PITTSBURG, Kan. – The Lady Rattlers weren’t about to let this one slip away.

Two days after enduring a heartbreaking loss to Texas A&M International in which they led 2-0, the St. Mary’s volleyball team again found itself up 2-0 on Friday.

This time, though, they held on.

St. Mary’s trumped Missouri Southern State 3-1 in the opening game of the Pittsburg State Regional Volleyball Challenge at John Lance Arena.

But they couldn’t keep the momentum going in their second match of the day, as the Rattlers were topped 3-1 by Northwest Missouri State.

The tournament will continue through Saturday, with the Rattlers squaring off against perennial-power Central Missouri at 9 a.m. and facing Midwestern State at 1 p.m.

In the victory, Karlie Ortega (So., San Antonio) led the Rattlers with 17 kills, while Stephanie Proske (Sr., La Grange, Texas) had 16 to help the Rattlers (13-3) get back in the win column with the non-conference victory.

Allie Murray (Jr., San Antonio) – this week’s Heartland Conference Setter of the Week – led the Rattlers with 47 assists and 16 digs. Victorria Martinez (Fr., Arlington, Texas) had 15 digs, while Ortega – the conference’s reigning Hitter of the Week – added 14.

Against Northwest Missouri State, Ortega was on the aggressive again, posting a team-high 12 kills. Martinez added 17 digs, while Murray had 25 assists.

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