PHOENIX, Ariz. – The 15th-ranked IPFW men’s volleyball team was unable to mount a comeback as the Blue and White fell in straight sets at Grand Canyon on Friday night. The Mastodons finished 23-25, 19-25, and 17-25, falling to 17-11, 7-8 (MIVA), while the Antelopes improved to 14-15, 5-10 (MIVA).
Alex Harthaller led the ‘Dons with eight kills, while Omar Rivera and Gabriel Quinones each earned five digs. Rivera and Bryan Saunders nabbed three blocks during the match.
Both teams were locked in a close opening set as the Antelopes held a slim 8-7 lead over the Mastodons early in the first set. Ramon Burgos would help IPFW tie the set at 13 following a serving ace midway through, but GCU answered with two-straight points. The ‘Dons benefited from a duo of Antelope miscues later in the set, giving IPFW a 21-19 lead. However, Grand Canyon responded with four-consecutive points. Once again, the Mastodons would grab a pair of points off GCU errors, but were unable to keep momentum as Grand Canyon took the opening set 25-23.
After falling behind 5-3 early in the second set, the Blue and White battled back to knot the match at 10. Both teams would exchange points as Grand Canyon took a 13-12 lead and carried momentum for the remainder of the match. IPFW would attempt a comeback, but the Antelopes were too much as they earned a 25-19 victory in the second set.
Trying to avoid the sweep, IPFW fought to an early 5-3 lead in the third set. The Antelopes would answer with a 5-1 run before the ‘Dons fought back to tie the set at eight. However, the Blue and White were unable to grab momentum and eventually fell 25-17 in the third set.
The Mastodons wrap up their regular season in the second match at Grand Canyon on April 18. The match with the Antelopes are set for 9 p.m.