Katie Fyfe | The Journal Gazette Mastodons' Pelegrin Vargas serves the ball during the second set against the Lindenwood Lions at Hilliard Gates Sports Center on Saturday.
Katie Fyfe | The Journal Gazette Mastodons' Pelegrin Vargas bumps the ball during the third set against the Lindenwood Lions at Hilliard Gates Sports Center on Saturday.
Saturday, April 13, 2019 10:00 pm
Vargas a special player
ELIZABETH WYMAN | The Journal Gazette
Purdue Fort Wayne men's volleyball snapped a two-match losing streak to win its first Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association quarterfinal match since 2014.
A season that featured an experienced, veteran roster rose to the occasion at times, and dropped the ball.
But when it mattered, the Mastodons (17-11, 9-6 MIVA) showed up.
One thing that stood out to me in the 3-0 (25-12, 25-21, 25-19) win over Lindenwood was Pelegrin Vargas. The junior outside hitter, who was just named to his second consecutive All-MIVA first team, was nearly invisible on the stats sheet of the match.
Despite that, he wasn't invisible in the game. He just showed up in unconventional ways, different than his norm.
"We had other guys that were able to contribute offensively to where he didn't have to do much in that regard," coach Ryan Perrotte said. "But his serving was good and he played some unbelievable defense. Even though it may not show up on that sheet, he did some other things in regards to his game."
He really did. His defense was intense, his serves were rockets and the pure fact that teams pay so much attention to him they forget about Tony Price and Colton Stone, both of who had monster nights.
Vargas is the emotional leader and tends to thrive when sets are close and competitive. But when he does all those extra little things - out of his normal 15-plus kills - you really get to see what a special player he is.
Tomas Gago also stood out to me. The sophomore middle blocker didn't have the best offensive night but his four block assists and timely kills really provided a spark for the Mastodons.
"He's very steady," Perrotte said. "If you need a big point he can produce for you. His offensive numbers perhaps are not outstanding but he had some key kills for us and his experience and his calmness under duress is really vital for his success."
PFW will need more of that as either possible opponents Ohio State or Loyola both bring the pressure.