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Freshmen Lead the Way as Volleyball Wins Opener

San Antonio – Freshman KaSandra Larios had a team-high 15 kills in her first collegiate match, while sophomore Kori McCarver added 12 kills as St. Mary’s University rallied for a 15-25, 25-23, 25-20, 18-25, 15-12, win against Missouri Southern State University on the day of volleyball action of the St. Mary’s/Texas MedClinic Invitational Thursday night at Bill Greehey Arena.

Larios (Fr., Harlingen) didn’t play in the first set of the match, but made up for lost time quickly. She totaled 14 kills over the final three sets and finished with 15 kills against just two attack errors in 30 attacks. She added six digs. Two other freshmen had big first nights for the Rattlers. Sandra Cui (Fr., Schertz) picked up a double-double in her first collegiate match, totaling 41 assists and 11 digs. Kirsten Chapman (Fr., Jourdanton) had six kills, including the kill on championship point to clinch the match.

The match didn’t start off in strong fashion for the Rattlers, who had just seven kills in the first set. Meanwhile MSSU had 16 kills against just four errors in rolling to the 10-point win in the opening set. But the Rattlers rallied with 14 kills in the second game and held off a late Lion rally for a 25-23 win to even the match. The Rattlers made just one error in the third set and won 25-20 to take the lead. After MSSU won the fourth set, the Rattlers took the early lead and held on for the win in the fifth set, 15-12.

Britta Vavao-Huggins and Jeanna Feldman tied for top honors in kills with 16 each. Feldman also added 11 digs for a double-double. Kari Hammerbacher led all players with 21 digs. Sarah Joles had 51 assists and nine digs.

With the win the Rattlers are now 1-0, while Missouri Southern State fell to 0-1. St. Mary’s will continue action in the St. Mary’s/Texas MedClinic Invitational on Friday at 2:30 p.m. against Eastern New Mexico University. They will follow that up with a 7 p.m. matchup against Rollins College.