The IPFW Mastodons knocked off their second straight nationally ranked team when the squad took down the George Mason Patriots in five sets in the first game of the Active Ankle Tournament hosted by Long Beach State.
The Mastodons topped No. 10 Penn State on March 9 in five sets, before knocking out No. 15 George Mason in five sets Thursday night.
IPFW is now 2-2 on the season against teams ranked inside of the top-15 poll.
Eddie Rivera, Andy Sellan, and Anthony Randolph each had 13 kills for the Mastodons, who improve to 9-7 on the season. Bryan Saunders narrowly missed double figures with nine kills, as Omar Rivera dished out 47 assists while adding nine digs. Luis Bertran and Eddie Rivera each had 10 digs, Rivera for the double double, as Ramon Burgos led the team with seven blocks.
George Mason jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the opening set, and never looked back, as the ranked Patriots gradually increased their lead throughout the set in the 25-15 George Mason win.
The teams battled to nine tie scores and four lead changes in the second set, and the Mastodons took the lead for good at 10-9 when Randolph knocked down a kill, and the Dons never trailed again, using a late 7-3 run to pull away in the 25-22 final set.
The third set was equally as tight, with the teams tied as late as 19-19 before the Blue and White ended the set on a 6-3 run to put the Mastodons a set away from the win.
The Mastodons led 16-14 in the fourth set, before the Patriots closed strong, sending the match into a fifth and final set by ending the frame on an 11-5 run, with George Mason taking the fourth set 25-21.IPFW trailed 9-8 in the fifth set, before Bryan Saunders knocked down back-to-back kills, and the Dons took advantage of five straight attack errors, with the Mastodons sweeping the final seven points in the 15-9 fifth-set win.
The Mastodons hit .265 in the match (58 kills, 19 errors, 147 attempts), with three total service aces, and 9.5 blocks. George Mason hit .260 (65 kills, 25 errors, 154 attempts), and added four aces and 11 team blocks.
Mark Jones led the Patriots with 27 points and a .328 attack percentage, while Pat Sibley helped out with 11 kills. Javier Perez and Max McFarland each had 15 digs, while Sibley had a team-best seven blocks.
After taking Friday off, the Mastodons will face their third straight nationally ranked opponent Saturday night when they take on the tournament host No. 3 Long Beach State 49ers in a 10 p.m. EST first serve.