UNO roared back from two sets down, but Purdue Fort Wayne controlled the fifth set to beat the Mavericks 25-22, 27-25, 18-25, 15-25, 15-10 Sunday at Baxter Arena.
Nearly half of UNO’s matches this season have gone to five sets. The Mavs (10-10, 3-3 Summit League) are 2-7 in those matches.
UNO coach Matt Buttermore said his team needs to focus on details during the fifth set, but also “we have to have a little belief that we can make the same plays we made in sets three and four.”
The Mavs dominated those two sets Sunday after digging a 2-0 hole. UNO had two set points in the second, but the Mastodons won that set on a hitting error.
UNO never trailed in the third and fourth sets and led 2-1 in the fifth before Fort Wayne scored the next four points. The Mastodons never trailed the remainder of the final set.
UNO’s top three hitters combined for 57 kills — Isabella Sade had 22, Sadie Limback 18 and Anna Blaschko 17. Freshman Sami Clarkson had 58 assists while Claire Mountjoy led the defense with 20 digs.
The loss dropped UNO into fourth in the Summit. The Mavs host third-place Denver Tuesday at 7 p.m.