San Antonio – Sarah Moreno had 13 kills to lead the way for St. Mary’s University, but it wasn’t enough as the University of Texas of the Permian Basin rallied for a 15-25, 25-15, 25-16, 25-23, win over the Rattlers in Heartland Conference volleyball action Saturday afternoon at Bill Greehey Arena.

Moreno (Sr., Pearland) led the Rattlers in kills with 13 and in blocks with two. She also added six digs. Katelyn Kershner (So., San Antonio) had nine kills and 11 digs, just missing out on a double-double. Valerie Teter (Sr., San Antonio) and Stephanie Solano (Jr., San Antonio) were the leaders defensively with 21 and 20 digs, respectively.

The Rattlers came out on fire, winning game one 25-15 on the strength of 14 kills. They also held UTPB to just three kills against six attack errors. But UTPB turned that around in the next two games, picking up 23 kills against just four attack errors. The Rattlers had 18 kills and 19 errors over those games.

In the fourth game both teams were playing at a high level, with UTPB posting 14 kills against five errors, while the Rattlers had 16 kills and seven errors. The Falcons took the lead early and held it for most of the set. Their lead was 21-17 late in the set before the Rattlers rallied. St. Mary’s went on a 4-0 run to tie the set at 21-21. Back came the Falcons, who scored the next three points to set up match point at 24-21. The Rattlers won the next two points to pull within one, but UTPB won the decisive point to end the match.

With the loss the Rattlers have dropped three straight matches and are 6-11 overall, 3-4 in Heartland Conference play. UTPB improved to 14-11, 4-2. St. Mary’s will return to action on Monday when they host Bentley University in a non-conference match starting at 7 p.m. at Bill Greehey Arena.

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