IPFW Falls Short of Upset Bid to #8 Ohio State

IPFW Falls Short of Upset Bid to #8 Ohio State

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The IPFW men's volleyball team fell just short of upsetting another top-10 opponent on Friday evening, as the #8 Ohio State Buckeyes downed the Mastodons in four sets at the Gates Sports Center in Fort Wayne.

IPFW drops its first match since Jan. 21, and moves to 6-4 (1-1 MIVA) this season. The Buckeyes win their first conference match in 2012, and improves to 9-4 overall (1-0 MIVA).

Ohio State moved out to a 9-6 first set lead after picking up a trio of kills from Shawn Sengray. The Mastodons quickly responded and tied the frame at 14-14 after Ivan Matos blasted two kills and Phil Peterson tagged a service ace. As soon as Ohio State regained the lead at 17-16, the Mastodon frontline managed a team block to tie the frame at 22-22. When the 'Dons pulled in front 28-27, Buckeye Chen Levitan sailed a kill attempt out of bounds on the following play, handing IPFW the set win, 29-27.

After the teams changed sides in the second set, Ohio State once again moved out to a quick lead, taking an 8-2 advantage. Despite kills from Corey Frain and Matos, the Buckeyes continued their fine play and took a 10-point lead at 18-8. The visitors carried the lead to set point, where Grayson Overman tagged a service ace, giving Ohio State a 25-11 set win.

The teams traded points to open the third set, before Ohio State put together a 4-0 run to take an 8-4 advantage. Led by a kill from Peterson and a handful of Buckeye errors, IPFW marched back and evened up the frame at 10-10. After another exchange of points, which took the frame into its halfway point, Ohio State picked up kills from its outside to move ahead 19-16. The Buckeyes took the lead to set point, where Overman finished with another closing kill to hand Ohio State set three, 25-21.

In the fourth set, the teams exchanged points up to 6-6, as each team continued to feed its outside attackers for scores. Kills from Eddie Rivera and Rob Samp pulled IPFW ahead by two at 18-16, drawing the crowd of 1,144 in attendance to its feet. Moments later, Mastodon attack errors jumped started a key Buckeye run, giving the visitors a 23-19 advantage. One final IPFW comeback attempt was cut short, as Ohio State finished the match on a 7-2 run to win the fifth set, 25-20.

Matos blasted 16 kills to lead IPFW, while E. Rivera rattled off eight. Peterson and Frain each totaled seven kills. Omar Rivera recorded 49 assists, while JW Kieckhefer dug 10 balls. Sangrey blasted a game-high 23 kills in the win.

The Mastodons will return to action tomorrow evening (Feb. 11), when they welcome Cardinal Stritch to the Gates Sports Center. First serve is slated for 7:00 p.m. EST.