Local sports events
In what was a defensive struggle early on, the Western New Mexico University volleyball team began to heat up the offense hitting for over .200 in the final two sets on their way to taking the 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-15) victory over West Texas A&M Friday night in Lone Star Conference play.
Both teams had troubles in the first set, with WNMU (3-10, 3-2 LSC) hitting just .150 (11-5-40), to a .024 clip (14-13-41) for WT (8-7, 3-3 LSC). Although WNMU held just a 38-34 edge on kills and blocks were even at eight, attack errors were a big factor with the Buffs committing 26 to 16 for the Lady Mustangs.
Senior Kalie Lyle posted a game-high 11 kills, followed by nine from senior Alanna Watt. Senior Heather Verrill is starting to get back in the groove after tallying seven kills and coming away with a .462 hitting percentage. She also had six blocks to pick up 10 points on the night.
Freshmen Michael Anzures and Kaycie Cormier were each named the Lone Star Conference Freshmen Runners of the Week on Thursday.
Anzures, from Seboyeta, N.M., ran to a time of 27:04.2 which placed him 41st in the 8k race. The Mustangs as a team came in seventh at the Coyote Classic in San Bernardino, Calif.
Sophomore Dorian Carrasco sprinted to a new personal record time as he placed 20th, as the Western New Mexico University men’s cross country team came in seventh and the women in 10th during the Coyote Challenge that took place Saturday.
The men tallied 163 points to come in seventh, with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps taking home the title with 36 points. Carrasco led the way and claimed a personal record when he crossed with a time of 26:10.1 to place 20th. He averaged a mile time of 5:15.9 in the 8k race. Junior Armondo Antonio and freshman Michael Anzures were the next two in for the Mustangs with Antonio grabbing a time of 26:54.2 which was good for 38th, while Anzures was just a few spots back in 41st with a time of 27:04.2.
The Western New Mexico University softball team will be holding a fall youth camp October 21-22 at the WNMU softball field.
Saturday's camp will focus on pitching and catching and will run from 8 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. On Sunday, there will be bother a defense and hitting camp, with the defensive one running from 8 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. and then the hitting camp going from 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.
Junior Shelby Turner was on point throughout the opening round of the WNMU Fall Intercollegiate as her one-under 71 not only leads the Lady Mustangs, but the entire field. Behind Turner’s strong play, the Western New Mexico University women’s golf team is in a tie for third after the first round that took place Monday at the par 72, 6,087 yard Golf Club of Estrella Course.
Turner’s amazing round started right away, as she posted birdies on her first holes, 13 and 14. She later added another on hole 18 to give her a two-under through the back-nine. On the front-nine, she overcame two double bogeys with three birdies and four pars to go one-over to finish with her one-under 71 to lead the 90-player field by a stroke. Not surprisingly, she leads the field in birdies (6) and in par-three scoring (2.50). Turner also leads the team in par-four scoring (4.10).
It wasn’t a question of whether the Western New Mexico University football team was going to have a hard time moving the ball, but finishing became the issue. Despite outgaining UT Permian Basin by over 250 yards, turnovers and a few drives that stalled deep in UTPB territory were the difference as the Falcons posted the 41-32 Lone Star Conference win over the Mustangs on Homecoming Saturday afternoon.
With it being Homecoming, Scott Woodard and Liz Narkon-Vito were both inducted into the Hall of Fame during a breakfast and at halftime.
WNMU (0-4, 0-2 LSC) went for 572 yards, including 496 through the air, but four turnovers and two drives that ended on downs were enough for UTPB (1-3, 1-1 LSC) to claim their first LSC win and first win over a Division II opponent in just their second year as a program.
After opening up the night hitting .375 in the first set, the Western New Mexico University volleyball team rode that hot start on their way to defeating Midwestern State University 3-1 (25-17, 15-25, 25-23, 25-17) Friday night in Lone Star Conference action.
Senior Kalie Lyle pounded 11 kills, while junior Aspen Luna added seven and senior Kelli McGhiey with six and hit .312. Redshirt freshman Christiana DuBose tallied five kills and hit .333. Sophomore Cristal Carrizoza dished out 26 assists, while on defense senior Ashley Mataele had 15 digs, 12 for Lyle and senior Heather Verrill posted three blocks.
Holding a 9-6 lead early on in the first set, WNMU (2-9, 2-1 LSC) fought past a run by Midwestern State (6-5, 1-2 LSC) as MSU muscled back to tie the set at 10 before a service error helped ignite a 4-0 run. Mataele added an ace and after a kill by senior Ashley Mataele, an attack error had WNMU with the 14-10 lead. The lead stretched to seven at 22-15 on a kill by DuBose and then a pair of errors over the final two points gave the Lady Mustangs the 25-17 set win.
Western New Mexico University Head Tennis Coach Yair Banuelos announced his resignation from the position that will take place at the end of September. At the end of his career, he will have spent eight years in Silver City, two years as both a player and assistant coach, before the last four years as head coach. Banuelos has accepted the head tennis coach position at Auburn Montgomery.
“It is with mixed emotions that I announce Yair Banuelos’s departure from WNMU,” Director of Athletics Mark Coleman said. “It’s a great opportunity for him but I hate to see him go. He has been a valued member of the Mustang family as a student-athlete, assistant coach and especially as a head coach. He will be missed.”
Banuelos has helped continue a strong tradition of success for the Mustang tennis programs. After finishing up the 2015-16 season in the RMAC, WNMU secured their seventh straight conference titles on the men’s side. They finished a run of 37-0 in regular season matches and 14-0 in tournament matches during the seven-year span that the team dominated the RMAC. The women have also enjoyed success as they posted nine wins that year as they won the tournament title for the fourth in the past five years.
“I want to thank Director of Athletics Mark Coleman who gave me the opportunity to lead the tennis programs for the last four years,” Banuelos said. “I have mixed emotions about leaving WNMU. I am excited to continue my professional career and face new challenges, but I am definitely very sad to leave WNMU and our tennis program. I leave with great memories of this place and I am very grateful that I was part of two programs that made history over the years. Wining the first conference championships with the women’s team, and of course achieving unprecedented results with the men’s tennis program in all three phases, as a student-athlete, assistant coach and head coach.”
The Mustangs reached the South Central Regional this year for the third time in the past four years and reached the best ranking in program history of 22. Banuelos took home Wilson/ITA Men’s South Central Region Coach of the Year in his first year guiding the team in the Lone Star Conference. The Mustangs took down Midwestern State in Silver City and came close to a win over St. Mary’s in the Regional Playoff. Before the 2016-17 season even began, it was setup to be a great one as the doubles combination of Vladimir Gnilozubov and Tristan Da Lio won the ITA South Central Regional and went on to the Oracle Cup in Arizona where they placed third during the fall.
The Lady Mustangs outside of winning the RMAC Tournament again in 2015-16, posted 12 wins in 2014-15 that included a perfect RMAC record and advanced to the South Central Regional in which they faced No. 13 St. Mary’s. WNMU nearly grabbed the RMAC title in 2013-14, falling 5-4 to Colorado Mesa in the final.
Both teams took home ITA Academic Team honors for having over a 3.5 cumulative GPA this past year. The teams have now secured the award each of the past three years. During his eight-year career as a player, assistant coach and head coach of the men’s team he went an incredible 120-74.
The Beat as 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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