Playing a best-of-five series match, the Oles lost the first game 21-30.
The Oles fared better in the second game against the Cardinals, but still came up short in a 26-30 loss.
The women played well defensively in the must-win third game but could not muster sufficient offensive composure, losing 24-30.
Despite St. Mary's aggressive play, Ole players fared well individually. Andrea Ottman '07 supplied 13 kills while Ashley Dennis '07 contributed 12 of her own, also coming through with a great defensive effort including 14 digs.
The St. Mary's volleyball team ended a losing streak with the three game sweep of the Oles.
The Cardinals are currently 4-2 in the MIAC.
The MIAC volleyball conference is stacked for the 2004 season, with five teams having two or fewer losses in conference play. The Concordia Cobbers have jumped out to a 6-0 record in the conference while maintaining an 18-1 record overall.
The St. Olaf women's volleyball team has had a tough start, opening the season with a 0-4 record. Although they have won seven games overall, their only conference win came against Augsburg, who is currently 0-5 in the MIAC.
The Oles have a relatively young team with only three seniors and two juniors on their roster.
The remainder of the team consists of four sophomores and four first years.
The women are hoping to fare better this season than they did last year, when they finished ninth in MIAC competition.
The team accrued a 5-6 conference record in 2003 and failed to make the playoffs.
Despite these daunting statistics, the women held their own against a solid St. Mary's team that has already won 16 matches this year.
The women will return home to face St. Thomas Friday at 7:30 p.m.