San Antonio – St. Mary’s stood on the cusp of breaking through in three different sets Tuesday night.

And each time, the Incarnate Word Cardinals resisted the Rattlers’ push, winning the non-conference game 3-0 at the McDermott Center.

St. Mary’s fell 25-19, 25-20, 25-20, dropping to 15-10 on the season entering Wednesday’s pivotal home match against Heartland Conference foe Texas A&M International.

Wednesday’s match could ultimately determine the Rattlers’ playoff fate, as they currently sit sixth in the conference while A&M International is fourth. A victory over the Dustdevils could be the push the Rattlers need to punch their ticket as one of the four teams to qualify for the conference tournament.

But first things first, the Rattlers hoped to get past their cross-town rival, the Cardinals.

Competing in a tightly fought match, the Rattlers looked poised to do just that.

St. Mary’s trailed 22-18 in the first set, 20-18 in the second and again trailed 20-18 in the third. But UIW (11-14) held on each time.

Stephanie Proske (Sr., La Grange, Texas) and Taylor Obermiller (Fr., San Antonio) led the Rattlers with eight kills apiece, while Kirsten Chapman (Sr., Jourdanton, Texas) added seven. Allie Murray (Jr., San Antonio) paced the team with 31 assists, while freshman Victorria Martinez (Arlington, Texas) had 16 digs.

St. Mary’s will host A&M International at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Bill Greehey Arena.

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