MSU Volleyball Rallies for 5-Set Win

Midwestern State struggled mightily on the attack in the opening two sets Thursday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum as fell behind 2-0 to Incarnate Word.
That's when junior outside hitter Shelbi Stewart and senior middle blocker Miranda Byrd asserted their will and combined for 27 kills to lift MSU to a 22-25, 21-25, 25-18, 25-21, 16-14 come-from-behind Lone Star Conference win.
"We did a good job of keeping our composure when we were down," MSU coach Venera Flores-Stafford said. "This is a very tough defense and I am proud of how the girls stuck with it."
Stewart put down a career-best 21 kills while committing just three errors for a .450. It was her ninth double-figure kill performance over her last 15 matches.
"That's what we expect from her," Flores-Stafford said. "She has the ability to do that match in and match out."
The Mustangs battled back from a 10-6 deficit in the fifth set with their starring duo combining for seven kills in the decisive frame.
Byrd notched a season-high with 19 kills and has delivered 10-or-more kills in six of her last seven outings.
Incarnate Word frustrated the Mustangs into 18 attack errors and a team hitting percentage of .048 in the opening two sets as junior libero Lydia Werchan led the way with 28 digs.
But the Mustangs never totally solved UIW defensive play, but thanks to the efforts of Stewart and Byrd MSU hit .209 as a team the rest of the way.
MSU's Kiara Jordan paced a stout MSU back line effort that limited the Cardinals to a .126 hitting percentage. The senior libero delivered her third career 40-dig performance while senior outside hitter Hillary White added 21 digs to go along with eight kills.
Sophomore Brandi Flores pitched in 13 digs while freshman setter Kristan Aduddell completed a double-double with 31 set assists and 10 digs.
Midwestern State (14-9, 5-8) continues the homestand Saturday afternoon against Texas A&M-Kingsville. First serve is set for 2 p.m. at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
Incarnate Word fell to 10-13 on the season and to 6-9 in league play.

#12 Mustang Men's Soccer Set for Rival UIW

No. 12 Midwestern State puts its 38-match home unbeaten streak on the Friday night against rival and No. 4-ranked Incarnate Word at the MSU Soccer Field.
"I've told the guys that we control our own destiny," MSU coach Doug Elder said. "I feel we have to win out to make the postseason. And (Incarnate Word) is the type of team you have to beat on your home field if you are a playoff team."
Friday marks the beginning of a five-match stretch which features four games at the MSU Soccer Field.
MSU closes the weekend against St. Edward's on Sunday before battling Northeastern State in its last road match next Friday.
The Mustangs then close the season with a pair of LSC match-ups at home against Eastern New Mexico and West Texas A&M.
Incarnate Word brings in an 11-match unbeaten streak into Friday's contest after dropping a 2-1 season opening decision to Colorado Mines.
"They have been playing at a high level and have definitely shown they are the best team in our region," Elder said. "But I think our guys will be ready to play."
The Cardinals defeated Midwestern by a 1-0 margin on the strength of a Max Gunderson goal back on Sep. 16 at Benson Stadium.
UIW averages 2.50 goals per game while permitting 0.75 goals per contest.
Senior midfielder Callum Riley leads the Cardinals with seven goals while junior forward Carlos Picardo and junior midfielder Julien Brown Lathem add 6 and 5 goals, respectively.
Senior goalkeeper Chris Fidler has allowed seven goals in 11 matches this season and recorded six shutouts.
Midwestern State also scores 2.50 goals per game while permitting an LSC low 0.67. The Mustangs have posted seven clean sheets.
Senior midfielder Chris Dwyer paces the MSU attack with seven goals, while junior forward David Freeland and senior center back Ryan Spence add four goals apiece.
Senior goalkeeper Michael Wood has allowed eight goals in 12 matches this season and posted four shutouts.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.