Student newspaper of Park University

Stylus

Men’s soccer weather upset losses

Connor Jones, Sports Editor

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Park has continued to be an elite force in NAIA women’s volleyball, posting a 7-1 record since September 2. The Pirates have yet to be ranked lower than No. 4 in the nation and are just a few games back from the lead in the American Midwest Conference.

After a five-day break, Park traveled to Baldwin City, Kansas, on September 8 for the Baker University invitational. Park’s first test of the tournament was Graceland University. The Pirates handled Graceland easily, dropping only one set on their way to a 3-1 victory. Park outscored the Yellowjackets by an average of 11 points during their three victorious sets and moved to 8-1 on the season.

The Pirates then took on Ottawa University in their second match of the day. Though their match against Ottawa would prove to be the closest match of the tournament, Park was still able to sweep the Braves in straight sets. The Pirates ended the match with a hitting percentage of .295 and out hit Ottawa by over 200 points.

Park followed a dominant day one of the tournament with an even more impressive showing in day two. The Pirates swept both Bethany College and Haskell Indian Nations University in straight sets. Park out hit both opponents by exactly 215 points, posting a .351 hitting percentage against the Swedes and a .352 hitting percentage versus the Indians. After day two Park left Baldwin City with an 11-1 record.

Six days later the Pirates began conference play in their first home match of the season against Hannibal-LaGrange University. The Trojans entered the contest with just three wins on the season and were unable to pick up their fourth after a powerful showing from Park. The Pirates swept Hannibal-LaGrange in straight sets, winning by an average margin of nearly 13 points.

Park then strayed outside of the confines of the NAIA and traveled to Wichita, Kansas to take on NCAA Division ll Newman University. The Pirates cruised to a 25-18 victory in the first set and looked on track to ruin the Jets’ home opener. Newman took control after their opening set loss, however, handing Park just their second loss of the season in a 3-1 victory.

The Pirates rebounded soon after though, returning home to play consecutive matches in back-to-back days. On September 22, Park swept Lyon College in straight sets 25-16, 25-20 and 25-12 while holding the Scots to a negative hitting percentage.

The following day, Park throttled Central Baptist College for their most lopsided win of the season. Central Baptist failed to reach double digits during all three sets of the match. Park outscored the Mustangs by an average margin of 18 points and finished with an absurdly efficient .517 hitting percentage.

As of September 27, the Pirates own a 14-2 record and are undefeated in conference play. The September 18 coaches poll placed Park fourth in the nation behind Lindsey Wilson College, Viterbo University and top-ranked Hastings college, all of which are still undefeated. The next polls aren’t released until October 2, but don’t expect Park to improve past No. 4 without multiple losses from the top three teams in the country.

In the AMC standings, Park trails No. 10 Missouri Baptist by just 1.5 games, however the Spartans have played five more games than Park. The Pirates’ best chance to improve in both the national and AMC rankings comes in three weeks, when Park plays No.7 Columbia College and No. 10 Missouri Baptist University.

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Student newspaper of Park University
Men’s soccer weather upset losses