Last season UNO was picked to finish eighth and ninth in two preseason conference polls, partly because of their youth and inexperience.
The Mavs had never skated in the ultra-competitive WCHA, and 10 of the teams' 25 members were freshmen, new to the college game. Experience in the WCHA won't be an issue this season.
The UNO women's soccer team suffered big second halves by their opponents and dropped two matches in their weekend trip to Colorado. After a scoreless first half on Friday and a 2-1 halftime lead on Sunday, the Mavs allowed seven total goals in the second halves of both games.
The UNO women's volleyball team came back from two Friday losses with a pair of wins Saturday, doubling their win total to four on the season. The Mavs bounced back from two four-set losses with a five-set win and a sweep in their final match.
It may not have been 6-1, but the chances were definitely there. UNO hockey opened a second straight season with an exhibition against the University of British Columbia, this year winning 4-1.
The UNO volleyball team played its final competitive home match of the season Tuesday night, losing in straight sets to South Dakota. Before the match, the Mavs honored the personal and athletic achievements of their three seniors- Brittany Hanssen, Emily Myers and Angie Reicks.
That's where the good feelings ended.
Last Thursday, St. Cloud State University and Western Michigan University officially accepted invitations to join the National Collegiate Hockey Conference when the conference begins play in 2013-14. St. Cloud State is the sixth member of the WCHA to make the move, while Western Michigan becomes the second team from the CCHA.
UNO gave up goals early and late in Friday's match against Mercer falling 2-0 and spoiling the Mavs home debut at Werner Pak. Ashani Samuels and Will Betts had goals for the Bears, who handed UNO their fifth straight shutout of the season.
The UNO women's volleyball team faced three Division I opponents last week, sandwiching a home match on Wednesday between trips to Wichita and Kansas City. The Mavs pushed UMKC to five sets on Wednesday, while falling 3-0 to Wichita St. on Tuesday and 3-1 to North Dakota on Friday.