MSU Clinches Tournament Berth Despite Loss

Midwestern State battled Abilene Christian tightly over the opening two sets before succumbing 30-28, 25-22, 25-18 to the Wildcats in Lone Star Conference play Thursday night at Moody Coliseum in Abilene.
Despite the loss, the Mustangs clinched a berth in next week's Lone Star Conference Championships for the fifth consecutive season.
MSU goes in as the No. 7 seed with a win Saturday at Angelo State or with a loss and a Tarleton State victory at Incarnate Word. The Mustangs gain the No. 8 seed with a loss and an Incarnate Word win over Tarleton State.
The postseason tournament begins next Thursday at the West Texas A&M Events Center in Canyon.
Midwestern and ACU went blow-for-blow in an opening set which featured 13 ties and three lead changes, but the Mustangs were unable to close out three set points wasting Hillary White's hot start.
The senior outside hitter put down six of her team-high 10 kills while leading MSU to a .255 team hitting percentage in the first stanza.
White finished the night by notching her 10th double-double of the season while adding 12 digs to go along with two solo blocks.
The teams scrapped through 17 ties in eight lead changes in the second frame, but the Mustangs couldn't overcome a stellar performance by ACU senior outside hitter Jennie Hutt.
Hutt put down seven of her match-high 17 kills in the second set as ACU claimed four for the final five points to take a commanding 2-0 lead.
MSU junior Shelbi Stewart enjoyed a flawless match putting down nine kills without error for a .474 hitting percentage, while sophomore middle blocker Caitlin Wallace added seven skills and four blocks.
Senior libero Kiara Jordan led back row efforts with 16 digs, while sophomore Brandi Flores pitched in 10.
Midwestern State fell to 15-14 on the season and to 7-12 in the LSC, while ACU upped its marks to 19-12 and 13-6.

See the Mustangs, Help the Food Bank!

The Midwestern State athletic department, in cooperation with the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank, have made it easier to help stock the pantry and the stands on Saturday.
In addition to being Military Appreciation Day when the No. 5 Mustangs take on No. 20 West Texas A&M, it's also the Mustangs Holiday Food Drive.  Fans can purchase a general admission ticket to the game for just $3 with a donation of three canned food items.  It's a savings of more than 50 percent from the regular general admission price of $8.  Kickoff is at 2 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.
"We want to challenge our fans to donate at least 740 pounds of canned food for the game," said MSU Assistant Athletic Director Bill Powers.  "That would equal a pound of food for every yard of total offense the Mustangs gained in the record-setting Homecoming win over Abilene Christian."
The reduced rate tickets are only available on Saturday at the specially marked table near the West entrance.
The Wichita Falls Area Food Bank is one of the original Mustangs Care! Partners and has been helped MSU Athletics with the annual Holiday Food Drive for more than a decade.