Washburn's attacking trio of Kelsey Lewis, Hilary Hughes and Mollie Lacy were too much for Midwestern State to handle Saturday afternoon as the No. 5-ranked Lady Blues rolled to a 25-19, 25-17, 25-23 in the MSU/Hampton Inn-vitational at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
The loss was the first of the season for the Mustangs, who close the invitational against Texas A&M International at 3 p.m., while Washburn completes tourney play with a perfect 4-0 mark.
Midwestern State (2-1) appeared to gain momentum in the third and final set as the Mustangs seemed to in control after Miranda Byrd put away a kill for a 23-18 edge.
But the Lady Blues tallied the last seven points of the set and wrested momentum away from MSU on the strength of a pair of solo blocks by Marissa Cox. Lacy then put away final three kills to end the match.
The big trio combined for 38 of WU's 55 kills paced the Lewis' 14-kill performance while Hughes and Lacy added 13 and 11, respectively.
The Mustangs struggled on the attack and were limited to a .133 team percentage but outside of Washburn's seven team blocks, MSU committed just six errors. That's because the Lady Blues recorded 70 digs paced by libero Courtney Churchman who had 22.
Once again, sophomore middle blocker Caitlin Wallace led the MSU attack with 11 kills while committing just a single error in 28 attempts for a solid .357 attack percentage. Junior Shelbi Stewart added seven kills of her own.
Senior libero Kiara Jordan led MSU's back efforts with 19 digs.
Midwestern State rebounded to club Texas A&M International 25-15, 25-15, 25-20 in the final of the MSU/Hampton Inn-vitational Saturday afternoon at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
The Mustangs, who finished tournament with a 3-1 mark, take on Eastern New Mexico in their Lone Star Conference opener Tuesday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum. First serve is set for 7 p.m.
MSU dominated in the middle with sophomore Caitlin Wallace paced the team with 11 kills and three total blocks while senior Miranda Byrd added nine kills.
MSU's setter triumvirate of Kim Jeffrey (19 assists), Kristan Aduddell (12 assists) and Taryn Westerman (3 assists) paced the Mustangs to a .300 team attack percentage on the strength of efficient hitting not only from the middle but on the outside as well.
Junior Shelbi Stewart put down eight kills and made just one error, senior Hillary White had seven kills with two errors and freshman Katie Bertling was flawless with six kills.
Senior libero Kiara Jordan paced MSU's back row efforts with 18 digs.
Texas A&M International dipped to 1-3 on the season.