Midwestern State dropped a close first set before cruising through the next three to take a 3-1 victory over Eastern New Mexico in volleyball action on Tuesday. The win in Portales, New Mexico gave the Mustangs their first Lone Star Conference road victory of the season.
Miranda Byrd turned in a game high 16 kills as she approaches the 1000th of her career. The senior currently has 971 kills and could realistically reach the career milestone as early as October 22 against Texas A&M-Kingsville. Byrd is currently seventh in career kills on MSU’s all-time list.
Kiara Jordan led the Mustangs with 25 digs as she nears a career milestone of her own. Second all-time in digs for MSU with 1,757, the senior could reach the 2,000 dig mark by the end of the regular season. Shay Velasquez holds the career record for MSU with 2,188.
Byrd also led the Mustangs with seven blocks on Tuesday, while Kristan Aduddell and Kimberly Jeffrey shared the team lead with 24 assists each. Hillary White turned her eighth double-double of the season with 11 kills and 15 digs to help the Mustangs snap a three game losing streak.
Eastern New Mexico would try to take control of a close first set when a kill from Amber Durand sparked a four point run, the largest run to that point, to give the Zias a 19-14 lead.
The Mustangs would respond with back-to-back kills from Byrd to begin a 9-2 run interrupted only by a pair of kills from ENMU’s Evelyn Escobar to give MSU a 23-21 lead.
Two MSU errors and a service ace from Emily Lubbers would give the Zias set point at 24-23, but a White kill and an attack error on ENMU would turn things around to give the Mustangs set point. The Zias would finally put the long set away with a Jessica King kill and two service points from Vanessa Espinoza for the 27-25 set win.
Midwestern State ran roughshod over the Zias in the second set, taking control early. Jordan would take the serve with ENMU leading 2-1 and highlight a whopping 12-3 run with three service aces and a kill.
The 13-5 MSU lead would prove to be too much for the Zias to overcome. The Mustangs would close out the set with a 9-2 run capped by a Caitlin Wallace kill and an ENMU attack error to give MSU a 25-11 set win.
The Mustangs would look to run away with the third set as well, turning a one point lead into an eight point lead with a 11-4 run that featured five kills from Byrd. The Zias would finally find their groove as Durand provided three kills in a 9-2 run to bring the MSU lead back to one at 22-21.
The Mustangs would hang on to take the win on kills by Byrd and Aduddell and a pair of service points from Brandi Flores. The 25-21 set win gave MSU a 2-1 advantage in the match.
Despite ENMU jumping out to a 4-1 advantage, the Mustangs would again build an early lead that proved to be too much for the Zias. Jeffrey would provide three service points, including an ace, as well as four assists as MSU took an 11-6 lead.
MSU errors and kills from Bree Anna Lucero and Durand would help Eastern New Mexico cut the Mustangs lead to 14-12, but a 7-1 run by the Mustangs would rebuild their lead to seven.
The Mustangs would reach match point at 24-15, but the Zias would battle back on a pair of kills from Durand and three service points from Dallas Russell. Wallace would finally give the Mustangs the set 25-19 and a 3-1 match victory with her 11th kill.
King would turn on a good game in a losing cause for the Zias with a team high 14 kills. Catano would lead both teams with 41 assists, while Russell turned in a team high 14 digs for ENMU.
MSU improves to 13-9 overall on the season and 5-8 in conference play.
Eastern New Mexico falls to 5-18 overall and 1-13 in the LSC.
Conference play continues for the Mustangs when they begin a four game home stretch on October 20 against Incarnate Word. First serve at D.L. Ligon Coliseum is set for 7:00 p.m.