WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Call them resilient. Call them clutch. Just don't forget to call Midwestern State the 2018 champions of the Lone Star Conference.
The Mustangs claimed their second league championship marking scores of 280, 291 and 289 for a three-round, 8-over total of 860. It was their first league title since 2013.
"We got off to a great start," MSU coach Jeff Ray said. "Texas A&M-Commerce has a really good team that had a really good round of golf."
It really seemed to be the Lions' day as a 40-foot putt here and a chip for birdie there carried to a final-round best, 1-under total of 283. In fact, it was good enough for Texas A&M-Commerce to completely erase a 10-stroke deficit to take the lead with five holes left.
"The momentum just switched," Ray said. "I was on the tee box at No. 8 and with the live scoring, the guys knew we were a stroke down."
Senior Trip Hobson started the right the ship with a birdie on the Par-5, 553-yard sixth hole, but the real story was at No. 8 which proved to be the toughest hole on the course over the two first rounds.
Junior Chance Craig drove within 5 feet on the Par-3, 177-yard hole for a birdie before fellow junior Clayton Meyers followed with another birdie. Hobson followed by putting another drive within 4 feet of the cup for a third straight birdie to give MSU a 2-stroke lead.
"The last four or five holes, we settled down and played really good golf," Ray said.
Hobson's third birdie of the day also thrust him into a tie at the top of the individual leader board with Texas A&M-Commerce's Blake Hartford. Hartford eventually needed one playoff hole to claim the individual title.
The Mustangs placed three golfers in the top 10 led by Hobson (66-76-70) who finished with a 1-under total of 212, while Meyers (75-71-70) finished fourth with a 3-over 216 and senior Clayton Keck (68-74-75) tied for fifth with a 4-over 217.
MSU also received strong play from Craig (71-74-74) who tied for 11th with a 6-over 219, while freshman Conrad Rafferty (76-72-75) tied for 18th with a 10-over 223.
"It was a great win," Ray said. "Hopefully, that will put us in the regional. We played well enough to earn our way in. Now, we have to wait for selection."
Midwestern State was just outside of the first three NCAA Division II South Central Region rankings. The top 10 teams and four individual from the region advance to the South Central/West Super Region Championship set for May 7-9 at the Tascosa Golf Club in Amarillo. Tournament selection is set for release on Friday.
Freshman Katie Reeves delivered her second consecutive Top 10 showing to lead Midwestern State to a Top 10 showing Tuesday afternoon in the Lone Star Conference Championship at the par-71, 6,009-yard Diamondback Golf Course.
The Rockwall native notched a team-high four birdies on her way to a team-low round of 73 to tie for seventh with a 5-over, 36-hole total of 147.
Cumulatively, the Mustangs tallied totals of 295 and 297 for 24-over team total of 592 to finish behind league champion Tarleton State (571/+3) and West Texas A&M (581/+13).
MSU must wait for the selection of the NCAA Division II postseason field on Monday to learn its fate. The West Super Region Championship is set for May 6-8 at the Hillcrest Golf Club in Durango, Colo.
"We have a great, young team," MSU coach Jeff Ray said. "We have stacked well all season with the best. We have two wins over Tarleton and WT."
The Mustangs ranked 10th in last week's regional rankings as the top 12 teams and six individuals advance to the postseason.
Sophomore Lexi Read finished ninth logging a pair of 74s for a 6-over total of 148, while freshman Juanita Gomez tied for 11th with scores of 74 and 76 for an 8-over 150.
Senior Sarah Moore rallied from an opening round 77 to post a 74 in the second round to tie for 15th with a 9-over 151, while freshman Emily Brennan placed 20th with a 10-over 152 marking tallies of 73 and 79.
West Texas A&M's Jelina Fernando claimed individual medalist honors with scores of 69 and 69 for a 4-under 138 to win by three strokes over Tarleton State's Casey Leatherman.
Midwestern State awaits selection into the NCAA Division II postseason. The field is set for release Monday on NCAA.com. The West Super Region Championship is set for May 6-8 at the Hillcrest Golf Club in Durango, Colo.
Lone Star Conference champion Midwestern State earned the No. 1 seed and the right to host Metro State-Denver in the NCAA Division II Round of 32 Monday afternoon at the MSU Tennis Center with the first serve at 2 p.m.
The Mustangs make their 16th overall and sixth consecutive postseason appearance in 21 years as an NCAA Division II member. MSU advanced to the national tournament site on seven occasions including four national quarterfinal showings (2006, 2013, 2014, 2016). Midwestern hosts its fifth NCAA Tournament match in the last six seasons and is 4-1 all time on its home courts.
MSU recorded 20 wins for the sixth time in school history going 20-5 against one of the nation's most challenging schedules. The Mustangs went 9-3 against teams ranked in the Oracle/ITA poll.
Midwestern enters the postseason on a roll claiming win wins in each of its last six matches. The Mustangs beat their last 12 NCAA Division II foes.
The Mustangs and Roadrunners meet for the second-time this season as MSU claimed victory earlier this season on neutral courts in Pueblo, Colo.
Metro State (14-8) claimed the RMAC postseason championship by sweeping Colorado Christian and Colorado Mesa to claim an at-large bid.
Midwestern State claimed wins in all 10 of its previous meetings against the Roadrunners as the programs meet for the first time in the postseason.
In the other South Central Region matchup, Heartland Conference champion St. Edward's (Texas) plays host to St. Mary's (Texas) with the two regional winners advancing to the round of 16 at the Sunrise Tennis and Racquet Complex from May 9-12 in Surprise, Ariz.
After earning the Lone Star Conference's automatic postseason bid with its fourth title in the last five seasons, the MSU Texas women's team was announced as the No. 2 seed in the South Central Region by the NCAA Division II Women's Tennis Selection Committee.
The Mustangs host third-seeded Cameron in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament Saturday at the MSU Tennis Center with the first serve set for noon.
MSU makes its sixth straight and 18th overall appearance in the postseason field in their 21st season as a NCAA Division II member. Midwestern advanced to the Round of 16 on six occasions while moving on to the national quarterfinals twice (2015, 2017). MSU hosts its fifth NCAA Tournament match, going 4-0 since 2013 in home postseason contests.
MSU completed the regular season at 18-6, facing one of the nation's most challenging schedules, picking up six wins against teams ranked in the Oracle/ITA poll. Of the six losses, four came against teams currently ranked in the top-15 and one to the top-ranked junior college team.
Entering the postseason, the Maroon and Gold have won six straight overall and 14 consecutive matches against Division II programs. The Mustangs overcame a 1-4 start to post 17-2 overall record going 5-1 against nationally ranked opponents.
The Mustangs and Aggies (16-7) square off for the third time this season.
Cameron leads the all-time series 27-25-1, including a 2-0 record against MSU in the NCAA Tournament, eliminating the Mustangs in 2011 and 2016. MSU won both matches against the Aggies this season including a 7-2 decision in Wichita Falls (April 11) and 5-4 victory in the Lone Star Conference postseason finals (April 21).
Heartland Conference champion and top-seeded St. Mary's hosts No. 4 St. Edward's square off in the other South Central Region bracket. Both winners advance to the Round of 16 set for May 9-12 at the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex in Surprise, Ariz.