FORT WAYNE – That’s what happens when a bunch has been on the road as long as IPFW’s volleyball team. It runs out of gas. Or at least that’s how coach Arnie Ball saw it.
After more than a month of playing elsewhere, the Mastodons return home this weekend for a pair of matches at the Gates Center. At 7 p.m. today, IPFW (6-7, 3-5 MIVA) faces Sacred Heart (2-11), and Saturday night comes ninth-ranked Penn State (14-3).
The last time IPFW played in the Gates Center was in a 3-1 victory over Quincy on Groundhog Day. The Mastodons then saw three weeks of the road, where they went 2-4, including back-to-back 3-1 losses to Grand Canyon in Phoenix.
I felt we handled (the travel) real well up until the last match at Grand Canyon; we just seemed to run out of gas, Ball said. I would have been happy to have split all three weeks, but we played some real quality matches against Ball State (3-1 win) and Loyola (3-2 win), and against Ohio State (3-1 loss). And Lewis (3-0 loss) didn’t blow us away, either. For some reason, after that long plane ride, we just hit the wall.
The fact that we’re not on a bus or on a plane is an upside for us, no matter what happens this weekend.
The positive aspect coming out of the lost weekend was freshman Andy Sellan, who led IPFW with 13 kills the first night in Phoenix, then 20 more the next day.
He’s better offensively than I thought, Ball said of Sellan, whose 124 kills are second behind Eddie Rivera’s 158. He’s not doing some other things as well as I would hope, but offensively, he’s certainly much better than we expected.
Tech wrestlers 16th
Led by the seventh-place finishes of Kris McKinley (125 pounds) and Travis Barroquillo (133), the Indiana Tech team placed 16th in the recent NAIA championships in Des Moines, Iowa.
Athletes of note
IPFW outfielder Brittany Kachur and pitcher Miranda Kramer were named Summit League Player and Pitcher of the Week. Kachur went 5 for 6 at the plate, had five RBI. Kramer went 2-0 while giving up five hits over 12 innings. She also set the single-game school record in strikeouts with 16 against Lipscomb.