January 20, 2012

IPFW Bounces St. Francis (Pa.) in Home Opener, 3-1

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Despite dropping the first set, the IPFW men's volleyball team responded in a big way in the 2012 home opener, winning the next three frames in impressive fashion to bounce St. Francis (Pa.) 3-1 at the Gates Sports Center in Fort Wayne, Ind.

IPFW beats St. Francis for the second time in as many matches, moving the Royal Blue and White to 3-2 overall this season. The Red Flash drops to 1-2 with the loss.

The Mastodons started slowly in team's first home match of the season, falling behind early 9-5. After picking up kills from Ivan Matos and Elon Fyfield, IPFW marched back and tied the frame at 14-14. With the newly found momentum, Phil Peterson blasted back-to-back service aces on the next series to make the score 21-18 in favor of IPFW. Following a St. Francis timeout, the visitors stormed back and regained the lead at 23-22, then earning set point at 24-23. Off a set from Alex Kane, Red Flash outside hitter Mark Kochan blasted a kill past the Mastodon frontline to provide St. Francis the first frame, 25-23.

The teams traded points for much of the second set, before Matos notched a kill to give IPFW the lead for good at 14-13. Feeding off Red Flash errors, IPFW extended its lead to 20-14, then to 24-19. On set point, Eddie Rivera subbed into the contest and delivered a powerful kill to the far court to tie the match at 1-1.

In the third set, the Mastodons returned from intermission where it left off in the second frame by attacking the Red Flash backline. Jumping in front 9-8, IPFW increased its lead to six at 19-13, earning back-to-back kills from Corey Frain in the stretch. Taking the lead to 24-19, IPFW received the serve and started its offense with a set from Omar Rivera, who dished a perfect pass to Peterson for a kill to provide IPFW the 25-19  win.

In the final frame, four quick errors by the Red Flash put the 'Dons ahead midway through 15-13. From here, the Mastodons turned to its frontline the rest of the contest. E. Rivera blasted two late kills, followed by a powerful kill from Rob Samp on set point sent IPFW home with the win, 25-22.

Peterson paced the 'Dons with 10 kills and four digs. O. Rivera notched 42 assists to go with six digs, while JW Kieckhefer totaled a game-high 11 digs.

IPFW will remain at home for its next match tomorrow evening, when it hosts George Mason at the Gates Sports Center. Game time is schedule for 7:00 p.m. EST.

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