SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – No St. Mary’s volleyball team has ever enjoyed a better start than the one this year’s team has engineered.

Rounding out the American International Tournament on Saturday, the Lady Rattlers squeaked past Dowling, 3-2, before thumping American International College, 3-0, at the Butova Gymnasium.

The victories improved St. Mary’s record on the season to 9-0, matching the best start in school history, set back in 1996.

Stephanie Proske (Sr., La Grange, Texas) and Allie Murray (Jr., San Antonio) starred throughout the tournament and were named to the All-Tournament Team for their play.

In their nail biter against Dowling, the Rattlers won 25-21, 18-25, 25-21, 19-25, 15-6. Murray had 50 assists and 20 digs, leading the team in both categories, while Proske had 13 kills and hit .571.
Karlie Ortega (So., San Antonio) led St. Mary’s with 19 kills in the match.

Later, St. Mary’s had it easier against the tournament’s host, American International, winning 25-9, 29-27, 25-20.

Proske had a team-high 12 kills, while Kirsten Chapman (Sr., Jourdanton, Texas) added 11. Victorria Martinez (Fr., Arlington, Texas) led the way with 22 digs.

With a chance to post the single-best record to start a season in school history, St. Mary’s will get back on the court Thursday when they open Heartland Conference competition at Newman. The match will begin at 7 p.m. in Wichita, Kan.

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