ELLENSBURG, WASH.–Kori McCarver led the way with nine kills, but St. Mary’s University fell for the second straight match, 21-25, 25-12, 26-24, 25-19 against Northwest Nazarene University, at the Central Washington University Invitational on Friday. The Rattlers also dropped a three-set match against host Central Washington University.

After a disappointing loss the night before, the Rattlers came out of the gates strong against NNU. They took a 5-0 lead in the early moments of the match. The Crusaders then rallied with a 14-5 run to take a 14-10 lead midway through the set. But the Rattlers came back to score seven straight points on the serve of Valerie Teter (Sr., San Antonio) to take a 17-14 lead. From there the Crusaders never got closer than two points and KaSandra Larios (Fr., Harlingen) helped the Rattlers finish things off with four kills in the set, including the kill on set point for a 25-21 win.

In the second set the Rattlers took a quick 4-1 lead. But this time the Crusaders rallied and took control. A 12-2 run gave NNU a 13-6 lead and the Rattlers never got closer than six points in a 25-12 loss.

In the third set it was the Crusaders turn to take a big early lead, starting the set with an 11-3 run. But four kills by McCarver (So., San Antonio) helped the Rattlers rally and a block by Jessica Martin (Jr., Spring Branch) and Stephanie Crowell (Jr., The Woodlands) gave the Rattlers their first lead of the set at 24-23. However, the Crusaders won the next three points, handing the Rattlers a tough 26-24 loss. In the fourth set the Crusaders never trailed in a 25-19 win that clinched the match.

McCarver led the way for the Rattlers with nine kills and eight digs. Sondra Cui (Fr., Schertz) had a double-double with 25 assists and 12 digs. Teter led the Rattlers defensively with 17 digs. As a team the Rattlers had nine blocks.

With the losses the Rattlers are now 3-3 this season, but have lost three straight matches. St. Mary’s will wrap up play at the Central Washington Invitational on Saturday when they play fellow Marionist institution, Chaminade University at noon.

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