Mustangs unable to hold lead in loss to Greyhounds

The Midwestern State volleyball won the first set for the third-straight match but Eastern New Mexico answered with a commanding second set win before pulling out a 3-1 victory (23-25, 25-12, 26-24, 25-16) Tuesday evening at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.

Freshmen middle blockers Kiley Beaver and Olivia Schiffner paced Midwestern State (5-20, 0-11 LSC) with 10 kills apiece as Beaver hit a team-best .450 with just one error on 20 swings.

Behind a .345 attack percentage, the Mustangs were able to record a 25-23 opening set win. It was a close contest a majority of the frame until the Mustangs were able to open up a 20-16 advantage following two Eastern New Mexico (11-13, 4-8 LSC) errors and a Beaver kill. With Midwestern holding a comfortable 24-19 lead, the Greyhounds responded with a 4-0 run to make it a one-point contest. However, Schiffner came through for Midwestern to end the ENMU rally and give the first set to the Mustangs.

It was a rocky second set for the Maroon and Gold as the Greyhounds hit .379 while holding the Mustangs to -.037. ENMU jumped out to a 5-2 lead to force an MSU timeout. The Mustangs answered with a small run to come back within two as a kill from freshman setter Kendall Chamberlain put the score at 9-7. With the Greyhounds holding a 13-11 lead, ENMU reeled off a 10-0 run with sophomore middle blocker Brooklyn Biel registering three kills and two blocks in the spurt to give the Greyhounds the momentum to record a 25-12 win and even the match at 1-1.

In the third set, the Greyhounds overcame an early 4-0 deficit to eventually climb on top at 8-7 following an MSU hitting error. With the set remaining close the rest of the way, the Mustangs called timeout trailing 22-20 before a 3-0 MSU run put the home team up one after an ENMU attacking error. A kill from Schiffner gave the Mustangs set point but the Greyhounds stormed back to take the next three points to take a 2-1 lead in the contest with a 26-24 win.

A 6-1 lead to begin the fourth helped the Greyhounds keep Midwestern from a rally as ENMU didn't allow the Mustangs within three to earn a 25-16 win and take the match 3-1.

Junior right side hitter Lauren Frye led three Greyhounds in double-digit kills with 17. Biel added 13 and junior outside hitter Courtney Lawson finished with a double-double with 10 kills and 16 digs. Sophomore libero Andrea Aguilar led all players with 23 digs while sophomore setter Alexis Aguirre paced the Greyhounds offense with 49 assists.

Midwestern State concludes its homestand Friday at 5:30 p.m. when the Mustangs play host to Cameron.