George Mason Downs IPFW in Five Sets

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - For the second time this season, the George Mason Patriots took down the IPFW Mastodons in five sets, sweeping the two-match series with a 3-2 win Saturday evening in Fort Wayne, Ind.

The Mastodons stand at 3-3 on the season, and finished the weekend homestand 1-1. George Mason wins its second-straight match and improves to 3-2.

The Patriots jumped out to an 8-4 lead in the first set, forcing an early timeout from IPFW. The 'Dons kept the score close and remained within three at 18-15. The three-point Patriot margin turned into a four-point advantage, however, as George Mason held on to win set one, 25-21.

IPFW responded nicely in the second set, opening with a 4-0 lead, thanks to a pair of blocks from Corey Frain. Along with Frain, Eddie Rivera took the IPFW lead to 18-15 with a pair of kills. Led by Mark Jones, the Patriots marched back and strung together a 6-0 run to take the lead at 21-18. The Mastodons didn't fold, however, as Phil Peterson blasted back-to-back kills, followed by two kills from Ivan Matos to spark a 'Don comeback and give IPFW a 26-24 set win.

The teams matched one another for points early in the third frame, before IPFW embarked on a seven-point run to a take a 15-6 lead. E. Rivera led the charge with a kill and service ace. The Mastodons held the lead to set point at 24-21, where George Mason set up for a scoring play only to be denied by the Mastodon frontline, leading to a 25-21 IPFW third set victory.

Points changed hands for much of the fourth set, as both teams battled to gain the lead. At 13-13, George Mason committed an error, then Peterson tagged to a crowd-pleasing kill to jump IPFW ahead 18-15. However, errors by IPFW down the stretch offered the Patriots a sign of hope, and they took full advantage, closing the set with a solid defensive play to move the match into a fifth frame.

In the final set, the teams traded points up to 10-10, when George Mason broke through with a kill from Joe Norton. Unfortunately, IPFW never regained the lead, as the visitors picked up one final kill on match point to win the set, 15-13.

Peterson led the 'Dons for the second-straight night with a career-high 18 kills. Omar Rivera also posted a career-high with 55 assists. Frain and Matos eached totaled 10 kills, as well. Patriot Mark Jones notched a game-high 28 kills in the win.

IPFW will hit the road for its next match, when it travels to Mount Olive, N.C. to take on Mount Olive on Jan. 27. Match time is set for 7:00 p.m. EST.

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