Miranda Byrd delivered a team high 14 kills while posting a career high seven blocks as the Midwestern State volleyball team rolled to their sixth victory of the season on Friday. The 3-1 win over Missouri Southern State came at Burg center in Dallas as part of the Dallas Baptist Invitational.
A middle blocker from Atlanta, Texas, Byrd also picked up a pair of assists in the victory, the fourth straight for the Mustangs. The senior added another career note by recording her 800th kill, coming midway through the fourth set to give MSU a 10-6 lead at that point.
MSU would leap to a 5-0 lead to begin the first set. Kills by Claire Webster, Katie Bertling, and Hillary White and a service ace by Kiara Jordan highlighted an 8-1 run by MSU to open play.
The first of Byrd’s 14 kills gave MSU an 11-2 advantage. The Mustangs would lead by as many as 12 as they cruised to a 25-15 win to take a 1-0 lead in the match.
Missouri Southern would turn the tables in the second set when an attack error and a pair of kills from Rachel Olinyk helped them to an early 3-0 lead. Katie Politte with an assist from Sydney Potts would give MSSU a 5-2 lead before the Mustangs took control.
Sparked by Caitlin Wallace’s second kill of the match, the Mustangs went on an 10-1 run interrupted only by Politte’s second kill of the set. The 10-6 lead would bloat to an 16-8 advantage capped by back to back kills from Wallace and an error on Missouri Southern.
Kills from Olinyk, Politte, Casey Ball, and Amber Heiskell helped the Lions climb back into the game as they cut the MSU lead to 18-12. With assists from attack errors by the Mustangs,
Olinyk and Ball would lead the way on a 10-4 run to tie the score at 22. The set would end on attack errors by MSU to give Missouri Southern a 25-23 win in the set and tie the match 1-1.
The Lions would take a 2-0 lead to start an evenly matched third set, but they would be unable to pull away. The Mustangs would tie the set at 2-2, 6-6, and 9-9 before White gave them their first lead at 10-9 with an assist from Jordan.
The back and forth battle would continue as the Lions fought back to tie the score at 12 and again at 15 before Olinyk reclaimed the lead 16-15. However, the Mustangs would come back to tie things up 19-19 before taking the lead back on back-to-back kills from Byrd.
Another kill from Byrd to make the score 24-23 in favor of the Mustangs gave MSU match point. Ball would tie the score and then give the Lions a 26-25 lead as both teams looked for a two point advantage to end the set.
The Lions would prove to be their own worst enemy as attack errors cost them the set. A kill by MSU’s Shelbi Stewart tied the score 29-29 and an error on the Lions gave them a 30-29 lead. A kill from Politte delayed the loss, but attack errors on the Lions gave MSU a 32-30 win and a 2-1 lead in the match.
The fourth set started much like the first as errors on the Lions and a Byrd kill gave the Mustangs an early 5-0 lead. Ball and Potts would get the Lions on the board, but back-to-back aces by Bertling gave control back to the Mustangs.
MSU would build their lead to 14-7 before the Lions came clawing back. A kill by Heiskell sparked a 5-0 spurt by the Lions to cut the Mustangs lead to 14-12. The teams would trade a pair of points to make the score 16-14 when MSU started to put the game away.
Byrd’s 801st career kill began what would be a 9-4 stretch to end the set, capped by the game winner from Wallace with an assist from Kimberly Jeffery to give MSU a 3-1 victory.
Complimenting Byrd’s team high 14 kills, both Wallace and White turned in good games with 13 and 11 kills respectively. White added an impressive 19 digs to her total. Jeffrey would lead MSU with 28 assists, while Kristan Aduddell recorded 20. Jordan would turn in a game high 28 digs.
Ball would lead the Lions with 16 kills, followed closely by Politte with 14 and Olinyk with 12. Potts recorded a game high 45 assists, while Rocky Crook came up with 18 of the Lions 68 digs.
MSU improves to 6-1 on the season with the victory, while MSSU falls to 1-5.
Along with a 3-1 victory over Texas A&M-Commerce on Thursday, Midwestern State will go for their third win in three days at D.L. Ligon Coliseum on Saturday. The Mustangs host Texas Woman’s University in a 2 p.m. match up.