MSU Announces Fall Signings for Multiple Sports

MSU Sports
MSU Sports

Women's Basketball: Mustangs Add Four for 2015-16

Midwestern State coach Noel Johnson announced the signing of four prep standouts to National Letters of Intent Friday afternoon.

Elizabeth Cathcart (Spring Branch, Texas/Smithson Valley High), Alyssa Jones (Oklahoma City, Southmoore High), Courtney Kerr (Paradise, Texas/Paradise High) and McKenna Villegas (Port Lavaca, Texas/Calhoun High) all inked during the early signing period in November.

"I'm really excited about this signing class," Johnson said. "Each brings a different strength to the team which we are extremely happy to have. We look forward to the next four years as these girls help bring the program to another level."

Cathcart, a 5-10 combo forward, is a two-time unanimous first-team all-district performer who led the Rangers to the UIL Texas state playoffs for the first time in school history as a sophomore in 2012-13.

She boasted averages of 14 points and 7.6 rebounds a game as a junior after putting up 10.3 points and 6.7 rebounds as a sophomore.

"We are really excited about Liz and what she will bring to the team," Johnson said. "Her love and ability for the game is outstanding. She has a high IQ with the ability to score both inside and out."

Jones, a 5-9 point guard, earned all-conference honors in each of her two seasons at Tuttle (Okla.) High as a freshman and sophomore also receiving All-City and All-State mention before transferring to Southmoore High where she was ranked among Oklahoma's Top 100 by Vype Magazine.

She boasts prep single-game highs of 29 points and 19 assists.

"Alyssa has really good handles with the ability to score," Johnson said. "She's a floor general with the ball in her hands. She has the ability to make things happen, can drive and has a great midrange game. She's going to bring some size to the point guard position."

Kerr, a 5-8 shooting guard, is a two-time All-District 9-2A selection earning the league's Defensive MVP honors as a sophomore. She also gained honorable mention following her freshman season.

She averaged 10.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 4.5 steals per game while leading the Lady Panthers to the state playoffs for the third straight season in 2013-14.

"Courtney is a scorer with a very good work ethic," Johnson said. "She's a girl from a small town who has had to do it all. Her motor and how hard she works is going to be the thing that allows her to lift our team early in her career."

Villegas, a 5-11 forward, played a key role in leading Calhoun High to the state playoff for the first time in two decades while earning District 30-4A Newcomer of the Year honors as a freshman in 2011-12.

She earned second-team all-district mention as a sophomore before claiming first-team accolades as a junior averaging 13.7 points and 7.9 rebounds a game while leading the Sandcrabs to the postseason for a second time.

"McKenna is a multi-dimensional forward," Johnson said. "She has range with her shot. She's also very crafty with the ball, really strong and can shoot the 3. McKenna's a hard-nosed player who doesn't mind doing the dirty work."

Midwestern State matched the best start in program history through eight games by improving to 7-1 last week against Arkansas-Fort Smith. The Mustangs advanced to the NCAA Division II South Central Regionals in each of the last two seasons reaching the finals in 2012-13.

Softball: Mordecai, Muniz Sign with Mustangs

Taylor Mordecai and Misty Muniz inked National Letters of Intent to play softball at Midwestern State as announced Friday by coach Brady Tigert.

"Taylor and Misty are both very quiet, but both will be hidden jewels," Tigert said. "Each possesses the ability to make great contributions to MSU softball."

Mordecai, 5-10 third baseman, is a two-time all-district first-team selection earning Colin Street Bakery/Texas Sportswriters' Association honorable mention all-state mention as a sophomore in 2013.

She helped her Midway High squad to three consecutive playoff appearances advancing to the state semifinals as a freshman.

"Taylor is a very, very strong girl," Tigert said. "I look for her to supply a big bat for us. I'm really excited to have her at MSU. I believe she is very athletic for her size."

Muniz, a 5-5 utility player, has played a role in leading League City Clear Falls High to the state playoffs in each of her last three seasons as the Knights advanced to the area round in each season reaching the regional quarterfinals in 2012.

She earned All-District 24-5A second team honors as a freshman and sophomore before gaining honorable mention last season.

"Misty is very athletic with a lot of power," Tigert said. "With her swing, I believe she will be another big bat for us. I believe she's got a lot of hidden talent that hasn't been used yet."

Midwestern State made its ninth NCAA Division II postseason appearance last season advancing to the South Central Region finals before falling to eventual national champion West Texas A&M.

Volleyball Adds Seven, Including Rider Pair

Seven prep standouts signed National Letters of Intent to play volleyball at Midwestern State as announced Friday afternoon.

The signees which include Kiley Beaver (Wichita Falls/Rider HS), Hayden Blair (McKinney, Texas/McKinney HS), Kendall Chamberlain (Wichita Falls/Rider HS), Mattison Dix (Bushland, Texas/Bushland HS), Ellie Gunderson (Round Rock, Texas/Cedar Ridge HS), Kelsey Purcell (Alvin, Texas/Alvin HS) and Olivia Schiffner (Edmond, Okla./Memorial HS).

Beaver, a 5-10 middle blocker, was a two-time District 5-5A Blocker of the Year while helping Rider High to four consecutive playoff appearances including area finalist showings in each of the last two seasons.

She garnered all-district honorable mention as a freshman and sophomore and was a four-time academic all-district performer.

Beaver, a member of the National Honor Society, competed on the club level for TVC (2009-10), CCVA (2011) and ZIVA (2012-13).

Blair, 5-9 setter/right-side hitter, earned All-District 10-5A honors as a senior leading the Lionettes to the state playoffs for the second consecutive season reaching the area round.

Blair registered 918 assists and 276 digs as a senior. She played her club ball for Club Legacy (2010, 2013-14), Blackhawks (2012) and The Royal Tigers (2011).

She garnered academic all-district honors as a sophomore and is a member of the National Honor Society.

Chamberlain, a 5-10 setter, proved her versatility during her prep career at Rider High School earning Setter of the Year honors as a senior after gaining Utility Player of the Year as a junior. She also earned All-District 5-5A first-team honors during her first season on varsity as a sophomore.

Chamberlain amassed 668 kills, 578 digs, 116 total blocks and 78 service aces during her career while logging 737 set assists during her final two seasons with the Lady Raiders.

A member of the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta and a Gold Star Student Award recipient, she competed on the club level for TVC (2008-12), ZIVA (2012-14) and CCVA (2014-15).

Dix, a 5-4 defensive specialist, is a two-sport standout at Bushland High where she has garnered honors in both volleyball and softball.

A two-time first-team All-District 1-4A performer, she helped the Lady Falcons to a Class 4A state championship as a junior in 2013 as BHS reached the regional finals in each of her three seasons of varsity play.

Dix registered 503 digs during her senior campaign last fall, but also enjoyed success on the softball diamond where Collin Street Baker Texas Sportswriters' Association second-team all-state selection as a junior in 2014 while also gaining district defensive player of the year honors.

Gunderson, a 5-8 setter, was a two-year letter winner at Round Rock Cedar Ridge High, but gained notoriety competing on the club level with the Austin Juniors and Eclipse Volleyball Club.

Her teams finished 11th in the 2013 Girls National Volleyball Championships and won at the state and regional levels.

Gunderson was named among the AAU's Best Volleyball Players in 2014.

Purcell, a 5-10 outside hitter, enjoyed a standout prep career at Alvin High where she earned four letters for the Yellowjackets.

The two-time first-team all-district performer garnered Collin Street Bakery Texas Sportswriters' Association all-state honorable mention as a junior leading AHS to the regional semifinals.

Purcell, who competed on the club level for GCVA (2009-13) and HSVC (2014-15), finished her career with 850 kills, 523 digs and 132 total blocks.

She is a member of the National Honor Society and an AP Ambassador at Alvin High.

Schiffner, a 6-foot middle blocker/opposite hitter, led Edmond Memorial High to a pair of Oklahoma Class 6A state runner-up finishes in 2012 and 2014.

She earned all-state honors as a senior earning player of the week and player of the month honors from The Oklahoman.

Schiffner also enjoyed success on the club level helping her Oklahoma Peak Performance squad to a fifth in the nation showing in 2011 before taking third in 2014.

She is a member of the National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society.

The deep signing class bolsters a Midwestern State squad which finished with a 9-20 mark in 2014.

Three Sign with MSU Golf for Next Season

Midwestern State coach Jeff Ray announced the signing of three standout student-athletes to National Letters of Intent Friday afternoon.

Clayton Meyers and Chance Craig - both out of Llano High School - join the men's program while Panisara "May" Chimsuti of Muang, Thailand bolsters the women's team.

Meyers and Craig carried Llano to a fourth-place showing at the UIL Texas State Class 3A golf tournament last spring.

"Clayton and Chance have a lot in common," Ray said. "They both have great work ethic, talent and are coachable. They have also proven they can shoot low scores against great competition. I expect both to step in and compete for a top five position their freshman year."

Meyers earned Player of the Year honors on the West Texas Junior Golf Tour (WTJGT) with a stroke average of 71.6.

"Clayton loves the game of golf and I really like his demeanor on the course," Ray said. "He is very consistent and has the ability to shoot in the 60s."

Craig claimed individual District 7-4A championships as a sophomore and junior while improving his stroke average throughout his prep career from a 76 as a freshman to 74.5 as a sophomore to 73.5 last season.

"Chance has won several (West Texas) PGA and (South Texas) PGA events," Ray said. "He shot 67 and 69 to tie for second this fall in a great tournament and a great field at the Cleburne Invitational. Chance, like Clayton, has the qualities I look for in a golfer."

Chimsuti was selected to compete in the Thailand National Games in each of the last three years.

"May has been very successful in junior golf," Ray said. "She participated in three Hurricane junior tournaments in April and placed second, third and tied for seventh. Once she gets the opportunity to play everyday with instruction, she will get even better. I am very excited she is coming to MSU and will fit in great with the group of girls returning."

Midwestern State advanced to NCAA Division II postseason play in each of the last five seasons on the men's side and in each of the last three years for the women.