Student newspaper of Park University

Stylus

Volleyball continues dominance

Connor Jones, Sports Editor

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Park University’s womens’ volleyball team opened the season on August 25 as the No. 3 team in the nation. The Pirates have since posted a 7-1 record and remain one of NAIA’s elite teams.

Park’s first challenge of the season came against Cumberland University as part of the Missouri Valley Invitational. The Pirates swept CU in straight sets. Park overmatched all three of their remaining opponents during the two-day tournament, winning all three games without dropping a single set.

The Pirates experienced their first real test of the season just six days later on September 1 at the Hampton Inn Invitational against No. 6 Viterbro University. After dropping their first set of the season by 10 points, Park rallied back to take a 2-1 lead through three sets. The V-Hawks were able to force a fifth set, however, and eventually handed the Pirates their first loss of the season. The V-Hawks posted an impressive .237 hitting percentage while also out blocking Park 14-2. Park freshman Nada Meawad led all players with 26 kills.

The Pirates rebounded four hours later by sweeping Huntington University in straight sets. Park then handled their next two opponents soundly, beating the University of St. Francis and Olivet Nazarene University. The Pirates just two sets combined between their last two games of the tournament, finishing the Hampton Inn Invitational with a 3-1 record tournament record and a 7-1 overall record.

Viterbro University’s defeat of Park allowed them to leap frog the Pirates in the NAIA coach’s poll.  The V-Hawks jumped from No. 6 to No. 2. As of September 6, Park sits at No. 4 behind Lindsey Wilson College, Viterbro University, and Hastings College. The three teams in front of Park also represent three out of the four undefeated teams in the top 25.

Although park dropped one spot in the NAIA coach’s poll, they remain atop the standings in the American Midwest Conference. The Pirates lead No. 11 Missouri Baptist University (8-2) by half a game and No. 7 Columbia College by 1.5 games. The Pirates must wait until October 19 to challenge their strongest conference opponent, Columbia College, in Columbia. Park then plays Missouri Baptist six days later at home.

Park has one more tournament, the Baker University Invitational on September 8 and 9, before christening the Breckon Sports Center with their first home match of 2017. That September 15 matchup against Hannibal-LaGrange University will also be the first conference game of the year for Park.

 

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Student newspaper of Park University
Volleyball continues dominance