FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Ramon Burgos and Andrew Sellan paced IPFW with 13 kills apiece as the 15th ranked Mastodons knocked off a Conference Carolinas squad for the second straight night, defeating Barton 3-1 (25-18, 25-17, 23-25, 25-18) on Saturday inside the Gates Sports Center.
In the first set, the Bulldogs stayed with the Mastodons early, and with IPFW clinging to an 18-17 lead, three consecutive Barton errors put the ‘Dons in control. Eddie Rivera followed the string of miscues with an ace to extend IPFW’s advantage to five and the ‘Dons would end the frame on a 7-1 run on their way to winning the opener 25-18.
The Mastodons never trailed in the second set as the home team claimed a two-sets-to-none advantage. Sellan sparked a 4-0 run with a pair of kills to put IPFW up 15-9 before a Kevin Villela spike gave the ‘Dons their biggest lead of the period at 17-10. Barton trimmed the deficit to three, 20-17, but five straight points by the Mastodons put the Bulldogs in a 2-0 hole.
Barton returned the favor in the third set, grabbing an early lead and refusing to surrender it. The Bulldogs led by as many as five and were able to hold off a late charge by the Mastodons to avoid the sweep. Trailing 24-21, IPFW fought off a pair of set-points, getting kills from Nick Smalter and Eddie Rivera to narrow the gap to one; however it wasn’t enough as the ‘Dons would drop the set 25-23.
IPFW wasted no time in the fourth set, scoring the first six points before eventually opening up a 13-5 lead. Barton made a quick 4-1 run to get within five, but would not get closer as the Mastodons cruised to a 25-18 set win.
Smalter finished with seven kills and Rivera added six while Jeremy Swartz and Omar Rivera chipped in four each. Omar Rivera also handed out 39 assists and recorded three of the Mastodons’ season-high nine aces. In addition to Rivera, the ‘Dons got two aces apiece from Eddie Rivera, Tyler Golsteyn, and Sellan.
The Mastodons continue their five-match homestand on Wednesday, March 5 when they welcome MIVA rival Ohio State to town in a battle of two Top-15 ranked teams beginning at 7 p.m.