MSU Roundup: Football, Soccer, Golf, Tennis

MSU Sports
MSU Sports

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Midwestern State moved up one spot to No. 11 in the latest American Football Coaches' Association Division II Poll released Monday afternoon.

The Mustangs improved to 2-0 with a 32-30 come-from-behind win over Texas A&M-Kingsville Saturday night at Javelina Stadium.

MSU carries a national ranking for the 13th consecutive reporting period dating back to last season.

The Mustangs are one of 10 teams from Super Region Four to receive mention in the poll joining No. 2 Grand Valley State (Mich.), No. 5 Ashland (Ohio), No. 6 Texas A&M-Commerce, No. 7 Ferris State (Mich.), No. 18 Colorado Mesa and No. 23 Colorado Mines.

Southwest Baptist (Mo.), West Texas A&M and Texas A&M-Kingsville are receiving votes.

Graeber Takes LSC Honors

Midwestern State's Tanner Graeber's 18-yard field goal with 12 seconds remaining lifted the 11th-ranked Mustangs to a 32-30 comeback win over Texas A&M-Kingsville Saturday night at Javelina Stadium.

Graeber, who also connected on a 28-yard field goal in the first quarter, to earn Lone Star Conference Special Teams Player of the Week honors.

The senior from League City has been successful on three of his four field goal attempts this season and has also been true on 6-of-7 point-after attempts.

Western New Mexico senior quarterback Javia Hall earned top offensive honors after throwing for 249 yard with four touchdowns and rushing for 62 more yards and two scores in a 44-21 win over Oklahoma Panhandle State.

Tarleton State senior linebacker Cody Burtscher made 11 tackles to help the Texan defense limit Angelo State to 222 yards of total offense in a 35-5 home win to gain LSC Defensive Player of the Week honors.

MSU sophomore running back Vinnie Johnson also delivered a top performance with his second collegiate game finishing with 102 yards and three touchdowns -- all in the third quarter. Johnson has six rushing touchdowns in the first two games this season.

Midwestern State takes on Oklahoma Panhandle State in its home opener Saturday night at Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Okeke Earns Heartland Conference Honors

Midwestern State senior forward Christian Okeke was tabbed the Heartland Conference Men's Soccer Offensive Player of the Week, the league announced Monday afternoon.

Last week, Okeke paced the MSU offense with four goals in home wins over West Texas A&M and Eastern New Mexico to begin conference play for the 17th-ranked Mustangs last week. Against West Texas A&M, Okeke recorded his first career hat trick with the first three goals in a 5-0 victory over the Buffs before netting MSU's first goal in a 4-1 victory over Eastern New Mexico.

The Wichita Falls native and Rider High product placed four of his five shots on goal with one game winner on the week.

Okeke currently leads the Heartland Conference and ranks 34th in NCAA Division II with four goals scored this season.

Midwestern State continues conference play Thursday with a 7 p.m. matchup against Rogers State at Soldier Field in Claremore, Okla.

Women's Golf 2nd at WNMU Invitational

Midwestern State responded well to an early season challenge competing against a deep field at the Western New Mexico Fall Intercollegiate at the Par-72, 6,087-yard Golf Club of Estrella.

The Mustangs opened with an 11-over 299 to stand two strokes back of tournament leading Tarleton State.

"This is a tournament with a great field. It's just what we need with the expectations of having a great team," MSU coach Jeff Ray said. "All six of our girls were from 72-79. I was really proud of our two freshmen and how they competed against a great field but what carried us was our seniors. They were all great today."

Senior Sierra Campbell marked a team-best three birdies on her way to an even-par 72 to work herself in with a group of four players tied for third behind Regis (Colo.)'s Mary Weinstein (70/-2) and Petrolia native Breanna Smith of Tarleton State (71/-1).

"Sierra put herself in good position to win the tournament," Ray said.

Fellow senior Kellie Martin delivered a solid performance working for 14 pars and a birdie to tie for 10th with a 2-over 74, while senior Hayley Dambold played 2-under golf over final 12 holes to tie for 17th with a 3-over 75.

Freshman Cheleen Cousins contributed MSU's other countable score with a solid 6-over 78 to tie for 42nd leaving the course on a positive note by carding her first collegiate birdie on her the last hole.

"I am hoping with the experience we have that we should be able to put together consecutive good rounds," Ray said. "We have six girls we know can play. That depth will happen throughout the year."

Junior Sarah Moore went 3-over on the back nine and 4-over on the front to tie for 49th with a 7-over 79, while freshman Lexi Read tied for 34th with a 5-over 77 competing as an individual medalist.

"This golf course is really fair and will reward good shots," Ray said. "From tee to green, we were really consistent today. Our putting as a team was really solid. For the first tournament, I was really proud of them."

Tee times for the final round of the WNMU Fall Intercollegiate begin Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. (Central).

Tennis Has Strong Showing at MSU Invitational

The Midwestern State men's and women's tennis teams made their home debut at the MSU Invitational last weekend as the two teams posted 38 wins with senior Ramon Toyos and sophomore Dillon Pineda claiming titles to highlight the weekend for the Mustangs.

Toyos recorded a 4-0 slate to capture the Flight 1 Singles title with straight-set wins in all four matches. The Torrelavega, Spain native also teamed up with Pineda in Flight 1 Doubles with wins over conference rival Cameron and an 8-5 win over teammates Chris Norrie and Denney Norrie in the championship match.

After losing his opening round match in a super tiebreaker, Pineda closed out the weekend in winning fashion by claiming the Flight 1 Back Draw Singles title with a pair of straight-set victories.

In flight two, Chris Norrie went 3-1 with straight-set wins before falling in the championship match.

In Flight 1 Doubles, the duo of junior Vasudev Vijayaraman and sophomore Dylan Hall claimed the back draw with a pair of wins after an 8-5 loss in the opening round.

On the women's side, sophomore Eirini Kontaki and freshman Bianca Duff each posted two wins while playing in the top draw for the Maroon and Gold.

In doubles, Duff teamed up with sophomore Maddy Coffman to advance to the Flight 1 Doubles title match with three wins on the weekend.

Coffman and sophomore Greta Lazzarotto also added a pair of singles wins in flight two while freshmen Anna Claire Gerletti and Ashley Ramirez posted two wins apiece in flight three.

Midwestern State next hosts the ITA Men's South Central Region Championship, Sept. 23-25, at the MSU Tennis Center as well as the Weeks and Hamilton Park Tennis Centers. The Mustangs will be joined by Cameron, Colorado Mesa, Colorado State-Pueblo, Dallas Baptist, Metro State (Colo.), Newman (Kan.), St. Edward's, St. Mary's, UT Permian Basin and Western New Mexico at the three-day event.

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