WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Senior Meghan Bettis racked up 19 kills and Sarah Eakin headed a strong net game with nine total blocks as both set season highs to lift Midwestern State to a 3-1 win over Lubbock Christian in non-conference play Tuesday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
The Mustangs, who snapped a three-match skid to even their overall record at 9-9, returns to Lone Star Conference play Saturday afternoon at Texas A&M-Kingsville. First serve from Steinke Center is set for 2 p.m.
Bettis put down six of her match-high and season-high 19 kills in the opening set allowing the Mustangs to jump out to 14-7 edge, but Lubbock Christian peeled off a 12-2 run eventually taking a 21-17 lead on a bad set by MSU's Kristan Aduddell.
Aduddell quickly made up for the miscue keying a 5-0 spurt at the service line as MSU regained the edge before closing out the frame on back-to-back kills by Bettis and Rockelle Gholson.
Midwestern rallied from a seven-point deficit in the second set, but Lubbock Christian was able to hold the Mustangs claiming consecutive points at 24-all on a kill by Channing Stewart and a Brynn Warnack service ace.
The Mustangs hit .215 over the final two sets winning by counts of 25-18 and 25-13.
Senior middle blocker Addison Semer added 10 kills and five blocks, while freshman Raven Presley hit an efficient .643 putting down nine kills in 14 attempts without an error to go along with five blocks.
Senior Aerielle Edwards paced backrow efforts with 22 kills, while Leah Lychock and Kristin Silva posted 10 each.
Aduddell closed the match with 51 set assists, 15 digs and three service aces.
Stewart and Emily Hanaway had 10 kills each to lead Lubbock Christian, which fell to 6-13 on the season.
Midwestern State takes on Texas A&M-Kingsville in Lone Star Conference play Saturday at Steinke Center. First serve is set for 2 p.m.
Midwestern State remained at No. 3 in the United Soccer Coaches Men's Division II National Poll for a second consecutive week Tuesday afternoon after pushing its unbeaten streak to 12 matches last weekend.
After picking up their first draw of the season Thursday in a 1-1 result against Lubbock Christian, the Mustangs followed up with a 2-0 shutout of UT Permian Basin to improve to 11-0-1 overall and remain atop the Heartland Conference standings at 7-0-1.
The Midwestern defense has been one of the sharpest in the country this season, ranking second in save percentage (.909) and goals against average (.325) while appearing sixth nationally in shutout percentage (0.67) with eight clean sheets this season.
Offensively, the Mustangs rank 29th in scoring (2.33 goals/game) while coming in seventh in assists (26), 14th in points (82) and 18th in goals scored (28).
For a sixth-straight week, Charleston (W. Va.) topped the national poll as the lone remaining team in Division II with a perfect record at 12-0-0. The Golden Eagles were followed by Adelphi (N.Y.), Midwestern State, Rockhurst (Mo.), Palm Beach Atlantic (Fla.), California Baptist, Young Harris College (Ga.), LIU Post (N.Y.), Lynn (Fla.) and Limestone College (S.C.) in the top 10.
Out of the South Central Region, MSU was joined by Colorado School of Mines (15th), St. Edward's (18th) and Colorado Mesa (20th) in the national rankings. West Texas A&M received votes in this week's poll.
Midwestern State faces Rogers State in a 5 p.m. kickoff Thursday in Claremore, Okla., before returning to Stang Park to host Oklahoma Christian Saturday at 7 p.m.
Following a 1-0 road win over then-No. 12 St. Edwards last week, Midwestern State jumped inside the United Soccer Coaches Women's Division II National Poll for the first time this season Tuesday afternoon with a No. 24 ranking.
Midwestern State earned its first top 25 ranking since also ranking 24th in the fourth poll of the 2016 season on Sept. 27.
The Mustangs posted a 1-1-1 record last week to move to 8-3-1 overall and 3-2-1 in the Lone Star Conference. MSU opened the week with its first win over a top 15 program since 2011 in a 1-0 victory over St. Edward's Wednesday in Austin. Midwestern's four-game win streak was snapped two days later in a 3-0 setback at West Texas A&M before the Mustangs played Eastern New Mexico to a scoreless draw in Portales, N.M., to close out the week.
Central Missouri moved into the No. 1 spot in the national poll this week and was followed by Kutztown (Pa.), Western Washington, Grand Valley State (Mich.), Flagler College (Fla.), Colorado School of Mines, Carson-Newman (Tenn.), UC San Diego, Nova Southeastern (Fla.) and Adelphi (N.Y.) in the top 10.
The South Central Region was represented in the rankings by Colorado School of Mines (6th), Regis (Colo.) (17th) and Midwestern State, while St. Edward's received votes in this week's poll.
Midwestern State returns to Stang Park this weekend, beginning its homestand Friday against Texas A&M-Commerce at 7 p.m.
Freshman Emily Brennan logged her second consecutive Top 10 finish leading Midwestern State to a fifth-place showing at the Dallas Baptist Classic Tuesday afternoon at the par-72, 6,020-yard course at The Golf Club of Dallas.
The Stoke-on-Trent, England native, who rolled in the program's third hole-in-one in competition on Monday, carded a 2-over 74 in the final round to close eighth with an 8-over total, 52-hole total of 224.
That was six strokes behind top individual medalist Addison Mitchell of Dallas Baptist, who marked scores of 71, 78 and 69 (218/+2) to edge teammate Evelyn Arguelles (73-67-79 219/+3) by a single stroke.
The Patriots also claimed team honors with scores of 290, 288 and 305 for a total of 883 (+19) to win by 23 strokes over St. Mary's (Texas) (300-291-315 906/+42).
But it was Brennan who was the star for Midwestern State. She totaled 10 birdies for the tournament while also placing amongst tournament leaders in par-3 (-1), par-4 (+12) and par-5 (-3) scoring in just her second collegiate tournament after finishing fourth in the NCAA Division II National Preview.
Senior Sarah Moore also enjoyed a stellar performance tying for 15th carding scores of 75, 77 and 76 for a 12-over total of 228. The Burkburnett native paced the Mustangs with 33 pars.
Sophomore Lexi Read placed 33rd with a 21-over total of 237 (76-80-81), while freshmen Katie Reeves (79-79-80 238/+22) and Laura Sanchez (76-80-85 241/+25) finished tied for 34th and 43rd, respectively.
Freshman Juanita Gomez, who competed as an individual medalist only, closed strong with a final round, 4-over 76 after posting a pair of 79s on Monday to close 26th with a three-round total of 234 (+18).
Midwestern State closes the fall at the Oklahoma Intercollegiate on Oct. 16-17 at the Fort Sill Golf Club in Lawton, Okla.
Freshman Jake Doggett paced Midwestern State with an even-par 71 in the final round of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Preview Tuesday afternoon at the par-71, 6,727-yard Hillcrest Golf Club.
Cold weather and wintry precipitation limited tournament play to 36 holes as the Mustangs finished tied for seventh carding team rounds of 296 and 298 for 26-over total of 594.
Doggett closed strong after playing the first 10 holes of the second round Monday evening. The Hutto native went 2-under over the final six including three consecutive birdies finish tied for 21st. He finished the competition with a 6-over total of 148 after carding a 77 in the opening round.
Sophomore Simon Ospina, a first-team competition qualifier for MSU, followed a solid opening round 72 with a 76 over the final 18 to also tie for 21st.
Junior Chance Craig (75-75) and senior Trip Hobson (73-77) tied for 33rd with matching 8-over 150s, while transfer junior Kevin Teems logged consecutive 76s to tie for 38th with a 10-over total of 152.
Junior Clayton Meyers tied for 51st posting scores of 80 and 78 for a 16-over total of 158.
Colorado State-Pueblo claimed the team championship marking scores of 276 and 289 for a 3-under total of 565, while Colorado Christian's Chase Carlson claimed individual medalist honors firing scores of 69 and 68 for a 5-under total of 137.
The Mustangs host the Midwestern State Invitational next week at the Wichita Falls Country Club. The 54-hole tournament begins Monday at 9 a.m.