LAREDO – Stephanie Crowell and Kirsten Chapman combined for 25 kills, but St. Mary’s University fell for the third straight match, 25-21, 25-21, 20-25, 25-21, against Texas A&M International University in Heartland Conference volleyball action Saturday at the Kinesiology Building.

Crowell (Jr., The Woodlands) had her best this season, posting 12 kills against just one attack error. Chapman (Fr., Jourdanton) reached double figures in kills for the second straight match with 13 against the Dustdevils. As a team the Rattlers had 49 kills against 21 attack errors.

The Rattlers led by as much as six points in the first set and had a three-point edge at 18-15 late in the set before the Dustdevils rallied. Four kills by Nicole Gipson keyed a 9-1 run that turned the three-point deficit into a five-point lead, and helped TAMIU to a 25-21 win. In the second set the Dustdevils took a big early lead and held off a late rally for a 25-21 win. In the third set the Rattlers took a commanding lead early on, lost that lead, but finished strong with a 7-2 run to win the set 25-20. In the fourth set the Rattlers again took the lead early and led 21-19. But the Dustdevils won the final six points to take the set and the match.

Gipson led the Dustdevils with 16 kills, while Brittany Smith had 12 kills. The two combined for 28 kills against just three attack errors.

With the loss the Rattlers fell to 8-15 overall and 5-6 in Heartland Conference play. TAMIU improved to 5-20, 2-9. St. Mary’s will return to action on Wednesday when they travel across town to face the University of the Incarnate Word in a Heartland Conference matchup starting at 7 p.m.

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