San Antonio – A month ago, this probably was the kind of sequence that would have undone the St. Mary’s University volleyball team.
Awarded the decisive point in the third set to take an apparent 2-1 lead over Southern Arkansas University on Saturday, St. Mary’s was quickly stripped of the point – and the victory – when referees determined there he had been an illegal substitution.
Moments later, the Rattlers lost the set.
Teams still trying to find their identity – as the Rattlers once were – might not overcome the reversal.
But these Rattlers? They just kept on fighting, right to the tune of a 3-2 victory (27-25, 24-26, 25-27, 25-19, 15-9) at Bill Greehey Arena.
It marked the Rattlers’ fourth-straight victory, and came on the heels of a 3-0 triumph (25-17, 25-19, 25-14) over Heartland Conference foe Oklahoma Panhandle State University earlier in the day.
“We’re jelling really well,” said junior outside hitter Mallory Moeller, a native of Geronimo, Texas. “Everyone is doing their job, and it’s making us play that much better as a team. It’s exciting.
“It feels better on the court, too. We can feel us playing better.”
The Rattlers entered the week 0-5 in matches that went five sets. Now they hold a two-match winning streak in such matches.
On the day, the Rattlers (10-13 overall) earned their first 10-win season since 2007 and improved to 4-4 in conference play.
Against Panhandle State, junior middle blocker Stephanie Proske (LaGrange, Texas) led the way with nine kills and a .600 hitting percentage. With a season hitting percentage that exceeds .300, Proske is closing in on the program’s all-time single-season mark. Samantha Weber set the mark at .313 in 2007.
Karlie Ortega (Fr., San Antonio) added a game-high 14 digs in the match, while Kate Kershner (Sr., San Antonio) and Stephanie Flores (Jr., San Antonio) added 13 and 11, respectively. Kori McCarver (Sr., San Antonio) led all players with 29 assists.
In the victory over Southern Arkansas, it was Moeller who led the way with a match-high 16 kills. McCarver added 15 kills and 44 assists, while Kirsten Chapman (Jr., Jourdanton, Texas) posted 14 kills.
Five players posted double-figure digs, with Flores leading the way with 32. Kershner added 16 digs, while McCarver and Allie Murray (So., San Antonio) had 12 apiece, followed by Ortega’s 11.
Proske added a match-high seven block assists.