FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The 10th-ranked (American Volleyball Coaches Association) IPFW men’s volleyball team earned a sweep against George Mason to extend its win streak to eight matches on Friday night. The Mastodon’s finished 25-23, 25-21, 25-18, improving to 9-2 on the year, while the Patriots fell to 1-6.
Eight-consecutive wins is the longest streak for the ‘Dons since they took 10-straight in 2007 when IPFW reached the NCAA Championship against UC Irvine. Additionally, the 9-2 start ties the best in program history. The Blue and White achieved the same record through 11 matches in 1992, 1998, 1999, 2004, and 2007. Of those years, the ‘Dons reached the NCAA Final Four in 1992, 1999, and 2007.
The Mastodons and Patriots fought back-and-forth in the first set, tying at 12 midway through. With the set knotted at 19 later on, IPFW would slowly pull away following three-straight points, eventually taking the opening set 25-23. Luis Bertran dished out six digs as the set saw the score tied eight times with four lead changes.
IPFW stormed out in the second set, going up 5-1 early on. The Patriots fought back, coming within one point multiple times during the set, but four-consecutive points for the ‘Dons was too much to overcome as George Mason fell 25-21 in the second set. Andrew Sellan earned four kills during the set, while Bertran recorded six more digs.
Trying to avoid the sweep, the Patriots tied IPFW at 10 midway through the final set. The ‘Dons would go on a 6-2 run afterwards and hold the lead throughout the remainder of the match. IPFW finished the match on a 6-1 run, including the final three points.
Sellan paced the ‘Dons with 11 kills, adding three aces, three blocks, six digs, and hitting .526.Omar Rivera recorded 32 assists, while Bertran notched 12 digs. Ramon Burgos earned eight kills and three blocks against the Patriots.
For the match, the Patriots edged the Mastodons 36-34 in kills, while IPFW held a 5-2 advantage in serving aces. Defense was a key aspect for the ‘Dons as they put up 31 digs, while the Patriots managed 26. IPFW also held a 10-5 upper hand in blocks during the match.
The Mastodons return to action for a top-10 showdown as they host No. 1 Loyola Ramblers on Thursday, February 12. The match is set to being in the Gates Center at 7 p.m.