The No. 14 ranked IPFW men's volleyball team fell in a thrilling five-set match to conference rival Ball State on Friday night in front of a packed Gates Sports Center to open MIVA action.
Four Mastodons registered double-doubles, including Omar Rivera who finished with 47 assists, 12 digs, and a career-high six kills. Eddie Rivera and Andrew Sellan had 13 kills apiece as well as 12 and 10 digs, respectively while Elon Fyfield recorded 11 kills and 13 digs.
Looking to put the match away, the Cardinals looked to have the match in control up 24-22, but the 'Dons showed their resiliency and used kills by Eddie Rivera and Omar Rivera to even the score before eventually coming all the way back to win the set 27-25, and send the match to a decisive fifth set.
Ball State stole whatever momentum the Mastodons had by jumping out to a 6-0 lead. IPFW rallied back, trimming the deficit to three at 13-10, but the Cardinals were able to hold off the Mastodon charge and escape with the victory 15-10.
IPFW, who entered the match leading the country in hitting percentage, operated at a season-low .131 clip. Bryan Saunders and Burgos added eight kills apiece for the 'Dons while Luis Bertran scooped up a career-best 16 digs.
Up next, the Mastodons travel to Princeton on Friday for the first of four straight road matches.