San Antonio – Talk to anyone associated with the St. Mary’s volleyball program, and the word “young” is sure to come up when discussing the squad.

With only one senior on the roster – and a total of only three upperclassmen altogether – how else could they be described?

Well, talented, for one.

St. Mary’s opened up its season with an impressive 3-0 victory over Midwestern State in the St. Mary’s / Hilltopper Volleyball Tournament Classic, winning 25-14, 25-20, 25-21 Friday at Bill Greehey Arena.

The Rattlers couldn’t keep that momentum going against No. 15 Angelo State, falling 0-3 despite giving the Rambelles a scare midway through the match.

“We came out and we were pumped; we were ready,” said freshman Jenna Paul (Alvin, Texas). “We were just low on communication.”

Call them growing pains; an element easily correctible for this focused team.

Against Midwestern State (1-1), the Rattlers (1-1) led from start to finish – thanks in no small part to their veteran core.

Karlie Ortega (Jr., San Antonio) and Kelsey Huber (Jr., San Antonio) led StMU with nine kills apiece, while Allie Murray (Sr., San Antonio) posted a team-high 24 assists. But Paul, a starter as a freshman, had five kills in her first career match to highlight signs of what is to come.

St. Mary’s attacked the net with authority throughout, recording a .231 hitting percentage against the Mustangs.

The Rattlers couldn’t keep that momentum going against Angelo State, getting outhit .307-.079 at the net.

St. Mary’s will return to the court Saturday, when they wrap up the tournament action with matches at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

“Our main thing is to communicate,” Paul said, “and to come out with more intensity, more energy. “

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