FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Playing in their last game in the Gates
Center this season, the IPFW Mastodons gave the fans everything they could ask
for, hitting .478 for the match and leading nearly every phase of the match in
a 3-0 (25-16, 29-27, 25-23) victory over ninth ranked Lewis on Saturday evening.
The win is the third time this season that a ranked opponent has come into the Gates Center and fallen, and the Mastodons are 4-4 against teams ranked inside of the top-15 this year. The win also guarantees at least a .500 record for the year.
The last time IPFW hit better than .478 in a match was on March 31, 2006, when the 'Dons hit .494 (46 kills, 8 errors, 77 attempts), also at home against Lewis.
IPFW was led by Eddie Rivera who had 15 kills and seven digs, while Andy Sellan has 12 kills, Anthony Randolph 11, and Rob Samp nine - the latter two playing in their final home games in a Mastodon uniform. Omar Rivera dished out 49 assists, while he and Randolph each had two service aces. Luis Bertran led the team with eight digs, while Ramon Burgos, Rob Samp, and Randolph each had three blocks.
The Mastodons never trailed in the first set, jumping out to a 3-1 lead and never looking back. Lewis cut the gap to two at 10-8, before IPFW scored four straight on kills by Ramon Burgos, Randolph, and Omar Rivera, before Sellan closed the run with a service ace, putting the 'Dons ahead 14-8. After Lewis closed the gap to four at 18-14, IPFW closed the match on a 7-2 run to win the opener 25-16.
With IPFW leading nearly wire-to-wire in the first, the second set was the complete opposite, as the frame saw four lead changes and 21 tie scores. The largest lead by either team in the set was two, as IPFW led 7-5 and Lewis as late as 21-19. With the Mastodons trailing by two, IPFW rallied with two straight points, and from there neither team would lead by more than one until the 'Dons put together a service ace by Rivera and a kill by Samp to close the door on the Flyers.
Lewis came out of the between-set break firing on all cylinders, racing out to a 5-1 lead, and led by four at 10-6 before IPFW took off on an 8-4 run to tie the score at 15. Trailing by one at 16-15, the Mastodons scored four straight to lead 18-16.
Leading by two at 21-19, and seemingly having all of the momentum in their favor, the Mastodons saw Lewis run off three straight points to take a one-point, 22-21 lead, forcing an IPFW timeout. From that point on, IPFW closed the door with a 4-1 push, including a match-ending kill by Eddie Rivera.
IPFW had 53 kills in the match against just 10 errors and 90 total attempts, while adding five service aces, 25 digs, and 7.5 blocks.
Lewis was led by Jay Petty who had 11 kills, with Geoff Powell adding 10 for the Flyers.
The Mastodons await their fate to see their draw for the first round of the MIVA Tournament.
~ Feel the Rumble ~