Marissa Olivares and Beatriz Villalba combined for 30 kills to help Midwestern State stave off Texas A&M-Commerce 25-17, 25-22, 18-25, 19-25, 15-9 Thursday night at the A&M-Commerce Fieldhouse.
The Mustangs, who have six of their last nine matches, improved to 13-10 on the season and to 5-8 in Lone Star Conference play.
Olivares, a sophomore from Sachse, got the Mustangs off to a hot start putting down 12 of her season-high 16 kills in the opening two sets, and then Villalba finished off the Lions with four kills in six attempts in the final set including one on match point. The senior from Safford, Ariz. also finished with a season-high 14 kills to go along with five digs.
Olivares continued her all-around excellence completing her third double-double in the last four matches with 11 digs while also notching four service aces.
Freshman setter Sarah Rosinke paced a hot-swinging MSU attack with 40 assists as the Mustangs finished with a .236 team hitting percentage.
Senior outside hitter Marija Jovanovic pitched 11 kills to go along with 11 assists and three total blocks, while senior middle blocker Caitlin Wallace needed just 20 attacks to put down 10 kills to go along with a team-high six blocks.
Redshirt-freshman libero Madelyn Johnson had 19 digs to lead the back row effort, while junior Casey Fletcher added 11.
Breanne Snyder had 14 kills and Kayla Bond added 10 kills and was in on six of the Lions' 13.0 total team blocks as the Lions dropped to 17-7 on the season and 5-6 in league play.
Midwestern State takes on Texas Woman's Saturday afternoon at Kitty Magee Arena in Denton. First serve is set for 2 p.m.
No. 10 Midwestern State got a taste of Big 12 and learned one thing -- Texas was bigger.
The Longhorns used their size advantage to dominate the glass on their way to a 119-75 win in exhibition play Thursday night at the Erwin Center.
"The key tonight was rebounding. They used their size very well," MSU coach Noel Johnson said. "We wanted to make adjustments and try some things out on our end. We didn't do a good job of defending the 3-point line. Credit goes to Texas. They are a good program."
Texas controlled a 54-19 edge on the glass resulting in 54 points in the paint and a 23-1 advantage in second-chance points while shooting a sizzling 59.4 percent from the field.
Senior 6-2 forward GiGi Mazionyte finished with a double-double at 17 points and 14 rebounds to lead to lead a parade of bigs for the Longhorns. Nneka Enemkpali, a 6-1 junior forward, added 18 points and six boards while 6-7 sophomore Imani McGee-Stafford had 15 points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots and 6-5 freshman Kelsey Lang pitched in six points and six rebounds in 14 minutes.
Meanwhile senior guard Chassidy Fussell connected on four of UT's 10 treys on her way to a game-high 24 points as the Longhorns scored the first 12 points of the game and led by as many as 30 points in the opening half.
But there were also plenty of positives for the Mustangs.
Senior forward Andrea Carter knocked down 9-of-10 free throws to finish with a team-high 15 points, while junior forward Taylor Dowd tallied 10 of her 11 points before intermission.
"Taylor had a great game and I'm proud of the way we played," Johnson said. "AC just has a spine of stone and was able to draw a lot of fouls on some bigger girls."
Senior Kirsti Degelia added 10 points while going 8-for-8 from the charity stripe, while junior Shatoia Gober booked 10 points with a team-best seven rebounds
Junior Lisa Hampton knocked down a pair of 3-pointers to finish with six points.
"I'm proud of the kids when we had adversity," Johnson said. "We're finding ourselves again and discovering our identity."
Each of the 11 players that took the floor scored in the opening half of a game which featured 63 fouls and 85 free throws.
Midwestern State opens the regular season next weekend at that Adams State Conference Challenge in Alamosa. The Mustangs battle Colorado State-Pueblo Friday afternoon at 5 p.m. before facing host Adams State Saturday night at 7.
Midwestern State's Derek Oland garnered Lone Star Conference Golfer of the Week honors after claiming the individual championship at The Classic at The Tribute earlier this week in The Colony.
The junior from McKinney set a new school 36-hole record in winning the tournament with a 13-under 131 taking the individual title by five strokes.
Oland toured the par-72, 6,535-yard course with a 7-under 65 in the first round and then followed it with a 6-under 66 in the final round.
His total of 131 bettered the program's previous 36-hole record of 135 by four strokes and the 13-under mark shattered the previous mark of 8-under through 36 by five strokes.
Oland finished the fall slate with a stroke average of 70.80 with seven of his 10 rounds of par or better and four rounds in the 60s.
Midwestern State opens the spring campaign at the San Antonio Shootout hosted at the TPC San Antonio-AT&T Canyons Course on Feb. 17-18, 2014.
Midwestern State's Kallie Essary and Emily Saville were named to the Capital One Academic All-District 6 team as released by the Collegiate Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Thursday afternoon.
Essary carries a 3.61 grade-point average majoring in interdisciplinary studies/Math (4-8), while Saville sports the same GPA as a Biology major.
Both seniors have played key roles in helping the Mustangs to an 11-4-1 mark this season.
Essary, a 5-4 goalkeeper from Carrollton, ranks among national leaders with a 0.62 goals against average this season and stands one shutout shy of matching a single season program record with seven.
She has posted a .867 save percentage while starting each of MSU's 16 matches this season.
Essary garnered LSC Commissioner's Honor Roll status in each of her previous three seasons at MSU.
Saville, a 5-7 forward from Fort Worth, tallied two goals and dished out three assists in 16 games and eight starts for the Mustangs this season.
She earned LSC Offensive Player of the Week after recording a goal and an assist in a 2-0 win Sunday at Eastern New Mexico.
Saville was also named to the LSC Commissioner's Honor Roll in each of her three collegiate seasons.
Essary and Saville move on to the Academic All America ballot.
To be eligible for the Capital One Academic All-America program, student athletes must achieve a GPA of 3.30 or greater, reach sophomore status academically and athletically and attain second-year status at their current institution. Nomination, voting and administration of the program are the responsibility of the Collegiate Sports Information Directors of America.