Despite dropping their last regular season match 3-0 (25-16, 29-27, 25-23) to IPFW on Saturday (April 13), the No. 9 Lewis University men's volleyball team still had something to celebrate.
The Flyers captured a share of the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association regular season title for the second-straight year, as well as the No. 1 seed in the 2013 MIVA Tournament.
The loss moves the Flyers to 19-9 on the season and 10-4 in MIVA action while the Mastodons improved to 13-12 on the year and 5-9 against league opponents.
“The body of work the team put together this season has put us in position to host matches in the MIVA tournament,” Lewis head men's volleyball coach Dan Friend said. “We served better on the road but we got out-passed and couldn't quite score points when we needed them.”
Freshman setter Scott Fifer (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg), replacing an injured redshirt junior setter BJ Boldog (Palatine, Ill./Palatine), tallied 28 assists, two aces and two block assists. Redshirt senior outside hitter Jay Petty (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove North) led the Flyers with 11 kills and two total blocks while redshirt sophomore outside hitter Geoff Powell (Claremont, Calif./Claremont) added 10 putaways.
In the first set, IPFW held Lewis to a .263 hitting percentage (8 kills, 3 errors, 19 attempts) while hitting at a .654 clip (19 kills, two errors, 26 attempts) in the set win.
Lewis picked put the intensity in the second set as the Flyers hit .444 with 20 kills on 36 attempts with four errors. Both Petty and Powell picked up five kills each during the set. Powell's fifth kill of the set put the Flyers up by one, 27-26, but the Mastodons scored three-straight points for the set win.
The Flyers jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead, as Fifer picked up his two aces and sophomore opposite Eric Fitterer (Edwardsville, Ill./Edwardsvile) and junior middle hitter Yiwei Zhou (Nanjing, China/Nanjing No. 1) teamed up for a block. Lewis held the lead until IPFW strung together three-straight kills to take the lead at 18-16. Petty collected 1.5 blocks for back-to-back points for Lewis to take a 22-21 lead, but IPFW scored four of the last five points in the set for the win.
Eddie Rivera led IPFW with 15 kills while Andy Sellian added 12 and Anthony Randolph chipped in 11 kills.
Lewis now waits for the winner of the quarterfinal match between the No. 4 seed Ohio State and the No. 5 seed Grand Canyon in the 2013 MIVA Tournament. The Flyers' semifinal match will take place on Wednesday (April 24) at Neil Carey Arena with first serve set for 7 PM.
Lewis University is a Catholic university offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 6,500 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The seventh largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report.
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