San Antonio – Fans came with their chests painted, the men’s soccer team was raucous as always from the stands and the St. Mary’s University volleyball team came out firing.
There was no mistaking it – this was the Battle of the Saints at Bill Greehey Arena.
The Rattlers fed off that energy early, jumping to a 2-0 lead over St. Edward’s University before falling in five sets (25-23, 25-22, 21-25, 19-25, 5-15) on Thursday night.
Seniors Kate Kershner (San Antonio) and Kori McCarver (San Antonio) led the way with eye-popping numbers, recording 21 kills and 47 assists, respectively.
“It was a good atmosphere; it’s always good to feel the fans’ support,” said Kershner, who also recorded 19 digs. “Those first two games, it was that notion of, ‘This is how it feels. It should be like this. We’re executing.’ But after that, we were playing not to lose.”
After falling behind 1-7 in the first set, the Rattlers (6-12, 2-3 Heartland Conference) stormed back with a vengeance, scoring 20 of the next 30 points en route to a 25-23 victory.
St. Mary’s carried that momentum into the second set, a game it nearly led throughout.
But St. Edward’s came out with a renewed focus following the ensuing halftime, stealing the next three sets for the overall victory.
Despite the loss, the Rattlers filled up the stats sheet with impressive numbers. Five players recorded double-digit digs, paced by McCarver’s 20 and Kershner’s 19. Karlie Ortega (Fr., San Antonio) added 18, while Allie Murray (So., San Antonio) had 17 and Melissa Dahle (Fr., San Antonio) recorded 16.
Meanwhile, Ortega also had 11 kills, while Stephanie Proske (Jr., LaGrange) posted 13 and Kirsten Chapman (Jr., Jourdanton, Texas) 10.
Chapman also had her hands in five of the team’s eight blocked shots.
St. Mary’s returns to the court at 12 p.m. Saturday, when it will host Dallas Baptist University at Bill Greehey Arena.