Mustangs unable to hold lead in 3-2 loss to West Texas A&M

West Texas A&M rallied from a 2-0 deficit to deny the Midwestern State volleyball team their first-ever win over the Lady Buffs in a 3-2 victory (14-25, 22-25, 25-8, 25-21, 15-13) Tuesday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.

Midwestern State (4-11, 0-3 LSC) came out with all the momentum, taking a commanding 25-14 first set win over West Texas A&M (5-8, 1-4 LSC). It was a seesaw battle in the early going until the Mustangs broke a 7-7 tie with a 6-0 run sparked by a kill from senior outside hitter Hunter Porter. Midwestern continued to fight off the Lady Buffs before a block from sophomore outside hitter Addison Semer and sophomore middle blocker Angel Summers gave the Mustangs a 25-14 victory.

Back-to-back service aces from freshman libero Matti Dix helped the Mustangs stretch their lead to 9-3 in the second set to force a WTAMU timeout. However, the Lady Buffs were not going away as quietly this set as they erased an 11-5 deficit to come within one after an attack error on the Midwestern. Midwestern extended the lead to four before the Lady Buffs evened the set at 18-all. Trailing 23-18 after a stuff from Summers and freshman middle blocker Kiley Beaver, WTAMU came within two of the Mustangs before Porter sent a rocket to the right side of the court as Midwestern recorded a 25-22 set win.

Out of the break, the momentum shifted to the visitors as the Lady Buffs hit .412 in the third set while holding the Mustangs to a grisly -.118 to post a 25-8 victory. WTAMU jumped out to a 5-1 lead as the Lady Buffs recorded five-straight kills to open the set. After the Mustangs pulled within two at 6-4, WTAMU put together a 12-1 run to pull away from Midwestern and avoid the sweep.

Midwestern State claimed an early lead in the fourth, going up 11-8 after a kill from sophomore outside hitter Meghan Bettis. Following a WTAMU timeout, the Lady Buffs jumped on top at 15-14 before kills by WTAMU senior middle blocker Lexi Davis and freshman outside hitter Courtnee Curl forced a Mustangs timeout with the score 18-15 in favor of the visitors. Midwestern was only able to pull back within two as junior middle blocker Elisa Bentsen combined for two kills and one block in the final stretch to help the Lady Buffs even the match at 2-2 with a 25-21 fourth set win.

The Mustangs went up 4-2 in the deciding set before a 6-1 run by WTAMU gave the Lady Buffs an 8-5 lead as the teams switched sides. However, Midwestern wasn't finished as kills by Semer and freshman middle blocker Olivia Schiffner brought the Mustangs back to 11-10. With WTAMU holding a 14-11 lead, the Maroon and Gold fended off two set points with a kill from Summers and a block from Porter and Beaver. However, the late rally by Midwestern would fall short as Bentsen finished off the match with a kill to record the 15-13 victory.

Schiffner led the Mustangs with 12 kills and just one error on 33 swings for a team-best .333 hitting percentage. Porter also reached double-digit kills with 10. Defensively, Dix finished with a career night with 32 digs to lead all players.

Curl paced the Lady Buffs with 17 kills while adding 11 digs for the double-double.

Midwestern State next faces Texas Woman's in a Friday matchup at 5:30 p.m. at Ligon Coliseum.