San Antonio – The Rattlers weren’t about to let this lead slip away.

After grabbing an early two-set advantage, the St. Mary’s volleyball team held on late to secure a 3-2 victory over Texas-Permian Basin, outlasting the Falcons 20-18 in an epic fifth set.

Kelsey Huber (So., San Antonio) provided the winning points on an Allie Murray (Sr., San Antonio) pass, part of 15 kills the outside hitter hit Thursday evening in the Heartland Conference match.

With the win, St. Mary’s (3-4 overall) improved to 1-2 in conference play on the season.

Huber wasn’t the only Rattler on fire against the Falcons, as freshman Jenna Paul of Alvin, Texas had 14 kills and a team-high .261 hitting percentage. Karlie Ortega (Jr., San Antonio) and Taylor Obermiller (So., San Antonio) added 11 kills apiece, while Melissa Heft (So., San Antonio) had 10 and hit .208.

Victorria Martinez (So., Arlington, Texas) led the Rattlers in digs with 35, while freshman Mikayla Bass had 20 in her first road conference game. Bass added 24 assists, while Murray had a team-high 31.

St. Mary’s jumped to a quick 2-0 lead after winning the first two sets 25-22 and 27-25, but the Falcons responded by taking the next two sets 25-16, 25-20. But St. Mary’s pulled away for good in an epic fifth set that saw 13 ties.

Having been burned after dropping a match to St. Edward’s after leading 2-0 last weekend, the young Rattlers learned from their mistakes and matured in a hurry.

St. Mary’s will resume action Saturday, when it travels to play at McMurry.

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