LINCOLN, Neb. -- The Saint Mary's volleyball team put itself in good position to make a mark Thursday at Nebraska, winning the first set against the No. 12-ranked Cornhuskers.
That's when the hosts turned it on, as Nebraska rallied to win the next three sets and down the Gaels 18-25, 25-21, 25-21, 25-18 at the Devaney Sports Center.
Jordan Shaw led Saint Mary's statistically, notching her third double-double of the season with 16 kills and 14 digs. Natalie Loos added 10 kills, Kristina Graven had 15 digs and seven kills and Dalas Dodd had 43 assists.
There won't be much time to dwell on the match for Saint Mary's, as the Gaels will be back in action Friday at 2:30 p.m. (PDT) against No. 17 Iowa State. Live stats for that match can be found through Nebraska's website, huskers.com.
"We missed an opportunity to play well against a very good team. We played well only at times but certainly did not maintain the level that we are capable of for any extended period of time," Saint Mary's coach Rob Browning said. "Our passers let their servers push us around too much. We are a very good passing team and can pass well even against good serving teams. We didn't respond well when our passing broke down. That made us very predictable on offense and they took advantage of that."
After Nebraska (5-1) scored the first point of the match, Saint Mary's (3-2) never trailed again in the first set. A 6-2 run midway through the set gave the Gaels a bit of breathing room, and eventually a kill by Natalie Loos finished off the period and gave Saint Mary's the early lead.
Nebraska would roar back in the second, led for the most part by standout outside hitter Kelsey Robinson. The closest the deficit would get late in the set was 21-18, and a kill from Robinson ended the frame with Nebraska claiming a 25-21 victory. Robinson led the Huskers with 19 kills in the match and freshman Amber Rolfzen added 16.
With the Huskers holding a slim but consistent lead in the third, the Gaels continued to fight their way into the match. Back to back kills by Shaw made it 22-20 Nebraska, but two service errors and an attack error in the next four points would see the Huskers take another 25-21 win.
Nebraska held the lead for nearly the entire fourth set, closing out the match with a strong final push. The decisive point came on a kill by Kadie Rolfzen, and the Huskers ended things with a 25-18 win.
"We are certainly mature enough to learn from this experience and come out tomorrow against another very good team and play well," Browning said. "We are looking forward to it."