A great shakeup in the South Central Region helped Midwestern State surge ahead 11 spots to No. 5 in the latest National Soccer Coaches' Association of America/Continental Tire Division II Poll released Tuesday afternoon.
The Mustangs battled to nearly full-time in a double overtime 1-0 victory at Newman (Kan.) on Friday before bouncing Colorado State-Pueblo to remain the only team in the region with an unblemished ledger at 3-0.
West Texas A&M also moved ahead 11 spots in the poll after hitting the road for positive results over Dallas Baptist and Colorado Mines before battling Regis (Colo.) to a 2-2 draw.
The same Regis squad moved into the poll at No. 19 while former No. 1 Fort Lewis (Colo.) plummeted 21 spots to No. 22 after taking a 3-2 road loss to No. 8 Grand Canyon (Ariz.).
Colorado Mines fell out of the poll following a 4-2 loss to West Texas A&M last week.
Midwestern State puts its unbeaten record on the line in a pair of road matches this weekend. The Mustangs take on Texas A&M International Friday in Laredo before facing St. Edward's Sunday in Austin.
The Mustangs have now carried a national ranking for each of the last 69 NSCAA polls in which they were eligible including 45 weeks in the Top 10.
Midwestern State's Shelbi Stewart garnered Lone Star Conference Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors when the league officials announced weekly awards Tuesday afternoon.
The 6-0 senior outside hitter from Pflugerville garnered MVP honors at the Colorado-Colorado Springs Invitational last weekend after posting a solid all-around line of 3.92 kills and 2.58 digs per set with a .255 hitting percentage.
Stewart notched double-figure kills in each match including a 12-kill, 9-dig effort against No. 12 Wayne State (Neb.). She also posted double-doubles against Franklin Pierce (14 kills, 10 digs) and UC-Colorado Springs (10 kills, 10 digs).
Texas A&M-Commerce's Rachel Robertson recorded a pair of 20-kill efforts last week while Texas Woman's University's Viktorija Jablonska earned Crossroads Classic all-tournament honors after recording a pair of triple doubles (kills, assists, digs) to share top offensive honors with Stewart.
Top defensive honors went to Incarnate Word's Lydia Werchan (7.15 digs per set for the week), West Texas A&M's Lauren Beville (5.36 digs per set) and Tarleton State's Nikki McNorton (1.43 blocks per set).
West Texas A&M's Lacy Hayes (11.50 set assists and 4.21 digs per set) and Tarleton State's Danielle Barker shared Setter of the Week honors.
Midwestern State kicks off Lone Star Conference play with matches at Tarleton State and No. 13 Angelo State on Friday and Saturday, respectively.
Midwestern State senior Kendra Whittley fired a 1-under par 73 in the final round of the West Texas A&M Lady Buff Stampede to finish second and lead the 16th ranked Mustangs to a second place team finish on Tuesday.
Whittley added the 73 with her first round 76 for a 36-hole total of 5-over 149 to finish second individually, five strokes behind Lubbock Christian's Anna Schopp who shot a 1-under 71 on Tuesday for an even par 144 on the par 72, 5925 yard course in Amarillo.
Whittley was a stroke better than the three-way tie for sixth at 6-over 150.
The Mustangs posted a 314 for the day to remain second in the team competition with a 623. MSU gained a stroke to finish four behind team champ Lubbock Christian that won the event with a 619. Newman (Kan.) was third at 628 and Cameron brought in a 631 to place fourth after the day's best team round of 311.
Seniors Lauren Romines and Lindsay Burkhart grabbed top 20 finishes for the Mustangs. Romines placed 15th with her four-over 76 on Tuesday to finish at 157, while Burkhart was a stroke back after an 80 to tally a 158.
Sophomore Brenna Moore and senior Taylor Klutts both struggled in the final round, posting an 85 apiece. Moore finished with a 161, while Klutts had a 164.
Freshman Kynze Mann, playing as an individual, carded a 6-over 78 in the final round for a 165.
The Mustangs are in action again next week at the Angelo State Concho River Classic at the Bentwood Country Club in San Angelo.
The Midwestern State Mustangs had a hard time getting into a rhythm in the final round of the Charles Coody West Texas Intercollegiate on Tuesday.
The Mustangs posted a team score of 303 in the final round and slipped to eighth in the tournament with a final score of 591.
"We had trouble today," said MSU Golf Coach Jeff Ray. "We had trouble finding the fairways and had trouble reaching the green. We really struggled."
After firing first round 69s, both Derek Oland and Santiago Gomez dropped back in the pack. Gomez carded a 5-over 76 for a total of 3-over 145 that placed him 17th. Oland turned in a 6-over 77 for a final of 4-over 146 to finish 24th.
Both Jeremy LeGuen and Raine Copeland carded 4-over 75s in the final round to lead the Mustangs in the second round. LeGuen finished at 7-over 149, while Copeland totaled 9-over 151 for the tourney. Antonio Herran added a 78 for a two-day total of 155.
The best round of the day for Midwestern couldn't count toward the team score. Freshman Ian Gallagher, playing as an individual, fired a 2-over 73 for a two round score of 150.
Abilene Christian won the team title going away, posting a 19-under 549, 30 strokes better than second place St. Mary's at 579 with Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) at 581.
"We are a capable team, we just didn't play good golf," said Ray. "We have a chance to bounce back in two weeks."
That's when MSU plays in the Territory Classic hosted by Cameron at The Territory Golf Club in Duncan, Okla.