The Mastodons were eaten alive in a three-set sweep by the UC Irvine Anteaters (25-15, 25-12, 25-23) in the opening round of the Cleveland State Invitational.
Emily Spencer led the IPFW with eight kills, while Kendall Wienkes had six kills to go with a match-high 15 digs. Spencer added 10 digs while Hailie Ripley had three blocks.
The Anteaters took a 15-4 lead halfway through the set and never looked back in a 25-15 win.
The 'Dons trailed by four at 11-7 midway through the second set before UC Irvine out-scored IPFW 14-5 for the 25-12 victory.
IPFW and UC Irvine battled back and forth throughout the third set, with the largest lead by either team coming when the Mastodons took a 12-8 lead halfway through the set, forcing an Anteater timeout. Tied at 23, UC Irvine closed strong using back-to-back kills to claim the 25-23 final-set win.
The Mastodons take on tournament host Cleveland State at 12:30 p.m. Saturday before facing High Point at 4:30 p.m.