IPFW Falls, 3-2, at George Mason

IPFW Falls, 3-2, at George Mason

FAIRFAX, Va. – Ivan Matos and Phil Peterson posted 16 and 14 kills, respectively, but it wasn't enough, as George Mason fought back from a set down to outlast IPFW 3-2 Friday evening in Fairfax, Va.

IPFW drops to 1-2 this season, while George Mason picks up its first win in 2012, and moves to 1-0.

The Mastodons opened the first set attacking from all angles, and took a three-point lead at 12-9 after Peterson, Matos, Elon Fyfield and Ramon Burgos each picked up early kills. Before IPFW could expand its lead, the Patriots answered back with a 7-2 run to take a two-point advantage at 16-14. The teams traded points, before another Peterson kill put IPFW ahead once again at 19-18. Taking the lead to set point, Peterson once again came through with his ninth point of the frame to give IPFW a 25-21 set win.

A rejuvenated George Mason squad came out firing in the second set and steamed ahead 19-8, earning three service aces from Joe Norton. Not shaken, the 'Dons responded in a big way and cut the deficit to five at 20-15, as Matos and Peterson earned kills to ignite a 7-2 run. Despite the strong push, George Mason returned to form and closed the set with a powerful kill from Norton, winning 25-17.

In the third set, IPFW returned from intermission on target, jumping in front 6-3. As seen in the first set, the Patriots answered back and pulled ahead 10-9, holding the lead to 20-17. Rob Samp blasted a kill to the midcourt to keep IPFW alive late in the frame, but not before George Mason fed-off three Mastodon errors to close the set on top, 25-22.

Looking to extend the match, the Mastodons battled George Mason point for point the entire fourth set, before IPFW took a one-point lead at 19-18. After Jonathon Meyer blasted a kill, the Patriots committed a late error to provide IPFW a 25-21 fourth set win.

In the fifth and deciding set, George Mason stormed out to an 8-3 advantage, with Jonathon Lutz leading the way with two kills. The Mastodons didn't go away, however, and moved within three at 10-7, as Jonathon Rivera and Dan Mader earned kills to start the 'Don comeback. Despite the effort, Lutz totaled three more kills, leading to a 15-7 Patriot win.

IPFW managed 51 kills and eight blocks, while hitting .183 against George Mason. Matos finished with 16 kills and nine digs, while Peterson earned 14 kills. Rivera dished out 40 digs and made six digs.

The 'Dons will return to the court in less than 24 hours, when it faces St. Francis (Pa.) on Sat. Jan. 14. Game-time is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. EST.