Fort Wayne, IN - The dynamic duo of Eddie Rivera and Ivan Matos powered an IPFW offense that hit .433 overall as a team in a quick, three-set sweep of the Saint Francis (Pa.) Red Flash.
Rivera hit .500 overall and posted five service aces while Matos paced the Mastodon offense with 12 kills. Darryl Shank tallied 11 kills on a .588 attack percentage in a match that lasted just over one hour.
In the open of set number one, Dan Mader took the serve and fired an ace to spark a 5-0 run. That lead grew to seven at 10-3 and ballooned to as large as ten at 22-12. A huge ace by Rivera pushed the action to set-point at 24-12 before he slammed home another ace to close the set at 25-22.
In addition to his big aces, Rivera hit .800 with four kills in a first set that saw the 'Dons hit .647 to the Red Flash's .000.
Carrying the momentum into set number two, IPFW took an 11-9 lead on a Darryl Shank kill and slowly grew that advantage to four at 15-11. Corey Frain converted on a short set from Dan Mader to take a 19-15 lead and Garrett Bitter's knuckleball serve found the back corner of the net, as his ace brought to score to 20-15, deflating the Saint Francis squad. A Red Flash attack error gave IPFW a set-point opportunity at 24-19 and a Corey Frain and Ivan Matos block closed the door on a 25-20 second set victory.
The Mastodons fell behind 4-1 to start set number three before battling back to even the score at 8-8. A service ace by Shank, followed by an SFU attack error moved the score to 15-13, warranting a timeout from the Red Flash bench. Battling off the momentum swing, IPFW settled into an 18-16 lead before Rivera took the serve. From there, the 'Dons rattled off a six-point run, highlighted by a pair of aces by Rivera, to take match-point at 24-16. After two SFU points, Matos slammed home the final point to close out a three-set sweep, 25-19.
IPFW's .433 attack percentage is their second-best of the season as they continue to ramp up play in preparation for the MIVA tournament. Their first round matchup will be the Lewis Flyers who, with at least one win this weekend, will secure the fourth seed and a home game in the first round.
The victory pushes IPFW to 16-10 overall. They will play host to No. 9 Penn State tomorrow night at the Hilliard Gates Sports Center in Fort Wayne. First serve is slated for 7 p.m.