San Antonio – The St. Mary’s volleyball team won’t get a chance to defend its Heartland Conference Tournament championship.

The Rattlers, a year removed from winning the tournament title, were eliminated from postseason contention Thursday in a 3-0 loss to rival St. Edward’s.

Though it was a tight match early, the Hilltoppers broke away after securing a 25-22 victory in the opening set, winning the ensuing sets 25-20 and 25-19 despite a spirited effort from a gritty Rattlers squad.

Kirsten Chapman (Sr., Jourdanton, Texas) led the Rattlers with nine kills, while Victorria Martinez (Fr., Arlington, Texas) had a team-high 25 digs to go along with Allie Murray’s (Jr., San Antonio) 28 assists.

With just one game remaining, St. Mary’s (17-12, 6-7 in Heartland Conference) remains in sixth place in the conference following the loss, unable to reach the magical number of eight conference victories needed to have a shot at the tournament.

St. Mary’s will close out the season against Dallas Baptist at 12 p.m. Saturday at Bill Greehey Arena.

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