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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 2:58 pm

IPFW volleyball grateful for support in loss

Aubree Reichel / The Journal Gazette

IPFW men’s volleyball fell to the top-ranked team (Loyola-Chicago) in the country on Thursday. They were swept 3-0 (25-19, 25-11, 25-20) at the Gates Center.

The best part of IPFW’s game was the crowd. Over 1,000 people showed up to watch the showdown of the ranked teams and coach and player acknowledged the support and energy the crowd provided.

"Just thanks to everyone who came out," coach Arnie Ball said. "Over 1,000 people tonight, just thanks for their support."

From the court, the crowd’s enthusiasm ignited the players, even if it was in short spurts.

"We had a great crowd tonight, which that helped us get back into it at certain points," IPFW hitter Andy Sellan said. "We lost mostly by our mental effort tonight."

Sellan, an All-American, acknowledged that his team did not play up to where it's capable.

"We did not play our best and I think we were a little intimidated by the No. 1 ranking that came with Loyola," he said. "We both had a lot of good plays, but Loyola didn’t make the mistakes that we did. It’s tough to continue to keep your energy up and excitement up when they get a few points and they start to get a big run going."

One thing that can always be counted on from the IPFW coaching staff is Ball’s ability to tell it like it is.

"They’re going to take an (butt)-whooping is what they’re going to take," he said after the loss, "and I’m going to give it to them."

From his seat on the Mastodon bench, Ball admitted he didn’t see anything good, but will be looking at the video later to confirm. 

The No. 9 Mastodons had won eight straight games since their two losses at a season-opening tournament in California, but Sellan also acknowledged that rankings can be deceiving.

"No. 9 sounds great, but rankings only mean so much when you get swept at home," he said.

IPFW travels to Romeoville, Illinois to face No. 2 Lewis on Saturday.