances. Senior Kalie Lyle nearly reached double-digits in kills with nine.

Junior Collin Grady, having already been named the Lone Star Conference Special Teams Player of the Week, added to that list as he was named the D2Football.com Special Teams National Player of the Week Thursday.

This is the second time a Mustang has been named the D2Football.com National Player of the Week as redshirt senior D’Angelo Bowie earned the honor during the first week of the season.

Coming off of their first win of the season, the Western New Mexico University football team will hit the road this Saturday when they will play at No. 11 Texas A&M-Commerce with kickoff set for 4 p.m. Central Time.

The WNMU (1-5, 1-3 LSC) defense was solid throughout the game against Tarleton State, as the Mustangs recorded six sacks and limited the Texans to just three points through the first three quarters. Redshirt senior Dominic Barry had a big game with 14 tackles, including 3.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. For his efforts, he was named the LSC Defensive Player of the Week, while junior Collin Grady took home both LSC Special Teams Player of the Week and D2Football.com National Special Teams Player of the Week after averaging 42 yards on six punts, with four inside the 20 and two that traveled over 50 yards. He also went 5-5 on extra points and connected on a 34-yard field goal.

It was a near-win for the Western New Mexico University volleyball team the last time out against Texas A&M-Commerce, but after just falling short, they will look to return home and face a pair of nationally-ranked team in No. 17 Angelo State and No. 15 Tarleton State.

WNMU (4-12, 4-4 LSC) rebounded from a 3-0 loss to Texas Woman’s to go four sets with Texas A&M-Commerce before the Lions held on for the win. The road won’t get any easier this week with the two highest ranked teams in the Lone Star Conference, in terms of AVCA National Poll rankings, come to town.

When you are early in the football season, you always wonder which week will see the standing shaken up the most. For the Lone Star conference it was week six, last weekend. Three teams, Texas A&M Commerce, Midwestern State, and Tarleton State all entered the weekend unbeaten in conference play. Only one would emerge unscathed as two of those teams played each other and a huge upset significantly damaged the second team’s postseason chances.

Commerce and Midwestern State met in Wichita Falls where a fourth-quarter comeback that saw Commerce score 21 points but fell just short. Midwestern took the contest 47 to 42 to remain undefeated overall and in conference play with a 4-0 and a 3-0 respective record. Commerce drops from the ranks of the unbeaten with a 4-0 and a 2-1 record. The win leaves Midwestern alone atop the conference rankings, while Commerce drops to fourth.

Coming off of their first victory of the season, both Dominic Barry and Collin Grady took home Lone Star Conference Player of the Week awards Monday.

Barry, a redshirt senior from Moreno Valley, Calif., took home Defensive Player of the Week honors, while Grady, a junior from Glendora, Calif., was honored with Special Teams Player of the Week accolades.

Following a marathon opening set, the Western New Mexico University volleyball team was right there with Texas A&M-Commerce. The Lions escaped with the first set and later responded to the Lady Mustangs winning the third set to take the fourth set and the 3-1 victory (28-30, 16-25, 25-17, 16-25) in Lone Star Conference action Saturday afternoon.

The first set featured just about everything, as WNMU (4-12, 4-4 LSC) held two set points before Texas A&M-Commerce (11-7, 6-2 LSC) held off the Lady Mustangs to pull out an entertaining opening frame. The set was extremely close throughout, with the Lions starting to pull away late in the set at 18-15. Ahead 23-19, WNMU caught fire scoring the next five points to move to set point at 24-23. During the run, junior Aspen Luna started things with a kill, junior Kijana Best added a kill, redshirt freshman Christiana DuBose and freshman Sarai Migao combined for a block and then a pair of attack errors had WNMU thinking a first set win. WNMU had a swing at set point, but missed to even the set at 24. After Migao tallied a kill on the next point to again move to set point at 25-24, the Lions responded with a big double-block to knot the set at 25. After that, WNMU fought off set point twice at 27-26 and 29-28 before a kill by Jaryn Wacker gave Texas A&M-Commerce the 30-28 first set win.

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Editor's Note

The Grant county Beat continues to bring you new columnists. New this past week are the Christian Corner, for those who are already Christians or are exploring the beliefs.

The second is a business-centered column—Your Business Connection by the New Mexico Business Coalition. The group works to make policy in the state of New Mexico better for all businesses, large and small.

The Beat has a new column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues. The first one posted is on Winterizing your houseplants and patio plants.

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