A late rally by the Midwestern State volleyball team fell short Saturday afternoon as the Mustangs suffered a 3-1 defeat (25-13, 25-22, 21-25, 25-19) to host Tarleton State at Wisdom Volleyball Gym.
Tarleton State (16-3, 6-1 LSC) built an early 6-1 lead in the first set following four kills from the nation's top offensive player in sophomore outside hitter Hailey Roberts. The Mustangs later pulled back within four at 11-7 following a Tarleton State service error, but the TexAnns extended their lead to 15-7 after another kill from Roberts for a comfortable advantage. Tarleton went on to claim the opening set as Roberts recorded nine kills in a 25-13 win.
It was close second set as freshman setter Hayden Blair forced a Tarleton timeout following a service ace to put Midwestern State (5-16, 0-7 LSC) in front at 11-10. Following a block by freshman middle blocker Kiley Beaver and senior outside hitter Hunter Porter that gave Midwestern a 20-19 advantage, the TexAnns reeled off four-straight points out of a timeout to take a 23-20 lead. The Mustangs came back within two points but a Roberts kill gave Tarleton a 25-22 win and 2-0 lead in the match.
The Mustangs went in front at 11-8 in the third set following a 3-0 run that began with a Porter kill. However, the TexAnns came right back to even the set following a Midwestern attack error. The Mustangs answered back with another run as a kill by sophomore middle blocker Addison Semer gave the visitors a 17-14 advantage to force the TexAnns to call a timeout. A Beaver kill broke a 19-19 tie late as the Mustangs built a 24-20 lead after a Tarleton hitting error for set point. Sophomore outside hitter Meghan Bettis lifted Midwestern to a third set victory as she recorded a kill for a 25-21 score.
Tarleton jumped out to a 15-6 lead in the fourth set to force the Mustangs to call a timeout. However, Midwestern slowly crept back into the game as a block by Semer and freshman outside hitter Kelsey Purcell made it an 18-13 contest. The TexAnns were able to keep their distance from Midwestern late in the set before recording a 25-19 win to take the match 3-1.
Porter led the Mustangs with 11 kills while Bettis added eight with just one error on 16 swings for a team-high .438 hitting percentage. Blair posted 30 assists along with nine digs while freshman libero Matti Dix recorded a team-best 18 digs.
Roberts led the TexAnns with 30 kills on a .333 clip. Sophomore setter Chandler Gow totaled 53 assists and 12 digs while senior libero Ayssa Garcia posted a team-high 22 digs.
Tarleton hit .222 for the match while holding Midwestern to a .072 percentage. The Mustangs held an advantage in blocks, 10-6, with Beaver tallying five block assists and one solo stuff.
Midwestern State continues its road trip Friday against West Texas A&M in Canyon before taking on Eastern New Mexico the following day in Portales.