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It took multiple comebacks from the IPFW men's volleyball team, but it finally knocked off Loyola.
IPFW fought off three match-points in the fourth game and overcame a five-point deficit in the fifth game to upset Loyola 22-25, 25-12, 16-25, 29-27, 15-11 in conference play Wednesday in Chicago.
The Ramblers (9-7, 2-2 MIVA) leading 24-22 in the fourth game had multiple chances to win the match but back-to-back kills from IPFW outside attacker Eddie Rivera and middle Bryan Saunders forced the game into overtime. Loyola was also unable to convert on a match-point opportunity in overtime as IPFW (6-4, 3-2 MIVA) rallied to force a decisive fifth game.
With IPFW trailing 2-0 in the fifth game, IPFW received a yellow card and one-point penalty after Rivera inadvertently kicked the ball into the face of a game official on press row following a Ramblers' kill. Loyola after the yellow card jumped out to a 7-2 lead before IPFW rallied to close out the match 13-4 run.
IPFW middle attacker Ramon Burgos in the victory had a season-high 11 blocks, including two blocks in the fourth-game overtime.
In addition, Burgos had 14 kills and was one of two IPFW players with double-digit kills as the Mastodons out-hit the Ramblers .320 to .218. Rivera led all IPFW players with 15 kills against Loyola, which entered this conference match receiving votes in the latest national coaches poll.
IPFW also was able to rally from its one-game deficit in part because of a change at setter.
Coach Arnie Ball following IPFW's nine-point loss in the third game opted to replace starting setter Omar Rivera with Jordan Armstrong. The freshman in his first time on the court this season had 12 assists in the final two games and helped guide the Mastodons' offense to a .353 attack percentage in the decisive fifth game victory.
This was the first meeting between IPFW and Loyola since the Ramblers defeated the Mastodons in the MIVA Tournament quarterfinals last season.
With this victory, the Mastodons move into sole possession of third place in the MIVA. In addition, IPFW has won three of its last four conference matches and is 2-1 halfway through its season-long six-match road trip.
IPFW will continue conference play as it travels to play No. 12 Lewis at 8 p.m. Saturday in Romeoville, Ill.