Updated: Friday, 08 Mar 2013, 11:48 PM EST
Published : Friday, 08 Mar 2013, 11:48 PM EST
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The IPFW men's volleyball team returned to the Gates Sports Center tonight to record a 3-1 victory over Sacred Heart (25-17, 20-25, 25-12, 25-17).
IPFW split the first two sets of the night, but took control of the match by dominating set three 25-12. The final set ended exactly like the first at 25-17 moving the Mastodons back to the .500 mark overall.
Eddie Rivera had a big night for IPFW with a team-high 14 kills, seven digs and three service aces. Omar Rivera got many players involved by recording 36 assists on the night while also scoring points with four service aces. Bryan Saunders ended the match with nine kills and four blocks.
Luis Bertran was a key player defensively for IPFW as he led the way with 12 digs. Anthony Randolph was also on top of his game with seven digs and seven kills. At the net, it was Ramon Burgos making big plays as he recorded nine blocks while chipping in with six kills.
IPFW jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the first set after a string of Sacred Heart errors. Randolph and Eddie Rivera also chipped in with kills early in the game.
The Pioneers went on a run that cut the lead to 6-5, but the 'Dons held off the charge and would eventually take a 13-8 lead after another Randolph kill. IPFW maintained the lead and posted a 19-13 score as Sacred Heart used a timeout in attempt to slow down the Mastodons. The break in the action didn't work as IPFW went on to win 25-17.
Set two was close until a three point run gave IPFW some breathing room at 6-3. An IPFW service ace from Eddie Rivera followed a Sacred Heart service error to spark the run.
The Pioneers countered by scoring the next seven points of the match to take a 10-6 lead. Sacred Heart made four kills during the stretch and IPFW was charged with three attack errors. Head Coach Arnie Ball had seen enough as he used the first timeout of the game for IPFW.
Andy Sellan recorded a kill out of the timeout on an assist from Omar Rivera, but the Pioneers maintained the lead. The Mastodons got within three points (15-12) after back-to-back kills from Eddie Rivera, and a service ace from Rob Samp later in the set made the score 18-17. The Pioneers were forced to call a timeout and the strategy paid off as they scored three-straight after the timeout.
Burgos ended the steak with a kill, making the score 21-18. Sacred Heart moved on to reach set point at 24-19 and a kill from Raymond Satagaj would tie the match at 1-1.
IPFW dominated the third set by opening up a 10-2 lead. That advantage moved to 20-9 after a kill from Saunders and the 'Dons would move up 2-1 behind the strong play of Randolph.
The Mastodons would once again jump out in front in the fourth set grabbing a 10-4 lead. The team used a total team effort and capitalized on Sacred Heart miscues to earn a 20-13 lead. They would finish off the Pioneers in four sets after back-to-back service errors.
IPFW will return to action with a match against No. 10 Penn State tomorrow night at the Gates Sports Center. Action will begin at 7 p.m.