No. 9 IPFW Rallies Past No.12 George Mason

1/25/2008

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Fort Wayne, Ind. - The 12th ranked George Mason Patriots pushed IPFW to the limit, Friday night at the Hilliard Gates Sports Center. The Mastodons had to rally from a 2-1 deficit to top the Patriots, 3-2.

The 'Dons won by the scores of 30-19, 21-30, 26-30, 30-19, and 15-9.

IPFW had a relatively easy time of it in the opening set, as senior outside hitter Brock Ullrich set the tone with four straight service points, including two aces.

The Mastodons opened up a 22-12 lead on a kill by senior outside hitter C.J. Macias and were never challenged from that point.

Sets two and three were a different story as the Patriots began to take some huge swings at the ball.

George Mason hit .571 in the second, riding the arm of junior opposite Kyle Gramit. Gramit was a one-man wrecking crew, putting down 20 balls by the time the third set finished. When the dust had settled, a stunned Hilliard Gates Sports Center crowd saw the 'Dons down, 2-1.

In the fourth, IPFW found its way again. Senior opposite Jason Yhost, battling flu-like symptoms, gave the Mastodons an 18-13 lead with a blast to the back row.

Macias took control late, serving out the final four points to tie the match at two.

With the crowd fully into the match, IPFW ran away and hid in the fifth.

Ullrich fired off two more service aces, he finished the match with six, and a kill by Yhost gave IPFW a 10-4 lead. They simply went point-for-point with the Patriots from there to take the match, 3-2.

Macias led the Mastodon attack with 23 kills. The Fort Lauderdale, Florida native also had six digs and five block assists.

Senior middle Josh Stewart had 14 kills (.500). "Big Red" also had two service aces and four total blocks (1 solo, 3 assist).

Yhost nearly pulled off a double-double with 11 kills and nine digs. He had one of IPFW's 10 aces and had four block assists.

Freshman middle Oliver Kook was a force in the fourth and fifth, he had a solo block and seven block assists. He also chipped in six kills.

Sophomore libero Matt Pliske led IPFW in digs with 13.

Gramit put down a co-game high 23 kills for George Mason, who lost for the first time this year (3-1).

Junior outside hitter Hudson Bates tallied 14 kills, while senior middle R.J. Goubeaux finished the night with 11.

Sophomore middle Brandon McLaughlin was a wall. McLaughlin had two solo blocks and assisted on nine others as GMU outblocked IPFW, 15.5 to 14.5.

With the win, IPFW improves to 2-2. They will host Rutgers-Newark in another non-conference match, Saturday night at 7:00 p.m.

Article courtesy of IPFW athletics.

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