Against a dominant foe, the No. 14 IPFW men’s volleyball season came to an end Wednesday night in the semifinals of the MIVA tournament.
The Mastodons fell to No. 1 Loyola Chicago 3-0 (27-25, 25-19, 25-21) at Gentile Arena in Chicago.
IPFW (21-7) lost its fourth consecutive postseason meeting with Loyola (26-1).
The Mastodons lost both regular-season games, 3-1 at home on Feb. 22 and 3-0 on March 29 in Chicago.
IPFW coach Arnie Ball said the Ramblers’ ability to sideout and to serve at high levels are what make them such a difficult matchup.
The Ramblers reached the championship by winning their 24th straight match.
Andrew Sellan led the Mastodons with 13 kills and five digs, and Eddie Rivera had nine kills and three service aces. Omar Rivera had 31 assists and five digs.
The score was tied 10 times in the first set.
“We were ahead 5-1 and had a chance to win,” Ball said. “We got tentative.”
That proved part of the Mastodons’ undoing against the nation’s best.
Still, their season delivered memorable moments, and Eddie Rivera is the only senior.
“It’s hard to end on a losing note, but every team but one does,” Ball said. “Our expectations next year will be high. We’ve developed a lot of confidence.”