The Rattlers followed with a 3-1 loss to Midwestern State at John Lance Arena, closing out the Pittsburg State Regional Volleyball Challenge with a 1-3 record.
St. Mary’s, which began the by receiving votes in the AVCA Top 25 Poll, is now 13-5 on the season. Next week, the Rattlers will return to Heartland Conference play, where they sit in fourth place with a 3-2 mark.
Against UCM, the Rattlers faced the team that knocked them out of the NCAA Division II South Central Regional Tournament last November. But while St. Mary’s was plenty motivated to stun the Mules this time, an early hole proved too great to climb out of Saturday.
Central Missouri won the first set 25-5 and proceeded to win the next two 25-17 and 25-16.
Stephanie Proske (Sr., La Grange, Texas) and Taylor Obermiller (Fr., San Antonio) led St. Mary’s with six kills apiece. Victorria Martinez (Fr., Arlington, Texas) had a team-high 12 digs, while Allie Murray (Jr., San Antonio) led the squad with 11 assists.
The Rattlers weren’t any more fortunate against Midwestern State, surrendering an early 1-0 lead to drop the match in four sets. Midwestern State won 19-25, 25-19, 25-23, 25-18.
Karlie Ortega (So., San Antonio) led the Rattlers with 12 kills in the match, followed closely by Proske’s 10. Melissa Dahle (So., San Antonio) had a team-leading 16 digs while Murray had 36 assists.
St. Mary’s will return to action Thursday, when the Rattlers travel to play at St. Edward’s at 6:30 p.m.