San Antonio – Kori McCarver and Kirsten Chapman led the St. Mary’s University attack, but sixth-ranked West Texas A&M University held off the Rattlers, 29-27, 20-25, 25-12, 25-17, in volleyball action Friday morning on the final day of the Texas MedClinic Regional Crossover Tournament at Bill Greehey Arena.

The Buffaloes ran out to a 17-9 lead to start the match, with St. Mary’s committing nine attack errors in the first set to assist the WTAMU cause. Led by the serving of McCarver (So., San Antonio) and three kills from Stephanie Crowell (Jr., The Woodlands), the Rattlers went on a 7-0 run to tie the set at 17-17. The Buffs took a four-point lead at 23-18, but back-to-back kills by McCarver helped the Rattlers fight off four set points and tied the score at 24. The Rattlers took the lead at 26-25 on another McCarver kill. Two kills by Laura Prinsen helped WTAMU rally past the Rattlers for a 29-27 win.

St. Mary’s used the momentum from the first set and rolled to a second set win, 25-20, committing just two attack errors against 14 kills. However the Buffaloes took over in the third set, limiting the Rattlers to five kills in a 25-12 win. The fourth set was a back-and-forth affair until a 12-4 run by the Buffaloes ended the set at 25-17.

Prinsen led all players with 19 kills, while Melissa Harper had 14 kills and Natalie Johnson added 12. For the Rattlers, McCarver had 13 kills, four service aces and four digs. Tiffany Jansky (Jr., Poth) had 10 kills and 13 digs. Chapman (Fr., Jourdanton) had nine kills in just 19 attacks and added a team-high five blocks.

With the loss the Rattlers dropped their seventh straight match and are 3-7 overall. WTAMU improved to 9-2 with the victory. St. Mary’s will return to the court on Thursday when they travel to Goodwell, Okla., to open Heartland Conference play against Oklahoma Panhandle State University at 7 p.m.

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