Updated: Friday, 11 Jan 2013, 11:43 PM EST
Published : Friday, 11 Jan 2013, 10:20 PM EST
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - The IPFW men's volleyball team lost the season opener to Saint Francis on Friday night 3-1 (25-23, 22-25, 31-33, 23-25). Eddie Rivera led the team with a match-high 16 kills.
Rivera hit .235 against the Red Flash to post 16 kills. He added four digs, two blocks and an assist in four sets of action. Joining Rivera with a double figure kill total was Ramon Burgos who ended the night with 13 and Andy Sellan who recorded 10.
Keegan Robbins and Omar Rivera split duties as the setter in the season opener. Robbins saw a majority of his playing time early in the match as he posted 21 assists to the box score. Rivera impacted the game by recording 28 assists while adding five digs.
The IPFW dig leader was Luis Bertran who recorded six against the Red Flash. The Mastodons ended the match with 25 total digs.
Service aces took a toll on each team, but one other statistic that jumps out after one game was team blocks. Saint Francis recorded 16.5 blocks as a team compared to just five for the Mastodons.
IPFW took the first set 25-23 as Andy Sellan got the team to set point and Rivera came in to close the deal. The duo of Sellan and Rivera each recorded four kills in the opening set. The second set went to Saint Francis (25-22) as the Red Flash held off the Mastodons to even the match.
The third set was by far the most bizarre of the night as neither team would go down without a fight. The two evenly matched teams tied the score at 11-11 and it stayed close all the way to 20-20. Saint Francis gained some momentum early in the set as a kicked ball that flew to the edge of the seats was saved by a Red Flash player and the result was a point for SFU. The strange part of the set came after an official ruling on a substitution. In the end the sub was allowed in the game and play resumed with SFU holding onto a 16-15 lead.
Down the stretch IPFW had multiple chances to win set point, but a string of miscues kept the Red Flash alive and Saint Francis would take control of the match after winning set three 33-31.
The final set of the night was also extremely close as neither team could open up a lead larger than three points. The lead bounced back and forth, but the scoreboard would go to a tie at 19-19. IPFW scored two consecutive points after the tie and Saint Francis responded by calling a timeout. The break in the action worked as the Red Flash tied the set at 21-21 and eventually took a 23-21 lead. IPFW used two timeouts during that stretch of time, but it didn't stop SFU as a kill from Mark Kochan ended the match 25-23.
IPFW will return to action tomorrow with a match against Cardinal Stritch at 7 p.m.
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