Wednesday, September 5 • 7:30 p.m.


Final Score: UW-L 3, SMU 2
(30-27, 32-30, 17-30, 26-30, 16-18)(

Official Box Score

The Highlights:

Rhonda Thibault, SMU: 17 kills
Melissa Cowan, SMU: 51 assists

UP NEXT: SMU at Sugar Loaf Classic

Friday-Saturday, September 7-8
Cardinals stretch UW-La Crosse to the limit before falling in five games

WINONA, Minn. — Before Wednesday's season opener against UW-La Crosse, Saint Mary's University volleyball coach Mike Lester admitted that he had no idea what to expect from his young squad.

After watching Wednesday's showing against the Eagles, Lester is certain of one thing — his Cardinals are going to be fun (and nerve-wracking) to watch.

The Cardinals took the Eagles to the limit, before losing in five games, 30-27, 32-30, 17-30, 26-30, 16-18.

"It was a great match," admitted Lester. "To go five games against a team ranked in the Top 25, that's a good start. Sure, we would have liked to have come out on top, but for a first match, I was very pleased."

Pleased, but still a bit disappointed.

"I want our girls to be a little upset and disappointed that they lost," Lester said. "Because this was a match that we could have very easily won. It came down to a couple crucial points and La Crosse came up with the big hits when they needed them."

Rhonda Thibault (Faribault, Minn.) led the way for the Cardinals, collecting 17 kills, while Tracy Koertgen (Crystal Lake, Ill.) and Ashley Dingels (Gibbon, Minn.) each added 12. Melissa Cowan (Algonquin, Ill.) dished out 51 assists.

"This is a very young team and to play like they did, in a pressure situation against a team like La Crosse, it's a great start," Lester said. "Obviously we've still got a ways to go, but I certainly like what I saw."