MSU Roundup: Football & Cross Country Shine

Pony Express, defense delivers first outright LSC title in win over WT

Harlon Hill candidate Brandon Kelsey rushed for three touchdowns lead 5th-ranked Midwestern State to a 35-21 win over No. 20 West Texas A&M Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.

With the win, the Mustangs clinched their first outright Lone Star Conference championship while improving to 9-0 on the season and completing a perfect 8-0 run through the league slate.

Kelsey paced the nation's top-ranked offense to 475 yards as MSU dominated time of possession by a 41:21-to-18:39 margin.

But it was all about defensive effort. MSU limited the Buffs to 200 yards under their season average at 267 total yards led by senior defensive end Kevin Birdow, who made five tackles including two sacks with three quarterback hurries.

The Mustangs' defense found ways with 12 pass breakups, seven quarterback hurries and two sacks to derail West Texas A&M quarterback Dustin Vaughn, who finished the game with 252 yards on 20-of-45 passing.

The Mustangs jumped out to a 21-7 halftime on the strength of three rushing scores with one each from Kelsey, Lester Bush and Keidrick Jackson.

Kelsey and Jackson paced the MSU ground attack with 110 and 104 yards respectively as the Mustangs churned out 298 yards on the ground.

West Texas A&M clawed back to within a touchdown on two occasions in the second half - with both scores coming on 1-yard runs by Tommy Hampton and Khiry Robinson.

But Kelsey put the game away with a 26-yard burst to pay dirt down the left sidelines with just 76 seconds to play.

West Texas A&M's Taylor McCuller paced the Buffs defensive effort with 18 tackles and two forced fumbles while Jordan Smith and Kevin McCluskey added 13 and 10 stops apiece.

WT, who slipped to 6-3 on the season and 5-2 in LSC play, close the regular season against Texas A&M-Commerce next Saturday in Canyon.

The Mustangs can complete the first perfect season in school history with a win at Northeastern State next Saturday in Tahlequah.

Midwestern State claimed its first NCAA Division II South Central championship edging Pittsburg State Saturday morning at the Hawk Ridge Golf Course.

CROSS COUNTRY: Mustangs claim South Central Region title, Montalvo takes third

"This was one of the goals we set out early in the year," MSU coach Koby Styles said. "The girls were ready to go and you can't say enough about this great group of girls."

Senior Brissia Montalvo claimed a third-place finish with a 6K time of 21:49.30 as the Mustangs placed four runners in the Top 25 including freshman Ashley Flores (20th/22:36.00), Janel Campbell (21st/22:38.00) and Kim Krezonoski (25th/22:41.90).

The Mustangs will join Pittsburg State as teams advancing out of the region to the NCAA Division II Championships on Nov. 19 at Plantes Ferry Athletic Complex in Spokane, Wash.

Midwestern State will be making its third appearance in the NCAA Division II Championships also advancing to the final race in 2008 and 2010.

MSU edged the Gorillas by a 102-118 count as PSU was led by Melissa Peden, who finished fifth with a time of 21:56.10.

Abilene Christian's Chloe Susset claimed the individual championship with a time of 21:37.90 and will join individuals Marlee Tegenkamp of Missouri Southern (21:45.60) and teammate Alyse Goldsmith, who finished fourth with a time of 21:50.70.

The top two finishing teams and top two individuals not associated with nationally qualifying teams or all top-five placing runners advance to the national meet.

The Top 25 individual earn United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association All-South Central Region honors.

VOLLEYBALL: #16 Angelo State too much for Mustangs

Angelo State's one-two combination of Chelsea Gibson and Kaelen Valdez proved devastating for Midwestern State as the Mustangs dropped their sixth consecutive match 25-21, 25-12, 25-16 Saturday afternoon at Stephens Arena.

But MSU (15-15, 7-13) will get another shot the Rambelles Thursday afternoon in the opening round of the Lone Star Conference Championship to be played at the West Texas A&M Event Center in Canyon.

The Mustangs got the help they needed to advance to their fifth consecutive postseason appearance thanks to Tarleton State's 3-1 win over Incarnate Word later in the afternoon.

MSU will have a large task to master as Gibson put down 13 kills without an error in 26 attempts, while Valdez made 12 kills and was forced into a single miscue to lead Angelo State to a solid .283 team attack percentage.

Midwestern's Shelbi Stewart's hot start allowed the Mustangs to battle the 'Belles to a tight result in the opening. The junior Pflugerville put down seven of her team-high 10 kills in the first frame, but Angelo State used its defense to force MSU into seven errors to pull away in the opening stanza.

Valdez, who completed a double-double with 20 digs, and libero Shelby Witt added 16 digs of her own complimented a strong 'Belle net game which produced 12 total blocks paced by Maddie Huth's five-block performance.

Midwestern senior libero Kiara Jordan paced the Mustangs' back row efforts with 22 digs and sophomore Brandi Flores added 12 while Stewart and freshman Katie Bertling notched three blocks each.

Angelo State closes the regular season with a 28-4 record including a 17-3 league mark.