San Antonio – If needed, Karlie Ortega is perfectly fine taking a seat on the St. Mary’s bench.

Winning, she insists, is all that matters.

“I just want to be a good teammate,” said the sophomore from San Antonio. “Whether it’s serving, playing defense, or just sitting on the bench and cheering on my team. I just want to be a good teammate.”

She did little sitting in Thursday night’s thrilling season-opening victory, powering St. Mary’s to a 3-2 triumph over visiting Texas Wesleyan at a raucous Bill Greehey Arena, where the “Rowdy Rattlers,” a student cheering section, made their much-anticipated debut.

Posting a career-high 18 kills to go along with 12 digs, Ortega led the Lady Rattlers past the Rams 25-22, 23-25, 25-18, 22-25, 15-11.


St. Mary’s will now turn its attention to the St. Mary’s Volleyball Tournament, which it hosts Friday-Saturday. St. Mary’s plays at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday, followed by 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. tilts on Saturday.

“The hardest thing (Thursday) was we were up,” said Ortega, whose 18 kills clipped her previous career high of 16, set against Incarnate Word on Oct. 12, 2010. “We had the momentum. We felt like we had it. But we relaxed a little bit and underestimated them.”

Stephanie Proske (Sr., La Grange, Texas) had 13 kills, while Kirsten Chapman (Sr., Jourdanton, Texas) added 11. Allie Murray (Jr., San Antonio) led the team with 48 assists to go along with 23 digs, while freshman libero Victorria Martinez (Arlington, Texas) posted a team-high 26 digs. Melissa Dahle (So., San Antonio) added 10 digs.

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