Sizzling Offense Thrusts Mastodons Past Lindenwood

Sports

The 12th-ranked Purdue Fort Wayne men’s volleyball team hit a season-high .434 in the Mastodons 3-0 (25-15, 25-20, 25-21) win over Lindenwood on Sunday (March 3). The hitting was buoyed by a .737 rate in the first set, which marked the highest individual set hitting percentage since 2014. The .434 team hitting percentage is the most for the team since January 12, 2018, when the Mastodons hit .522 at Princeton.

Michael Keegan paced the Mastodon offense, as he finished with 37 assists and two kills.

The Mastodons came out on fire, ending the first set in just over 15 minutes. The ‘Dons had an errorless 14 kills in the opening set, speeding past the Lions, who hit a respectable .381.Kade Bontrager and Tomas Gago combined for seven kills on seven swings. The Mastodons also had four of their five aces in the first set. Lindenwood only trailed two at 15-13, but the ‘Dons went on a 10-2 run behind Pelegrin Vargas and Colton Stone’s services. Vargas had two aces and Stone had one in this run.

The second set was back-and-forth until 18-all, then the Mastodons buckled down defensively, earning 3.5 team blocks in the 7-2 run that ended the set. Bontrager and Richie Diedrich each had a solo block to accompany Gago’s 4-0-5 frame. The Mastodons held the Lions to .067 hitting in the second set.

The Lions held a 17-16 lead in the last set, but Purdue Fort Wayne took five straight behind three kills from three different ‘Dons. Gago earned the last kill of the match, reaching 10 for the afternoon for a .692 hitting rate. Bontrager finished with 10 kills as well with a .368 percentage while Stone had eight with a .400 hitting rate. Vargas had six of his match-high 12 digs in the third set.

Purdue Fort Wayne improves to 10-7, 4-2 MIVA while Lindenwood drops to 7-11, 3-5 MIVA. The Mastodons now have sole possession of the third spot in the MIVA table. They are back in action on Monday (March 4) with Quincy at 6 p.m. on Arnie Ball Court.

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