IPFW Blanks Cardinal Stritch, 3-0

IPFW Blanks Cardinal Stritch, 3-0

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – A solid team effort from the first serve to the final point helped the IPFW men's volleyball team shutout NAIA member Cardinal Stritch, 3-0 Saturday evening at the Gates Sports Center in Fort Wayne, Ind.

IPFW finishes the weekend 1-1 with Saturday's win, improving its 2012 overall record to 7-4 (1-1 MIVA). Cardinal Stritch falls to 10-8 with the road loss. The Mastodons are a perfect 3-0 all-time against the Wolves.

IPFW grabbed the early lead in the first set, jumping ahead 12-8 after Phil Peterson tagged three kills. A kill from Elon Fyfield midway through put the Mastodons up six at 17-11, forcing a timeout from the Wolves. The break didn't slow down IPFW, though, as the home team prolonged its attack on Cardinal Stritch defense, leading to set point at 24-15. On the final play, Omar Rivera found Ramon Burgos alone at the middle of the net, and with a powerful right swing, Burgos blasted a powerful kill to give the 'Dons set one, 25-15.

The teams traded points to open the second frame, with Cardinal Stritch showing a more aggressive game plan early on. Tied at 12-12, the Wolves committed back-to-back attack errors, handing IPFW the lead at 14-12. When it appeared the Mastodons would pull away, the Wolves responded and tied the set at 24-24, as the frame went into extra points. IPFW earned set point at 27-26, and on the ensuing play, Fyfield delivered a pass to Eddie Rivera, who blasted home a kill to the back line, providing IPFW the frame, 28-26.

In the third set, the Wolves fed off early IPFW errors to take a 9-6 lead. The Mastodons marched back and tied the set at 9-9, before E. Rivera and Bryan Sanders teamed up for a block to put the 'Dons in front 10-9. The teams traded points until 20-20, when red-shirt freshman Albert Klimek entered the game to serve for the first time in his Mastodon career. With one swing, Klimek blasted a service ace, igniting the IPFW bench and crowd. Klimek's point led IPFW to set point at 24-22, where Wolve George Ghassan missed long on attack to give IPFW the match in three sets. 

Burgos totaled a career-high 12 kills in the non-conference win, while E. Rivera managed eight, and Fyfield and Dan Mader each recorded seven. O. Rivera and Adam Quinn totaled 27 and 17 assists, respectively. As a unit, the Mastodons managed a season-best .415 hitting percentage against Cardinal Stritch.

The Mastodons will remain at home for their next match on Feb. 17, when Carthage enters the Gates Sports Center. First serve is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.