IPFW's Upset Bid of #14 Loyola Falls Short on Senior Day

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The IPFW men's volleyball picked up 10 kills from Eddie Rivera, but #14 Loyola used a powerful offensive attack to stroll past the Mastodons on Senior Day, 3-1 Saturday evening at the Gates Sports Center.

IPFW finishes the regular-season 13-14 overall (5-7 MIVA), ending its last five games with a 3-2 mark. Loyola jumps to 18-11(8-4 MIVA) with the road win. The Ramblers now lead the all-time series 20-19.

Along with 10 kills, E. Rivera added four digs. Elon Fyfield blasted nine kills, while Ramon Burgos had seven. Adam Quinn totaled 25 assists and JW Kieckhefer managed 14 digs. Loyola out-hit IPFW .205 to .192 for the match.

The two teams came out swinging early and often in the opening set, with Fyfield and Phil Peterson taking the 'Dons to a 6-5 lead. Ahead 11-10, IPFW turned up its offense and took its biggest lead of the frame of six at 20-14. Loyola crawled back and made it a three-point game at 20-17, as Rambler Mike Bunting notched two kills. Fyfield stopped the Loyola run on the next play with a kill, then two Rambler errors brought IPFW to set point. After a pass from Quinn, E. Rivera blasted home a kill to hand the 'Dons game one, 25-18.

In the second set, IPFW began attacking from the get-go, as Peterson clipped a kill to put the home team in front 5-2. The lead, however, didn't last long, as Loyola went to its aggressive frontline to pull ahead at 7-6, then to 17-11. Fyfield, along with E.Rivera tallied late kills to keep the 'Dons in contention, but led by Bunting and Dainis Berzins, Loyola closed strong with three-straight kills to win set two, 25-18.

Following the 10-minute intermission break, the Ramblers moved out quickly to an 11-6 lead after its offense tallied six early kills. Trailing by five, IPFW cut the deficit to two at 17-15 thanks to points from Fyfield and E. Rivera. A late kill from Burgos gave the 'Dons a glimpse of hope, but a kill from Bunting on game point clinched set three for the Ramblers, 25-20.

Back and forth the points went early in the fourth set, as the score made its way to 5-5. Loyola took a 6-5 lead on the next point, then moved ahead by four at 10-6. IPFW cut the Rambler lead to two after Frain blasted back-to-back kills, moving the game to 15-13. A trio of points followed for Loyola, taking the frame to 18-13. E. Rivera tagged two kills following the Rambler run to put IPFW down only three and offer a chance at 22-19. However, the Loyola offense was too much down the stretch, as Berzins fired home a kill on set and match point to hand the visitors the four-set win.

IPFW will now prepare for the 2012 MIVA Tournament next weekend. Due to ongoing matches and tie-breaker scenarios, it is undetermined who the Mastodons will face in the first round. Check back to gomastodons.com for the latest conference tournament information.

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