Pirates defeats Spartans in three straight sets

Park Men’s volleyball team defeated the No.3 nationally ranked Missouri Baptist University 3-0 at Breckon Sports Center on Wednesday, Feb. 12.

The Pirates are still undefeated, as of Feb. 18. After the victory over MBU, the team has a perfect 8-0 (2-0 AMC) record and is ranked the sixth best team in the nation. This was the first time Park has beaten Missouri Baptist since 2017. The victory came in three straight sets, 26-24, 25-19, 25-21.

Felipe Guirau, a junior majoring in business management and marketing, described the game as a match to remember.

“We knew that their team was good and the game was going to be huge,” the outside hitter said. “Our team played together from the first to the last point.”

Some players on the team had their first experience playing in this big rivalry game. For freshman Marcus Lucchesi, one of the setters on the team, the match was something that he was expecting since his arrival at Park.

“Since I came to Park, the thing that everyone talked about was that we had to beat MBU,” Lucchesi said. “Being able to play this game was really important for me because this rivalry is something that makes us keep playing the sport.”

The Pirates knew that this would be one of the most important games in this season and they prepared themselves physically and mentally for this crucial match. According to Guirau, the mental preparation made the team keep their focus on what to do, and they didn’t let any kind of distraction get into their heads.

“The preparation was intense; we studied their team a lot, and we knew what they were going to do,” he said. “This made things easier for us.”

This victory can also be considered a gift for the players. The men’s volleyball team has been working on their fitness and technique since last semester and the win over MBU was celebrated by the squad.

“Beating Missouri Baptist was very important because now we have a great chance of bringing the conference playoffs to Park,” Lucchesi said. “This will probably make us even more motivated to bring the national title back to Park.”

The Pirates will face Ottawa University on Wednesday, February 19 at Breckon Sports Center at 7 p.m. for their next conference game. Then they will play the University of Jamestown at 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 28 at Breckon Sports Center.