Dallas – Two days after punching its ticket to the Heartland Conference Tournament in defeat, the St. Mary’s University volleyball team got back to taking control of its own fate through winning.

Returning to their winning ways, the Rattlers gutted out a 3-2 road victory over Dallas Baptist University on Saturday, securing the third seed in next week’s tournament. Behind Kate Kershner’s 15 kills and Stephanie Flores’ 25 digs, St. Mary’s won the back-and-forth match 25-22, 25-21, 22-25, 23-25, 15-11.

It marked the Rattlers’ fourth straight victory in a match that went five sets.

The Rattlers appeared poised to rout Dallas Baptist early, rolling to a 2-0 lead. But Dallas Baptist fought back to force a fifth set, territory the Rattlers once dreaded. But not anymore.

The fifth-set victory prevented St. Mary’s from entering the tournament as the fourth seed, which would have left them staring down a matchup against regular-season champion St. Edward’s University next week. Instead, the Rattlers (13-17, 7-5) will play Newman University next Friday at St. Edward’s in Austin.

Against Dallas Baptist, Kori McCarver (Sr., San Antonio) led the team with 48 assists and was one of four players with double-digit digs. McCarver posted 12 digs, while Allie Murray (So., San Antonio) and Kershner (Sr., San Antonio) added 20 and 18, respectively.

McCarver also added 11 kills, while Mallory Moeller (Jr., Geronimo, Texas) had 13.

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