MSU Women's Soccer and Volleyball

Mustangs come up short to Texas A&M-Commerce, 2-1

A goal in the first 10 minutes of play gave the Midwestern State women's soccer team an early lead but Texas A&M-Commerce netted scores in the first and second periods to earn a 2-1 victory Saturday afternoon at MSU Soccer Field.

Just over nine minutes into the contest, freshman defender Imani Morlock tallied her first goal of the season with a header off the corner kick from junior forward Aly Wade to give Midwestern State (8-5-3, 3-4-2 LSC) a 1-0 advantage. The goal was the fourth straight off a corner kick for the Mustangs.

"Imani wants to win, and the team wants to win too. Imani exemplifies the effort that they're putting in to keep growing," said head coach Damian Clarke. "She could play outside back, forward, wide and could play goalkeeper if you asked her to, she's a stud."

However, Texas A&M-Commerce (10-5-2, 6-1-2 LSC) evened the match five minutes later as senior defender Laura Heron struck the net from 25 yards out with a shot that sailed over the head of sophomore goalkeeper Courtney Burnette.

In the 58th minute, junior forward Savannah Grasser netted the eventual game winner off a loose ball in the box. After Grasser's first shot was deflected off the hands of Burnette, Grasser took control in a scramble for the ball before striking the top of the net from a few yards out to put the Lions ahead at 2-1.

The Mustangs were able to set up several scoring opportunities late but were not able to capitalize down the stretch as senior goalkeeper Courtnie Northern denied the equalizer with four saves on the afternoon. Midwestern State outshot A&M-C, 21-19, while the Lions placed eight shots on goal compared to five for the Mustangs. MSU led 9-1 in corner kicks, earning three in the final 10 minutes of action.

"I think our composure in front of the goal wasn't what it needed to be," Clarke said. "We were in those situations that you would like to think you can score a goal, but sometimes you don't and we didn't today."

Wade led the Mustangs with seven shots while Grasser and junior defender Vicky Back each recorded four shots to lead the Lions.

With the win, the Lions clinched the No. 2 seed in the Lone Star Conference Tournament, set to take place Nov. 5-8 at LSC regular season champion Angelo State in San Angelo.

Midwestern State will next host Texas Woman's Sunday at 1 p.m. at MSU Soccer Field for Senior Day. A win over the Pioneers will give the Mustangs the No. 3 seed heading into next week's conference tournament.

Mustangs earn 3-0 road sweep over Southern Nazarene

Behind a balanced offensive attack, the Midwestern State volleyball team recorded a 3-0 non-conference road win (27-25, 25-15, 25-20) over Southern Nazarene Saturday afternoon at the Sawyer Center.

Sophomore outside hitter Meghan Bettis led Midwestern State (6-21) with 11 kills while freshman middle blocker Olivia Schiffner contributed seven kills with zero errors on 13 swings for a team-best .538 hitting percentage.

In the first set, Southern Nazarene (12-15) claimed an 8-4 lead thanks to three early service aces. The Crimson Storm continued their strong play at the service line throughout the opening set, tallying six aces in the frame to pull ahead at 22-14.

After SNU earned set point following a block by junior outside hitter McKenna Qualls and junior middle blocker Kaitlyn Vought, Midwestern reeled off an impressive 7-0 run with four different Mustangs recording kills to knot the game up at 24 apiece. After teams traded points, a Bettis kill and a block by Schiffner and freshman setter Kendall Chamberlain completed the MSU comeback as they earned a 27-25 opening set win.

The Mustangs offense saw improvement in the second set, hitting .289 in the frame while holding the Crimson Storm to a .129 percentage. A Schiffner ace put the Mustangs in front at 13-6 before Bettis and sophomore middle blocker Addison Semer sparked a 6-0 run midway through the frame to extend their lead to 20-10. MSU would go on to record a dominant 25-15 win to go ahead 2-0 in the match.

An 8-4 start for Midwestern in the third set forced SNU to call an early timeout following a ball handling error by the Crimson Storm. A service ace by Qualls pulled SNU within one at 13-12 before the Mustangs answered with a 4-0 run with kills from senior outside hitter Hunter Porter and freshman middle blocker Kiley Beaver. The Crimson Storm mounted one final rally, coming within one at 18-17, but Midwestern proved to be too strong down the stretch with Bettis and Schiffner stuffing a couple of SNU attacks to post a 25-20 victory.

Chamberlain paced the MSU offense with 21 assists while junior libero Madelyn Johnson led all players with 18 digs.

Qualls finished with nine kills to lead SNU while sophomore setter Hannah Davis recorded a double-double with 16 assists and 12 digs.

Midwestern State continues play on the road next weekend with trips to Texas A&M-Commerce and Texas Woman's in Lone Star Conference action.