Midwestern State struggled on the attack against a hot swinging Northwestern Oklahoma State squad Tuesday night at Percefull Fieldhouse.
The Rangers hit .204 while sending MSU to its fifth consecutive road loss in straight sets -- 25-16, 25-14, 28-26.
The Mustangs (5-10) travel to face Lubbock Christian Friday night before returning to D.L. Ligon Coliseum to take on Lone Star Conference foe Texas A&M-Kingsville Saturday at 2 p.m.
NWOSU junior outside hitter Ashanti Banks put down 14 kills while sophomore middle blocker Elisa Bentsen and sophomore outside hitter Asia Pipkin pitched in seven kills each.
Behind junior setter Suka Tufao's all-around performance, the Rangers blitzed the Mustangs to hitting percentage of .241 and .379 to take the opening two sets.
The Long Beach, Calif. native -- one of seven Californians on the NWOSU roster -- dished out 27 set assists to go along with seven kills, seven digs and five service aces to provide a spark for the Rangers, who improve to 9-4 on the season.
MSU junior outside hitter Hunter Porter came alive in the third set putting down five of her team-high seven kills as the Mustangs fought off three match points before falling 28-26.
Redshirt-freshman middle blocker Angel Summers pitched in six kills and three total blocks, while sophomore Sarah Garfield added five kills and two solo blocks as MSU committed a total of 23 team attack errors.
Sophomore setter Sarah Rosinke completed her fourth double-double of the season with 21 set assists and 10 digs, while senior libero Casey Fletcher paced the back row with 13 digs.
Midwestern State senior Derek Oland and the rest of the Mustangs struggled Tuesday in the final round of the Western New Mexico Intercollegiate, with the team finishing 14th in the 19 team field.
The Mustangs totaled a 302 in the final round.
"We struggled today, from top to bottom," said MSU Coach Jeff Ray. "But a season isn't made by one tournament. We just need to bounce back and play better."
Oland, the senior from McKinney, Texas/Boyd, carded a 5-over-par 77 in the final round at the par 72, 7102-yard Black Course of The Golf Club of Estrella. He finished in a tie for 22nd at 2-over 218.
"Derek struggled on the greens today, just couldn't get the ball to drop," Ray said. "He also got off the fairway into the native areas twice and it cost him a double-bogey."
A bright spot for MSU was the play of junior Brandon Banks of Irving, Texas/Ranchview. Banks fired a 1-over-73, his second of the tournament. He finished at 7-over 223.
"Jared gave us a great score from a guy carrying the five bag," said Ray. "I'm proud he stepped up for us."
Sophomore Thomas Smith of Stoke-on-Trent, England posted a 77 in the final round for a 230, while sophomore Jared Baker of Holliday, Texas added a 75 for a 231.
Freshman Will Mullins of Mansfield, Texas/Legacy, suffered an injury to his hand during play on Tuesday that forced him to withdraw for the final round.
South Mountain Community College (Ariz.) won the event with a team score of 8-under 856, while Chico State (Calif.) was second at 3-under 861 and Cameron third at 1-over 865.
Individually, Colorado Christian's Matthew Goddard and Chico State's Justin Wiles tied at 8-under 208.
"We'll be okay," said Ray. "We just have to refocus and get to work."
The Mustangs will be in action again in two weeks at The Territory Classic in Duncan, Okla., Oct. 13-14.
Midwestern State maintained its No. 18 ranking in the National Soccer Coaches' Association Division II Top 25 released Tuesday afternoon.
The Mustangs rolled to a 3-0 win over Texas A&M International on Friday before battling St. Edward's to a 1-1 draw despite being a man down over the final 30 minutes of the match on Sunday.
The tie snapped MSU's six-game winning streak as the team moved to 6-1-1 on the season.
Midwestern is one of our teams from the South Central Region to receive mention in the poll joining No. 8 Regis (Colo.), No. 12 Metropolitan State (Colo.) and No. 23 St. Edward's.
Southern New Hampshire maintained the No. 1 ranking followed by Charleston (W. Va.), Saginaw Valley (Mich.), Saint Leo (Fla.) and Southern Connecticut State to round out the first five.
The Mustangs hit the road to take on Texas-Permian Basin Thursday night in Odessa. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Midwestern State received votes in the National Soccer Coaches' Association of America Division II Top 25 released Tuesday afternoon.
The Mustangs, who are unbeaten through nine matches for the second time in program history and for the first time since the 2009 squad ran out to a 9-0-2 start, last received votes at the end of the 2011 regular season.
Midwestern (5-0-4) is coming off of a solid weekend battling then-No. 11-ranked Angelo State to a scoreless draw on Friday before coming away with a 1-0 win over defending region champion St. Edward's Sunday in Austin.
MSU is one of four teams from the South Central Region to receive mention in the poll joining No. 4 Colorado Mines, No. 10 Angelo State and No. 19 Metropolitan State (Colo.).
The Mustangs return home to take on Lone Star Conference foes Texas Woman's Friday at 7 p.m. and Texas A&M-Commerce Sunday at 1.
Midwestern State remained fourth in the latest South Central Regional rankings as released Tuesday afternoon by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association.
The Mustangs, who were idle last weekend, compete in the Metro State Pre-Regional 6K meet Saturday in Denver.
West Texas A&M leaped over Colorado Mines to the No. 6 spot to provide the only change in the ranking.
Adams State (Colo.) stayed on top followed by Western State Colorado, Metro State (Colo.), MSU, Colorado-Colorado Springs, WT, Colorado Mines, Dallas Baptist, Colorado Mesa and Eastern New Mexico.