Fort Wayne, IN - Behind the steady serve of Eddie Rivera, the IPFW Mastodons downed the Quincy Hawks to pick up their fourth MIVA win of the season, 25-20, 25-19, 19-25, 25-17.
The Mastodons opened the first set in fine fashion, taking an early 8-5 lead after a Quincy attack error. After allowing the set to move back to even at 11 each, the 'Dons rattled off a three-point rally to take a three-point advantage at 15-12.
With the score growing tighter at 21-19, freshman Eddie Rivera posted a huge solo block that landed in the hitter's lap to take a convincing 22-19 lead. From there, the Mastodon attack fell into gear, closing with three of the final four points to take a 25-20 set that saw zero lead changes and just four tie scores.
As a team, IPFW hit .364 to complement a defensive front that tallied 4.5 blocks.
Dead even through the first 20 serves of the set, neither the Mastodons nor the Hawks could settle into a groove, hitting .143 and .000 respectively. A three-point rally gave the Hawks a 13-10 and an aura of confidence.
Rob Samp powered a kill off the head of a Quincy blocker to cut the lead to 15-14, but the Hawks would continue to charge ahead, eventually taking a three-point lead at 22-19. Back-to-back IPFW miscues brought on set-point before a Hawks marker closed out a 25-19 win to even the match at one set a piece.
With gameplan changes in place after the mid-set break, the Mastodons stormed out to a 5-1 lead to start the third frame on a service ace by Rivera. Maintaining steady two and three-point leads throughout the set, the 'Dons pushed their lead to four at 22-18 with a Quincy service error.
A laser serve ace by Rivera on the next play pushed the action to 23-18 before closing out a 25-19 third set victory that ran wire to wire, with no tie scores or lead changes.
After posting 4.5 blocks in set number one, the IPFW front went cold, posting zero blocks in sets two and three.
Battling through ugly play that saw the two sides trade points in the early going, Rivera tallied his third, fourth and fifth service aces of the match on consecutive plays, sparking a rally that put the 'Dons ahead 17-11.
That lead became 20-13 and the IPFW attack would outlast the pesky Hawk squad, closing out a fourth-set victory, 25-1.
Junior Ivan Matos led the IPFW squad with 12 kills while Rivera's five aces and JW Kieckhefer's 11 digs were both team-highs.
The four-set victory moves IPFW to 14-9 overall and 4-6 in conference play. They return to action next Friday (Apr. 8) as they travel to Romeoville, Ill. for an 8 p.m. showdown with the Lewis Flyers.