FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Nicole Rightnowar, Somer Johnson, and Madison Jaqua each earned a double-double, but it was not enough for the IPFW women’s volleyball team to send its seniors out with a victory as the Mastodons fell to South Dakota 3-2 (21-25, 23-25, 25-20, 34-32, 15-12) to end their season.
The three IPFW seniors, Monica Hall, Sarah Heckman, and Este Stoffel, were honored before the match as they played in their final contest as a Mastodon. Heckman finished with 15 kills, tied a season-high with five blocks, and tied a career-high with four digs. Stoffel finished with five digs and a match-high two aces. Hall was unable to play due to injury.
Rightnowar and Johnson earned their second consecutive double-double. Rightnowar finished with a career- and team-high 24 kills to go along with 13 digs. Johnson had 21 kills and 16 digs. Jaqua earned her 11th double-double of the season with 66 assists and 13 digs.
Lauren Hoffman ended the night with a career- and match-high nine blocks while Natalie Seiler finished with eight. Olivia Hahn also had a career night with a match-high 33 digs.
With the score tied 20-20 in the opening set, the Mastodons took the frame by scoring nine of the final 11 points. South Dakota scored the first point of set number two, but the ‘Dons never trailed again, holding off a late rally from the Coyotes.
IPFW jumped out to the early lead in set three before USD responded with a 12-4 run to give it the lead for good. The Mastodons and Coyotes battled through their longest set of the season as the two sides tied the score 16 times in the fourth set. Both teams had multiple opportunities to win the frame, as each side had set point five times, but ultimately it was the ‘Yotes scoring back-to-back points to take it.
South Dakota scored the first three points of the fifth set. The Mastodons chipped away at the lead to take a 10-9 advantage but the Coyotes responded with the next four points as they went on to take the set and the match.