San Antonio – Augustana College used an efficient offense and a strong defense to defeat St. Mary’s University, 25-23, 25-6, 26-24, and win the tournament championship of the St. Mary’s/Texas MedClinic Invitational Saturday afternoon at Bill Greehey Arena.
The Rattlers started the match fast against the 20th-ranked Vikings, taking a 10-4 lead in the first set. However, AC rallied and tied the match at 17-17 on a kill by Blythe Johnson. From there the teams battled back-and-forth until the Rattlers took a late lead. A Stephanie Crowell (Jr., The Woodlands) kill gave St. Mary’s a 23-21 lead late in the first set. But the Vikings responded by winning the next four points, including two Kati Newgard kills, to win the first set 25-23.
In the second set the Rattlers fell behind early and never recovered in a 25-6 loss. St. Mary’s again fell behind early in the third set, but rallied with an 8-2 run to take a 10-9 lead. As in the first set, the teams battled back-and-forth throughout the set. An attack error by Cayla Schroeder tied the set at 24-24. Schroeder responded by getting the kill on the next point and Beth Talcott finished the match with a kill for a 26-24 win in the set.
Newgard, who was an all-tournament selection, led the way for the Vikings, picking up a match-high 12 kills. Lisa Hoegh, who was named tournament MVP had 35 assists and five digs. Beth Talcott, who also earned all-tournament honors had 19 digs and six kills.
Crowell led the Rattlers with nine kills, while Sarah Moreno (Sr., Pearland) added seven. Kori McCarver (So., San Antonio) had a strong all-around match, with six kills, 12 assists, five digs and four blocks. Valerie Teter (Sr., San Antonio) and Katelyn Kershner (So., San Antonio) each led the team with 13 digs.
With the loss the Rattlers fell to 3-1 on the season. Augustana remained undefeated at 4-0. St. Mary’s will hit the road for the Central Washington University Invitational on Thurs. through Saturday. St. Mary’s next home match will be on Sept. 12 when they host fifth-ranked West Texas A&M University at 2:30 p.m.
St. Mary’s/Texas MedClinic Invitational All-Tournament Team
Ashley Hill, Missouri Southern State
Nikki Hartman, Rollins
Stephanie Crowell, St. Mary’s
Sarah Moreno, St. Mary’s
Katie Newgard, Augustana
Beth Talcott, Augustana
MVP: Lisa Hoegh, Augustana