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Freshman makes most of first start in IPFW volleyball victory

Defeat Pfeiffer at home

Saturday, March 30, 2013 - 7:33 am

Freshman middle attacker Jeremy Swartz isn't afraid to openly admit he is confident in his ability to excel on the court.

Making his first college start Friday, Swartz was not only able to back-up that confidence with his play but was able to do it quickly.

Swartz led all players with five kills in the opening game and finished the match with a match-high .778 attack percentage as the IPFW men's volleyball team defeated Pfeiffer 25-21, 25-16, 19-25, 25-22 on Friday at the Gates Center.

"I knew I could do it, and I went out it did it. It was a simple as that," Swartz said.

This was the fourth appearance in a match all season for Swartz, who played in two of the four games against Pfeiffer and finished with seven kills and one block.

The freshman said, though, one of things he was most excited about was getting the opportunity to start.

"It felt amazing," he said. "It is something that I've been working for all year. It was great to just go out there and do my thing and I'm very confident in myself."

Swartz, a former First-Team All-State high school player from Pennsylvania, redshirted last year and has spent the majority of this season backing-up starting middle attackers Ramon Burgos and Bryan Saunders. In addition, at 6-foot-8-inches Swartz is the tallest player on the Mastodons' roster.

Coach Arnie Ball said he was impressed with Swartz's performance against Pfeiffer and expects the freshman to begin to get more playing time.

"He's a big kid," Ball said. "He's a freshman, and we're looking for him to do big things for us next year and years to come."

Swartz was among the 14 IPFW players used during the match against Pfeiffer. Ball said following the victory that he wanted to use this non-conference match to rest some players and to see how some of his younger players would perform on the court.

IPFW (11-9, 4-6 MIVA) in the win out-hit Pfeiffer .417 to .231, including having a match-best .464 attack percentage in the final game. In addition, IPFW outside attacker Andy Sellan had a match-high 16 kills -- his third consecutive match with at least 15 kills.

Pfeiffer outside attacker Caleb Brophy in the loss led the Falcons with 14 kills.

Pfeiffer (14-7, 12-3 Conference Carolinas) entered this weekend on a four-match winning streak and in second place in the Conference Carolinas. The Conference Carolinas is comprised of Division II schools and is an emerging men's volleyball conference that will become eligible for an automatic bid to the Division I-II NCAA Tournament starting next year.

With this victory, the Mastodons are now 4-0 all-time against Conference Carolinas schools. IPFW will also conclude its homestead playing another Conference Carolinas team in Limestone at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Gates Center.

Despite IPFW's undefeated record against the conference, Ball said he is continuing to see improved play from the Conference Carolinas team -- especially Pfeiffer.

"That's a pretty good team. I'm not sure I want to go to their place and play them," Ball said. "They attack the ball well. They run down balls. I certainly think there is improvement."