FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Powered by 18 kills from Eddie Rivera and 16 from Andrew Sellan, the IPFW men’s volleyball team upset No. 10 Lewis in a thrilling five-set match on Thursday night inside the Gates Sports Center.
Reigning MIVA Offensive Player of the Week Bryan Saunders chipped in 13 kills for the ‘Dons while Ramon Burgos and Nick Smalter added nine apiece. Omar Rivera handed out a season-best 57 assists and Sellan finished with three aces.
The Mastodons jumped on the 10th ranked Flyers early on, claiming the first two sets to take a commanding lead. The high-powered IPFW offense punished the Lewis defense with 18 and 19 kills, respectively, in the first two frames while operating at a .554 clip.
Lewis (9-4, 1-2 MIVA), who entered the match having won eight of its last nine matches, would not go down though without a fight.
The Flyers held off the Mastodons in the third stanza to force a fourth set where the ‘Dons struggled to get anything going offensively. IPFW dug itself into a big hole early in the frame, falling behind 12-5, and were never able to overcome the deficit. The Mastodons cut Lewis’ lead to four, 15-11, after back-to-back kills by Omar Rivera and Saunders, but another big run by the Flyers would send the match to a deciding fifth set.
The two squads went back and forth to start the final set until a 3-1 run by Lewis gave the Flyers a 9-7 advantage. However, the Mastodons would rally back, fueled by four kills from Sellan, to capture their fifth straight victory.
Eddie Rivera added a season-high 14 digs to his 18 kills to register his third double-double of the year. Luis Bertran also picked up double figure digs with 11. Smalter and Saunders made a big impact at the net recording five and four blocks, respectively.