FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The IPFW men’s volleyball team bounced back from their 3-1 setback at top-ranked Loyola (Ill.) last Saturday with a straight set victory over Mount Olive on Friday night in non-conference action, 25-23, 25-13, 25-23.
Mount Olive kept pace with the 15th ranked Mastodons for much of the opening set. The two teams went back-and-forth, trading points before a 4-1 run, capped off by a Bryan Saunders kill, gave the ‘Dons a cushion. IPFW extended its lead to five before the Trojans rallied to narrow the gap to one, 24-23. Eddie Rivera would end any hopes of a comeback though as he put away his third kill of the set to put the Mastodons up 1-0.
The second frame was all IPFW, using an early 8-1 run to open up an 11-4 lead on their way to claiming a two-sets-to-none advantage. The ‘Dons were aided by 11 Mount Olive attack errors in the period while Sellan had four kills and Omar Rivera had the hot hand with two aces.
The Mastodons looked to put the Trojans away early in the third set as well, jumping out in front 16-8. However, Mount Olive would not go down without a fight, scoring 10 of the next 12 points to even the score at 18-18. The Trojans continued to battle and eventually grabbed a 23-22 lead. Eddie Rivera and Swartz came up big for IPFW, teaming up for back-to-back blocks to put the ‘Dons ahead before Swartz finished the match with his 12th kill of the night.
IPFW hit .284 for the match while limiting Mount Olive to a .143 attack percentage. The Mastodons also out-blocked the Trojans 9-2 with Rivera and Swartz recording four each.
The Mastodons (9-3) are right back in action tomorrow night when they host Barton at 7 p.m. inside the Gates Sports Center.