DENTON, TX (KAUZ) - Texas Woman's Briley Cole-Lewis put on a show to lead the Pioneers to a 3-1 Lone Star Conference win over Midwestern State Tuesday night at Kitty Magee Arena.
The senior from Emory, Texas blasted a match-high 23 kills with one error in 41 swings to hit .537. TWU improved to 12-15 on the season while moving to 8-8 in league play and taking a two-match lead for the eighth and final berth in the LSC Postseason Tournament over the Mustangs which fell to 13-13 and 6-10.
The Pioneers managed the second highest team hitting percentage by going .310 on the attack which was the highest since Rockhurst hit .391 versus MSU in the season opener.
Still, the Mustangs had a hot hitting night over their own hitting .269 but failed to cash in on a hot start as MSU committed just four attack over the first two sets.
Midwestern was turned away on two set points in the opening frame allowing Pioneers to take the first set on the strength of a four-point run capped by a Cole-Lewis kill to give TWU a 26-24 win.
MSU senior Meghan Bettis put down 10 of her team-high 18 kills in the first two sets getting help from sophomore Erin Richburg and freshman Raven Presley to give 13 of the Mustangs' 18 kills to even the match at 1-1 with a 25-16 win in the second set.
But the Pioneers forced MSU into eight attack errors in the third set for a 25-20 win and put down 21 kills with a single error in the fourth to put away the match, 25-16.
Senior middle blocker Addison Semer added 11 kills, hit .321 and notched a team-best four total blocks for Midwestern State, while senior libero Aerielle Edwards paced backrow efforts with 23 digs.
Midwestern State is two games behind Texas Woman's, Eastern New Mexico and Western New Mexico who are in a tie for sixth place with four conference matches to play. The top eight advance to the LSC Postseason Tournament set for Nov. 16-18 at the site of the league's top seed.
Midwestern State plays host to a pair of nationally ranked sides this weekend at D.L. Ligon Coliseum. The Mustangs take on No. 14 Tarleton State Friday at 6 p.m. before battling No. 23 Angelo State Saturday at noon.
Midwestern State remained at No. 3 for the fourth time in the last five weeks in the United Soccer Coaches' Men's Division II national poll after pushing its unbeaten streak to 18 matches.
The Mustangs clinched its second straight Heartland Conference title with a 2-0 win at Newman (Kan.) Thursday night in Wichita, then salted off its fourth unbeaten regular season in program history with a 4-1 victory over Oklahoma Christian Saturday afternoon to close the regular season at 16-0-2.
MSU hosts the Heartland Conference Postseason Tournament Friday and Sunday at Stang Park as the Mustangs take on the winner of Tuesday night's quarterfinal matchup between Texas A&M International and UT Permian Basin Friday night at 7 p.m.
No. 2-seeded St. Edward's takes on the winner of Tuesday's other quarterfinal round matchup between West Texas A&M and St. Mary's (Texas) Friday after at Stang Park. Kickoff is at 4:30.
The semifinal winners move on to the postseason tournament title game Sunday afternoon at 1.
With 11 shutouts on the year, the Mustangs defense has been consistently ranked in the nation's top 10 in save percentage (.867, 3rd) and goals against average (.431, 4th). Offensively, MSU appears in the top 30 nationally in total goals (41, 29th), points (115, 21st) and assists (33, 23rd).
Charleston (W. Va.) maintained its No. 1 ranking for an eighth-straight week with a 16-0-1 record. The nation's top five have yet to suffer a loss with Palm Beach Atlantic (Fla.) falling in at No. 2 with a 12-0-2 mark while the Mustangs sit at 16-0-2 overall. California Baptist and LIU Post (N.Y.) come in at No. 4 and 5, respectively, with 14-0-2 records. Rounding out the top 10 in this week's poll are Ohio Valley (W. Va.), Limestone College (S.C.), Adelphi (N.Y.), Colorado School of Mines and Rockhurst (Mo.).
The Mustangs were one of four South Central Region teams to appear in the United Soccer Coaches poll, being joined by Colorado School of Mines (9th), St. Edward's (14th) and Colorado Mesa (19th). West Texas A&M is receiving votes.
Midwestern State moved out of the United Soccer Coaches' Women's Division II national poll Tuesday, but are still receiving votes.
The Mustangs enter the Lone Star Conference Postseason Tournament on a three-match slide after falling to Eastern New Mexico and West Texas A&M over the weekend at Stang Park to close the regular season with an 11-6-1 mark.
MSU gets a rematch with ENMU in the quarterfinal round of the LSC Postseason Tournament on its home pitch Wednesday night. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
The winner moves on to face top-seeded Angelo State Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at the ASU Soccer Field. The LSC postseason tournament finals are set for Sunday at 1 in San Angelo.
The senior duo of Destinee Williamson and Courtney Burnette have led the Mustangs to one of its best regular seasons in program history in 2017, achieving the second highest ranking in their history at No. 11. Williamson leads MSU with 22 points (7 goals, 8 assists) on the year, ranking 19th in NCAA Division II in assists. On the defensive end, Burnette has posted nine clean sheets in her final campaign, coming within one shutout of tying her single-season program record that she set in 2016.
For the fourth-straight week, Central Missouri topped the national poll with an 18-0-0 record. Following the Jennies were Carson-Newman (Tenn.), California State-San Diego, Kutztown (Pa.), Quincy (Ill.), Adelphi (N.Y.), Lee (Tenn.), Colorado School of Mines, Grand Valley State (Mich.) and Columbus State (Ga.).
Midwestern State is one of four programs from the South Central Region receiving mention in the poll joining No. 9 Colorado School of Mines, No. 15 Angelo State and No. 25 St. Edward's.