Karlie Oretga celebrates a Rattler point. (Photo by Antonio Morano Photography / www.moranomemories.photoreflect.com)
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SAN ANTONIO — The St. Mary’s volleyball team won’t get a chance to defend its Heartland Conference Tournament championship.
The Rattlers, a year removed from winning the tournament title, were eliminated from postseason contention Thursday in a 3–0 loss to rival St. Edward’s.
Though it was a tight match early, the Hilltoppers broke away after securing a 25–22 victory in the opening set, winning the ensuing sets 25–20 and 25–19 despite a spirited effort from a gritty Rattlers squad.
Kirsten Chapman (Sr., Jourdanton, Texas) led the Rattlers with nine kills, while Victorria Martinez (Fr., Arlington, Texas) had a team–high 25 digs to go along with Allie Murray’s (Jr., San Antonio) 28 assists.
With just one game remaining, St. Mary’s (17–12, 6–7 in Heartland Conference) remains in sixth place in the conference following the loss, unable to reach the magical number of eight conference victories needed to have a shot at the tournament.
St. Mary’s will close out the season against Dallas Baptist at 12 p.m. Saturday at Bill Greehey Arena.
St. Mary’s University, as a Catholic Marianist University, fosters the formation of people in faith and educates leaders for the common good through community service, integrated liberal arts and professional education, and academic excellence. The University has six athletic national titles: men’s basketball (1989–NAIA), baseball (2001–NCAA Div. II), softball (1986–NAIA and 2002–NCAA Div. II) and an individual national champion in men’s golf (2006–NCAA Div. II) and a national academic championship in men’s golf (2009–NCAA Div. II). St. Mary’s also had more than 40 percent of its athletes named to conference, regional and/or national honor rolls this past year. St. Mary’s student–athletes graduation rate is 65 percent, higher than the NCAA Division II average of 55 percent. To learn more about St. Mary's, visit www.stmarytx.edu/athletics.