IPFW Downs St. Francis (Pa.) in Five Sets

LORETTO, Pa. - Led by Ivan Matos and the Mastodon offense, the IPFW men's volleyball team hung on to down St. Francis (Pa.) in five sets, winning 3-2 Saturday evening in Loretto, Pa.

With the win, IPFW improves to 2-2 this season, while St. Francis (Pa.) drops to 1-1 with the loss. IPFW is 7-4 all-time against the Red Flash. The Mastodons hit .273 on Saturday, accumulating 59 kills on 121 attempts.

In a back and forth first set, the Mastodons pulled ahead by three at 10-7, with Matos leading the way with a kill and service ace.  St. Francis (Pa.) evened the score at 17-17, forcing a timeout from head coach Arnie Ball. Out of the break, IPFW came out firing and took the opening set in extra points, winning 26-24.

The Red Flash responded in the second and third frames, pulling ahead 2-1 in the match after winning 25-20 and 25-22, respectively.

Down 2-1, IPFW returned to form in the fourth set, jumping out in front 16-12 after Matos picked up five kills. Taking the lead to set point at 24-20, Matos patiently waited for a set from Jonathon Rivera, then delivered a powerful kill to move the match into a fifth set. 

In the final frame, the teams traded points until the Red Flash grabbed the lead at 6-5. Down a point, IPFW tied the frame at 8-8, then took the lead on the next point, when St. Francis (Pa.) committed a service error. From here, the Mastodons didn't look back.

Feeding off the fine play of Corey Frain, who blasted two kills late in frame, the Mastodons picked up a match-clinching kill from Phil Peterson on set point to win the frame and match.

Matos' 18 kills led the IPFW offense, while Frain blasted 13 kills and Peterson totaled 11. Rivera picked up 44 assists and JW Kieckhefer earned 12 digs. As a team, IPFW made 6.5 blocks.

Fresh off the win, IPFW will return home to the Gates Sports Center for its next match on Jan. 20, when they replay St. Francis (Pa.). Match time is set for 7:00 p.m. EST.

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