Wichita, Kan. – Look who is creeping up the Heartland Conference standings.

The St. Mary’s University volleyball team rallied to defeat Newman University 3-2 (21-25, 25-18, 25-19, 23-25, 15-11) on Thursday, racking up another pivotal conference victory in the Rattlers’ feverish pursuit to earn a spot in the Heartland Conference Tournament.

It marked St. Mary’s fifth straight victory, improving the Rattlers to 11-13 overall and 5-4 in Heartland Conference play.

Kirsten Chapman (Jr., Jourdanton, Texas) led the way with 18 kills, while Stephanie Proske (Jr., LaGrange, Texas) hit .500 and Stephanie Flores (Jr., San Antonio) recorded 20 digs on the night. Kori McCarver (Sr., San Antonio) added 46 assists, while Kate Kershner (Sr., San Antonio) posted 13 kills.

For the Rattlers, the triumph moved them ahead of Texas-Permian Basin and into a tie for third place with Newman. UTPB entered the night with a 5-4 mark but fell to St. Edward’s, dropping to 5-5.

St. Mary’s now controls its fate with three conference games left, not including Saturday’s contest against the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, which is a provisional member this season. Two of the Rattlers’ three remaining conference games come against teams sitting below them in the conference standings.

After falling behind 21-25 to Newman, the Rattlers stormed back to take the next two sets before being forced to a Game 5. The Rattlers held tough, winning their third five-game contest after starting the season 0-5 in such matches.

Allie Murray (So., San Antonio) had 14 digs, while Kershner added 16 and McCarver 13, respectively. McCarver also had nine kills, while Mallory Moeller (Jr., Geronimo, Texas) added six.

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