Park’s volleyball program kicks off with strong start


Park Athletics

Joao Friedrich, junior, makes a kill during Park’s first game of the season.

Skyler Jensen, Editor-in-Chief

The Park University men’s volleyball program is off to a strong start with five wins, the first four of which were three set sweeps.

The latest of their wins was on the road against Mount Mercy University. The Mustangs were undefeated until Park visited Cedar Rapids.

The Pirates had to fight hard in the first set. There were 8 lead change and both teams had to fight for each point, but Park was ultimately unable to pull it off. Mount Mercy won this set 25-23.

In the second set, the Mustangs took off with the lead, 4-1. However, Park pulled off one of the largest rallies of the match to earn eight consecutive points and take the lead, 9-4. Park grew their lead to 17-9. Mount Mercy clawed their way back into the set and was only down three points, 24-21. However, a service error by the Mustangs ended the set with a score of 25-21.

The third set was a point-by-point fight. No team scored more than two points in a row, but Park ended up pulling it off by winning four of the last five points in the set ending the set, 28-26.

In the last set, Park used their momentum to take the lead early on, 8-3. The Pirates were dominating this match leading by eight points at game point, 24-16. Junior Daniel Isernhagen won the last point with his 12th kill of the match.

Sophomore Samuel Essilfie led the team with 22 kills in the match while junior Joao Friedrich did his part to help capture the win with 19 kills and 2 ace serves.

Sophomore Leonardo Leao had the most digs of his career, 22, to help Park’s defense.

Park’s defense was also bolstered by freshman Eduardo Faquin who had 11 digs, a career high for him while also pushing the team forward with 55 assists. Faquin’s hard work earned him the title of the Heart of America Conference’s Setter of the Week.

The team will have to continue to fight if they want to keep their undefeated record. Next, the Pirates will face Missouri Valley at the Breckon Sports Center on Feb. 8. Then, they go on the road to take on Culver-Stockton College on Feb. 11.