FORT WAYNE, Ind. – – Thanks to lockdown defense, third-seeded Purdue Fort Wayne took down sixth-seeded Lindenwood 25-12, 25-21, 25-19 on Arnie Ball Court on Saturday (April 13). The Mastodons held the Lions to a -.011 hitting percentage for the match. This is the lowest hitting percentage against the Mastodons by a conference team since 2004, when Clarke hit -.078.
This was the first MIVA Tournament win for the Mastodons since 2014.
Colton Stone finished with three aces, moving him into 10th place in program history in career aces with 99. He is one away from moving into a tie with Jeff Ptak for ninth. Michael Keegan had two digs to move into a tie with Tom Juhnke for ninth place all-time in career digs with 626.
The ‘Dons dominated the first set offensively, rallying to a .520 hitting percentage (14-1-25). Both Tony Price and Stone had four kills on six attacks. The Mastodons had 12 digs and two blocks to hold Lindenwood to .038 hitting. The ‘Dons never trailed the Lions in the first set, jumping out to a 17-7 lead that put the frame far out of reach.
In the second set, Lindenwood’s defense set in, holding the ‘Dons to .161, but the Purdue Fort Wayne defense continued with 12 more digs and two more blocks. The Lions hit .091 for the frame. This was the closest set throughout, as there were 14 ties and seven lead changes. The ‘Dons used a 3-0 push late to go up 22-19, which included one of Stone’s aces.
After taking a 2-1 lead in the last set, the Mastodons never trailed. Stone’s service led the way in an 8-0 run after the Lions took the first point of the set. The Mastodons ran out the set by leading 24-13, but the Lions would not leave without a fight. They took six straight points behind Logan Nash’s serve, which included three blocks from All-MIVA Second Team member Connor Hipelius. Pelegrin Vargas picked up his sixth kill of the night on the one that ended the match. The Lions hit a match-low -.147 in the third set.
Four Mastodons had at least six digs: Price (6), Vargas (7), Kolbie Knorr (7) and Stone (9).
Lindenwood falls to 9-19 and ends the season. The Mastodons improve to 17-11 and will await the result of second-seeded Loyola and seventh-seeded Ohio State to determine which team they will play in the MIVA Tournament. If Loyola wins, the ‘Dons will travel to Chicago to face the Ramblers. If Ohio State wins, Purdue Fort Wayne will welcome the Buckeyes to Arnie Ball Court. In either scenario, the match will be played on Wednesday, April 17.