Chicago, IL - Strong play all-around forced a
decisive fifth-set, but in the end the late charge wasn't enough,
as the Mastodons fell in a MIVA matchup with the Loyola Ramblers,
26-28, 26-24, 19-25, 25-23, 9-15.
In the opening set, IPFW took an early 7-5 lead after a Rambler service error and Darryl Shank kill. Almost immediately, the tables turned, as Loyola took seven of the next eight points to garner a 12-8 lead. The Mastodons would eventually tie the game at 17 apiece and it was neck-and-neck volleyball until the end. Neither side would take more than a one-point advantage until the final point of the match.
Phil Peterson slammed home a kill to tie the set at 26 before Mike Bunting's kill and Mike Hutz' service ace closed out an opening set win in favor of the Ramblers, 28-26 in extra time.
In the opening set, sophomore Elon Fyfield posted an impressive eight kills to lead the IPFW attack.
In set number two, the Mastodons controlled the pace of play early, as they jumped out to an early lead again at 12-9. In the same fashion as set number one, the pressure heated up. Maintaining brief two- and three-point leads throughout the set, the Mastodons saw their lead cut to none at 20-20. Trading points, the two sides would go neck-and-neck again into bonus volleyball. With the score tied at 24-24, the Mastodon offense came alive.
Darryl Shank tallied a kill off the set of teammate Adam Quinn and Rob Samp posted another kill in his efficient outing to close out the second frame in favor of the 'Dons, 26-24.
Despite falling in the set, Loyola's Mike Bunting stole the show, as he tallied an impressive nine markers in the set.
Unfortunately for IPFW, the third set saw the momentum swing in favor of the Ramblers. Loyola jumped out to an early 10-7 that IPFW squashed early, bringing the set back to even at 11-11. From there, though it was all Loyola. They expanded their lead to as many as five at 21-16 before closing out a third set victory to take a two games to one lead, 25-19.
The fourth set was, once again, a neck-and-neck battle. IPFW held brief leads throughout, but the set went even at 22 apiece. After trading points, the Mastodons used a Rambler attack error and, after Shaun Dryden's serve, another error to close out the fourth set victory 25-23.
Six kills off the swing of Darryl Shank helped pace the IPFW attack in frame four.
Despite a strong effort to send the match into the fifth and final set, the Ramblers took over in the closing frame. Loyola hopped out to a 8-4 lead at the turn and continued the heat.
Sitting at match point at 14-8, IPFW would take one final point, before falling 15-9 in the final set.
The duo of Elon Fyfield and Darryl Shank led a valiant IPFW upset bid, as Fyfield posted 16 kills with a .367 hitting percentage and Shank tallied 17 markers on a .333 hitting percentage. Both players posted six digs to lead the 'Dons.
Adam Quinn posted 49 assists as the full-time setter and Eddie Rivera and Phil Peterson each tallied a pair of aces to lead IPFW.
Rob Samp hit .714 overall in his return to his hometown, tying a previous career-high.
Loyola's Mike Bunting posted an impressive 31 kills while maintaining a .510 attack percentage.
As a team Loyola hit .421 overall with 65 kills on 114 attacks. IPFW posted an impressive .339 attack percentage, as well.
The Mastodons fall to 5-4 on the year, dropping their second MIVA match in as many games in the 2011 season. They continue their Great Lakes road swing tomorrow as they travel to Kenosha, Wis. for an 8 p.m. matchup with the Carthage Redmen.