Midwestern State used a balanced attack to rout Eastern New Mexico 25-21, 25-15, 25-15 in Lone Star Conference play Friday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
The Mustangs delivered their second-best attack night of the season as six different players put down at least four kills to finish with a team attack percentage of .234. It's just the fourth time this season MSU has hit .200 or better.
Junior outside hitter Hunter Porter notched a team-high seven kills, but junior Nicole Marzik and redshirt-freshman Angel Summers pitched six kills of their own.
Sophomore setter Sarah Rosinke dumped five more kills and notched 23 set assists while masterfully directing the MSU attack.
Sophomore Sarah Garfield added four kills while leading the Mustangs' strong play at the net with five total blocks. Freshman Addison Semer pitched in four kills and four total blocks as MSU notched eight total team blocks.
Midwestern took control of the opening set by claiming four of the last five points of the stanza keyed by consecutive ENMU ball handling errors and a service error to give the Mustangs the early advantage.
MSU raced out to a 21-10 lead in the second set while blitzing the ball at a .448 clip with 14 total kills with one attack error in 29 attempts.
The Mustangs broke open the third set with a 6-1 run keyed by senior libero Casey Fletcher's serving spree fueled three consecutive attack errors by the Zias.
Sophomore Madelyn Johnson led back row play with 13 digs, while Marzik added 12.
Midwestern State takes on West Texas A&M Saturday afternoon at D.L. Ligon Coliseum. First serve is set for 2 p.m.
Midwestern State struck for two second-half goals to close out its first Lone Star Conference victory by a 3-1 margin over Eastern New Mexico Friday night at the ENMU Soccer field.
"It was nice to get the first win. That's for sure," MSU coach Damian Clarke said. "We're bad in the first half, but we were excellent in the second half. Our two midfielders were doing a great job of dominating their three."
Junior Morgan Hannon and sophomore Aly Wade proved key to turning the tide in the second, but it was senior midfielder Katy Catney who allowed the Mustangs to be in the conversation following a tough first half.
The Wichita Falls Rider product drew a penalty in the 15th minute, but banged the PK off of ENMU goalkeeper Fabienne Wilson before collected the rebound and knocking it in for the early advantage.
"Katy stayed brave in the box and did a good job of drawing a penalty in the first half," Clarke said. "From that time forward, we got pounded. They kept us in our half and we didn't play well to get it out. I was happy to get out of the first half with a draw. It could have been 2-1, 3-1 easily."
Eastern New Mexico, which owned a 13-4 shot edge at the intermission, was only able to cash in on a miscleared corner kick serve in the 30th minute which was knocked in for the equalizer by Jenna Sievers.
Then the tide turned in the second half as sophomore Lizzie Navarette steadied the defense by shifting to left back.
"She did a very, very good job of giving us a platform to pass the ball and find our rhythm," Clarke said. "Katy (Catney) also did a great job of playing well defensively and getting into the offensive third."
The foundation allowed the strikers to shine in the second half.
Freshman Destinee Williamson worked the ball to the end line in the 75th minute before sending a cross through the box to sophomore Alyssa Parkhill, who buried the shot for her third goal of the season.
"We are finally recognizing when we got to those spots and put more attackers in the box, we're going to cause problems," Clarke said. "Parky and Destinee were brave in the attacking third to allow us to gain control in the second half."
Catney collected a loose pass in the 85th minute and served a pass to Williamson for her team-best sixth goal to put the game away.
Midwestern State (6-1-5, 1-1-2) takes on rival West Texas A&M Sunday afternoon in Canyon. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.
Eastern New Mexico fell to 5-5 and 2-2.
Midwestern State juniors Kayla Casey and Kyle Davidson had another tough day, as both lost in the singles consolation bracket of the USTA/ITA Small College National Championships on Friday.
Casey, a junior from Franklin, Texas, lost to third seeded Christina Zentai of Southwest Baptist (Mo.) 6-4, 6-1.
Davidson, a junior from Garland, Texas/Naaman Forest, fell to Benedikt Eger of Azuza Pacific (Calif.) 6-2, 6-3.
"They are getting great experience playing against the best small college players in the country," said MSU Coach Scott Linn.
"Kayla was up most of the first set," Linn explained. "(Zentai) just played more consistently today and that was the difference."
"Kyle started playing better in the second set, moving forward more," said Linn. "He started playing more consistent from the baseline as well. Our goal is to build on that for Saturday's match."
Both Casey and Davidson will play for seventh place in singles at the event, that are scheduled for 9:30 Saturday morning Central time.
Casey faces Kiefer Shaw of California (Pa.) in the women's singles contest.