Fort Wayne, IN - Behind a frontline that outblocked the Mastodons 21.5-2, the Ball State Cardinals captured a three-set sweep over IPFW, 26-24, 25-21, 25-18.
Pacing the IPFW attack was 12 kills from junior outside hitter Ivan Matos and 11 kills by senior Darryl Shank.
In the opening set, Rob Samp's ace gave IPFW an early 5-1 lead that would quickly dwindle. A massive block by Anders Nelson and Greg Herceg would knot the match at 11. With the score tied, the Mastodon offense would ignite. With the score at 16-14 and Shaun Dryden on the serve, IPFW's offense would push their lead to five at 21-16, warranting a Cardinal timeout.
The well-time whistle helped organize a five-point run that knotted the match at 21 apiece and ripped the advantage away from the home squad. Trading points back-and-forth, a block gave Ball State a game-point opportunity at 24-23 and, after being stopped by an Eddie Rivera kill, closed out the first set with a Lee Meyer kill and block by Meyer and Nelson.
In the opening set, the Cardinals outblocked IPFW 6.5 to one and used five Mastodon service errors to take the set.
Set number two again opened in favor of the Mastodons as Rob Samp's ace gave IPFW a 4-2 lead. Ensuing tight play saw the two sides alternate points, with the advantage eventually swinging in favor of Ball State at 14-11. The Mastodon deficit grew to five at 21-16 after an attack error, leading to a Mastodon timeout. The next three points would tally in favor of IPFW, but a Cardinal timeout would seal the set as the Cardinals scored four of the next six points to seal a second set victory.
In the middle frame, the Mastodons failed to block a Cardinal attack, as the Ball State blockers against posted six stops.
The Cardinals carried their building momentum into set number three as the Mastodons fell behind 10-5 to start the set. That deficit would continue to swell, reaching as many as ten at 20-10 before the Cardinals closed out a sharp third set victory behind nine blocks, 25-18.
As a team, the Mastodons hit at a .115 clip overall and were led by Corey Frain's .833 attack percentage (5-6). Adam Quinn totaled 35 assists and Eddie Rivera posted seven digs to lead the squad.
For the Cardinals, four players posted five or more kills as no player reached double-figures. Anders Nelson posted ten blocks to lead the team.
With the loss, the Mastodons fall to 6-5 overall and 0-3 in MIVA
action. They return to action next Friday (Feb. 18) as they host
the Lewis Flyers. First serve in the Alumni Weekend match is
scheduled for 7 p.m.