Fairfax, VA -- The IPFW men's volleyball team (3-1, 0-0 MIVA) looked to make it two in a row on the road Saturday night against the No. 15 George Mason Patriots (2-1). Unfortunately, the Mastodons were unable to ward off the offensive Patriots and lost in three sets, 3-0 (30-23, 30-22, 30-25).
Junior Oliver Kook led the 'Dons with 10 kills while hitting a match-high .571. He also had IPFW's lone block. Sophomores Darryl Shank and Ben Duckworth each connected for eight kills respectively. Freshmen Ivan Matos and Jonathan Meyer had five kills apiece while Phil Peterson collected three, Eric Hardek chipped in two and Nathaniel Berg added one.
Duckworth led IPFW with nine digs, (in only two sets), which tied the match high as well. Hardek led the 'Dons with three service aces.
Dan Mader started the match at setter for IPFW, but was replaced by Corey Stewart midway through the second set. Mader finished the night with 21 assists and Stewart added 15.
Despite starting the first frame very well leading 3-0, the 'Dons struggled to attack and serve consistently well. Kook had three of the first four points for IPFW as he connected on two kills from Mader and blocked a Patriot attack to push IPFW's lead to three at 4-1. A kill from Patriot senior Kyle Gramit knotted the set at five. Then the teams went back and forth until George Mason pulled ahead with an IPFW service error at 12-11. A 10-5 GMU run expanded the lead to 22-16. The Patriots went on to win the first set 30-23.
Shank opened the second set with a kill, but the Patriots' Gramit came right back with a marker of his own 1-1. Peterson made it 3-2 with an attack, then GMU pushed back with three straight kills and a block to take a 6-3 lead. Peterson nailed another attack to reduce the lead to two at 6-4, but the Patriots opened up the lead again at 8-4, and 11-6.
IPFW went on a 3-0 run with back-to-back kills from Shank and Kook before Duckworth found some open court with a service ace to reduce the lead to 11-9. The 'Dons attempted to close in on the Patriots again as Duckworth and Shank both had kills making the Patriots lead two at 16-14. GMU stretched the lead to five at 22-17 before the 'Dons called a time-out. GMU proceed to go on a 3-1 run making the score 25-18, and forcing Coach Ball to make a setter change. Stewart came in for Mader, but the Patriots prevailed in set two 30-22.
Set three began with the 'Dons Stewart finding Kook for a kill to put IPFW on the board first 1-0. Another kill from Kook and a marker by Matos gave IPFW a 3-1 advantage. Meyer tallied two successive kills before nailing an ace to keep the 'Dons in the lead 7-5. The Patriots defense then stepped up to block an attack from Meyer and regain the lead at 8-7. Hardek went to work in the middle of the frame nailing two straight aces giving IPFW a 12-10 lead. The middle of the third set was much closer than score final represented as both teams combined for multiple errors which led to a tied at 17-17. Two more IPFW errors gave GMU the nod 19-17, before a Patriot kill and two more IPFW errors forced a Mastodon time out at 22-18. Matos and Meyer each had three kills near the end of the third set carrying the offensive load for IPFW, but it wasn't enough as the Patriots won game three 30-25.
Gramit scored a match-high 19 points for the Patriots connecting for 14 kills, digging eight attacks, collecting four block assists and serving three aces. Andrew Dentler had 11 kills for George Mason and hit .500. Junior Ryan Kwiatkowski totaled 24 assists for the Patriots, and sophomore Brandon Joyner added 12.
IPFW returns to Fort Wayne next Friday, January 30, for the opening weekend of Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association play when it hosts Loyola-Chicago at the Hilliard Gates Sports Center. First serve is scheduled for 7:00 PM.
What are your thoughts CLICK HERE to leave us a "Your2Cents” comment.
© Copyright 2013 A Granite Broadcasting Station. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.