MSU: Volleyball Falls in 4 at Commerce

Texas A&M-Commerce's Rachel Robertson and Breanne Snyder clogged up the attacking lanes as the Lions combined for 15 team blocks to upend Midwestern State 18-25, 26-24, 25-17, 25-22 in Lone Star Conference play here Thursday night.
 
Robertson, a 6-1 junior middle blocker from Princeton, posted nine total blocks including six of the solo variety while Snyder, a 5-11 freshman from Woodway, recorded five more as the Lions avenged a four-set loss earlier in the so MSU.
 
The Mustangs dropped to 12-8 on the season and to 4-7 in league play, while the Lions improved to 7-11 and 3-8.
 
Midwestern, which fell to 0-5 in hostile gyms this season, continues a three-game road swing Saturday at Texas Woman's University. First serve from Kitty Magee Arena is set for 2 p.m.
 
The Mustangs got off to a hot start on the attack putting down 14 kills while committing just three errors in a 25-18 win in the first set paced by junior outside hitter Shelbi Stewart's five kills.
 
Stewart battled to tally a season-high 13 kills and was joined in double figure by senior Hillary White and freshman Katie Bertling, who notched 11 kills each but it was Texas A&M-Commerce strong net play and stellar inside-out combination of Robertson and Snyder which allowed the Lions to control the final three sets.
 
The Mustangs fought off a pair of set points in the second frame, but Texas A&M-Commerce used a Robertson kill and a Savannah Neal service ace to claim the set win and momentum.
 
The duo of Robertson and Snyder combined for 14 kills to just two errors to pace the Lions team attack percentages of .240 and .343 after the Mustangs had limited TAMUC to a .100 team kill rate over the opening to sets.
 
Snyder hit .357 to finish with 14 kills and 17 digs, while Robertson recorded 13 kills to go along with her match-high nine blocks.
 
Texas A&M-Commerce's block party limited the Mustangs to a .091 team attack percentage over the final three sets of the contest.
 
Senior libero Kiara Jordan led MSU's back row efforts with 19 digs while White polished off a double-double with 11 kills and 16 digs.
 
The Mustangs were credited with seven solo blocks as a team including three by senior Miranda Byrd, two by White and one each from Brandi Flores and Kasey Decker.

#22 Mens Soccer Home for Crucial Regional Battle

Home couldn't be a better place for No. 22 Midwestern State to make a push for its sixth consecutive NCAA Division II playoff berth.
 
But the Mustangs face a pair of tough challenges this weekend beginning with Friday night's tussle with Northeastern State. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
 
"We need to find our rhythm and find our confidence," MSU coach Doug Elder said. "This is a great chance to see a battle between two teams battling for a playoff spot. This will be a physical match between teams moving the ball up and down the field."
 
A win over Northeastern State is crucial for the Mustangs, who are battling the RiverHawks and Texas A&M International for the second and final spot in next month's South Central Regionals.
 
The RiverHawks (7-1-2) dropped from No. 15 to out of the NSCAA Division II Top 25 after suffering through a tough home stretch last weekend in Tahlequah.
 
Incarnate Word's Abraham Campos took advantage of strong winds to float in a shot from 40 yards out and the Cardinals made it stand up for a 1-0 Friday night at the NSU Soccer Field which was the first defeat on the RiverHawks' ledger this fall.
 
Northeastern State then battled St. Edward's (Texas) to a 2-2 draw Sunday afternoon.
 
"They play pretty direct and have a quite a few guys back from last year," Elder said. "They are defensively sound and are creative and dangerous up front with good finishers. They are playing with a lot of confidence."
 
The RiverHawks are led by senior forward Andre Hernandez with five goals and one assists, while freshman forward Juan Peralta adds four goals. Freshman midfielder Josue Morales and sophomore midfielder Juan Gonzalez are NSU's top playmakers with three assists each.
 
Northeastern State scores 2.30 goals per season and allows 0.80 goals per season.
 
Midwestern State is looking to rebound from dropping consecutive matches for the first time since 2005 as the Mustangs fell to Eastern New Mexico and West Texas A&M last weekend.
 
"We're better than what we've played and that's the good news," Elder said.
 
MSU had allowed two goals in eight matches heading into last weekend, and then allowed five in two games.
 
The Mustangs are led by senior midfielder Chris Dwyer with six goals, while senior center back Ryan Spence adds four goals and sophomore forward VcMor Eligwe has three goals and three assists.
 
Fourteen different players have tallied goals for MSU which averages 2.70 per contest while allowing 0.70.
 
Midwestern State completes its weekend homestand with a game against Newman (Kan.) Sunday afternoon at the MSU Soccer Field.