Odessa, Texas – One week ago to the day, the St. Mary’s University volleyball players left Bill Greehey Arena wondering how to break the cycle.
They had kept building early leads on teams, only to be stymied by their opponents’ determination and by a lack of breaks in eventual losses. They knew they had to get mentally tougher, but they also knew that’s easier said than done.
On Thursday night, the Rattlers showed just how far they’ve come in a week’s time by beating the University of Texas-Permian Basin 3-1 (25-23, 19-25, 25-19, 27-25) on the road.
Heartland Conference Hitter of the Week Kori McCarver, a senior setter from San Antonio, led the way with 29 assists and eight kills to help the Rattlers (5-7, 2-1 in conference) secure their first winning streak of the season.
It was a near mirror image of their previous victory, a much-needed triumph over the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, with the Rattlers flashing their newly constructed resolute nature on the court.
Fighting to take an early 1-0 advantage, the Rattlers saw the score evened when UTPB won the second set. But the Rattlers wouldn’t go away, winning the next two sets 25-19 and 27-25 – the latter of which was the same score it took to close out Arkansas-Fort Smith in the fourth set last week.
Junior libero/defensive specialist Stephanie Flores had a team-high 25 digs, while junior middle blocker Stephanie Proske (LaGrange, Texas) led the Rattlers with 10 kills.
Sophomore setter Allie Murray (San Antonio) and senior outside hitter Kate Kershner (San Antonio) had 16 digs apiece, while freshman outside hitter Karlie Ortega (San Antonio) added 13 to go along with eight kills.
Junior right side Adrianna Keys (San Antonio) and junior middle blocker Kirsten Chapman (Jourdanton, Texas) had nine kills apiece.