FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The home opener for the IPFW women’s volleyball team came down to the wire as the Mastodons fell to Ball State 3-2 (34-36, 25-21, 22-25, 28-26, 12-15).
The loss snaps IPFW’s 14-match home winning streak and puts the ‘Dons record at 5-6 on the season.
Emily Spencer led all players with a season-high 27 kills and earned the 57th double-double of her career with 10 digs. She moved into second place on the all-time Summit League kill list with 1,694 and fourth on the IPFW career list. The match marked the 100th time Spencer has gone for double figures in kills, and improves her program record to 32 consecutive matches.
Somer Johnson finished her night with 14 kills, eight digs, and three blocks. Hailie Ripley and Kendall Wienkes capped off the match with 12 kills and four block each. Wienkes earned her 20th career double-double with 14 digs.
Anna Wrede led the ‘Dons for the fourth straight match with eight blocks, including two solo. Madison Spence led IPFW with 29 assists as Mallory Slyder ended the night with 28.
The two sided battled in the opening set, exchanging seven leads and tying the score 17 times. Early on, both team used four point rallies to take a lead. IPFW bounced back, tying the set at 23-23 with consecutive points. Both sides had multiple set points, but it was Ball State who was able to close out the set with back-to-back points. The 36-34 score is the longest in IPFW’s 25-point era history, and is the longest since a 38-36 second set against Middle Tennessee State 10 years ago to the day.
The Mastodons trailed 18-12 in the second set, however a 10-2 run by the ‘Dons gave them the lead for good, closing out the set with three straight points. In the third set, a five-point Cardinal run to end the frame erased IPFW’s early lead.
With the fourth set tied 10-10, neither team led by more than two points the rest of the way. With the Mastodons trailing 26-25, the team rallied to score three consecutive points to force the decisive fifth set.
In the final set, Ball State took the early lead until the ‘Dons used a four-point swing to hold a 7-5 lead. With the score tied 12-12, Ball State closed out the match with the final three points of the match.
IPFW returns to action at the Rocket Invitational against host Toledo on September 19 at 12 p.m.