Austin, Texas – A new coach, a new focus – and now, entirely new results.
The St. Mary’s University volleyball defeated Dallas Baptist University 3-1 at St. Edward’s University on Saturday, winning its first Heartland Conference Tournament Championship since 2000.
Mallory Moeller (Jr., Geronimo, Texas) led the way with 17 kills and a whopping .406 hitting percentage, fueling the Rattlers to victory in four sets (26-24, 18-25, 25-21, 25-16), advancing to next weekend’s NCAA South Central Region Tournament.
The Rattlers will learn Sunday who and when they play.
Moeller was named the Tournament MVP, while teammate Stephanie Flores (Jr., San Antonio) was also named to the All-Tournament Team.
For St. Mary’s (15-17), coach Jenny Warmack-Chipman has completely turned around the program in her first year with the team, leaving last year’s seven-win season in the rearview mirror as the program continues to embark upon nearly uncharted territory.
Despite entering the conference tournament as the No. 3 seed, the Rattlers cruised to the title with a combined score of 5-1 over the two rounds. After a back-and-forth start to Saturday’s match that included needing an extra point to win the first set and dropping the second game, the Rattlers cruised to outscore the Patriots by 13 over the final two sets.
Flores recorded 23 digs and Kori McCarver – fresh off being named the Heartland Conference Player of the Year – posted a team-high 30 assists. Allie Murray (So., San Antonio) added 18 digs, while McCarver, Kate Kershner (Sr., San Antonio) and Luisa Rodrigues (Sr., Belo Horizonte, Brazil) all had 11 digs apiece.
McCarver also posted eight kills, followed by Kirsten Chapman’s (Jr., Jourdanton, Texas) seven. Saturday’s appearance in the Heartland Conference Tournament championship game marked the Rattlers’ first since 2005.