STANGS ON TOP! Mustangs claim second-straight LSC postseason title

Pride, faith and trust in one another resulted in a second-straight Lone Star Conference Postseason Tournament championship for Midwestern State Saturday morning at the Stretch-Henry Family Tennis Center.

And a deep base in quality tennis players certainly didn't hurt either as eight difference Mustangs recorded a win in a 5-0 result over Cameron.

"Everybody can contribute and knows they can contribute," MSU coach Scott Linn said. "We don't feel like when we pull a player out or a player gets injured or sick, we don't feel like we lose anything but you have to get them in matches."

True freshman Carrie Casey, who subbed for junior Lindsay Nochowicz, rolled to her sixth straight singles victory taking a 6-2, 6-1 win over Dejana Veljic at the No. 6 spot to put the Mustangs to within on decision of the title.

It was a decision Nochowicz didn't even blink about, but make no mistake about the fact each of MSU's 10 players have the desire to compete at any chance.

"I totally trust in coach's decisions and couldn't be happier with the win," Nochowicz said. "There isn't another team I would rather be on."

Sophomore Courtney Anderson delivered the knockout blow to the Aggies with a 6-0, 6-0 rout of Magdalena Kovinic at the No. 4 spot. The Cypress Ranch High product has been a singles ace for MSU this season logging a 15-1 mark appearing in just two doubles matches.

"It was an amazing feeling especially with everyone around me getting so close (to winning). It was a great feeling," Anderson said. "I know singles is where I am needed so I definitely fine with just playing singles."

Junior Lauren Pineda definitely plays the part of a vocal supporter for the Mustangs, but also adjusted to her role as a doubles' stalwart teaming with Nochowicz for a 14-6 record this season.

It was that tandem which got the Mustangs off to a quick start as the first match off the court rolling to an 8-1 win over Cameron's Samantha Wood and Kovinic at the No. 2 spot.

"I am such a team player and I love playing for our team. I trust that the girls are good enough to play their role," Pineda said. "I would do anything coach wanted me to do even if it was at No. 1. I would play to the best of my ability. It's ultimate trust in our teammates and not just coach that they know what they are doing out there. They deserve to be out there."

Junior Maddie Schorlemmer combined with Paige Boykin to blank CU's Eugenia Sanchez and Veljic at No. 3 before senior Taylor Coffman and junior Kayla Casey used big service games to clinch the doubles sweep with an 8-2 win over Paula Gutierrez and Angie Torres at No. 1.

"It was great that we could get Carrie Casey in this weekend and Lindsay and Lauren are an excellent doubles team," Linn said. "I don't think it's absolutely necessary, but I think for the camaraderie of the team it is beneficial. Tennis is difference because you can't sub in the middle of the match. We would love to get all 10 of them in, but that's not the rules of tennis."

Freshman Alexis Arrieta, who has posted two singles wins in three tries, and redshirt-sophomore Amy Clifton, who played the No. 1 position last season before missing this year with an injury, continue to make great contributions as well for the Mustangs.

Great play, positive attitudes and great displays of support are vital to the teams' ultimate vision.

"All 10 girls deserve to be playing a spot, but there are only 10 spots," Pineda said. "I am going to accept my spot for doubles and cheer on my teammates at singles because we want to win a national championship. If this is what it takes to get there, I have no problem accepting it."

Midwestern State (16-6) awaits selection into its fifth NCAA Division II tournament in the last six years Tuesday night via a Web stream on

. The selection begins at 7 p.m.