St. Mary's (Texas) wins regional in its first NCAA tournament appearance
SAN ANTONIO -- St. Mary's (Texas) stood holding the regional championship banner after trumping Cameron 5-0 in the South Central Regional on Sunday, advancing to the Round of 16.
The Rattlers will face NYIT in that round on May 14 in Altamonte Springs, Florida.
Earning their right into the national tournament, the Rattlers have now advanced further than the program ever has since entering the NCAA.
The 2014 Rattlers (16-4) have already made history for making the national tournament for the first time in program history, but for one Rattler, it's her second time coming.
While her fellow teammates will experience the national stage for the first time, transfer Jamie Lee Denton has been there once before. Denton advanced to the semifinal round of the national tournament last season with her former teammates of Abilene Christian.
Denton played lights out the Rattlers' No. 3 player, winning StMU's first point in singles and fourth point for the match quickly, winning 6-2, 6-0.
The Rattlers went into singles play in their best scenario, up 3-0 after sweeping doubles play, making Denton's win a big one as it put the Rattlers' goal in clearer sight.
No. 3 doubles Joanie Bryant and Ariana Saldana won with a 8-0 win while No. 1 doubles Mariana Rong and Cristina Lopez and No. 2 doubles Felicity Delgado and Denton won 8-3 and 8-6, respectively.
Bryant then picked up the Rattlers' decisive point shortly after Denton completed her match in another powerful showing, winning 6-2, 6-1.
St. Mary's has now won all three of its postseason matches 5-0, winning two in the Heartland Conference tournament.
Both the Rattlers and the NYIT Bears, who house two nationally ranked players, enter the national tournament on a six-game winning streak.