MVC Men's Volleyball Falls to Park in Tournament Finals SaturdayPosted March 29, 2014
Marshall, Mo. (March 29, 2014)- The No. 9 Missouri Valley College men’s volleyball team played No. 3 Park University in the NAIA South Tournament finals Saturday at the Burns Athletic Complex with an automatic berth into the NAIA Men’s Volleyball National Invitational on the line. The Vikings fell to the Pirates by a 16-25, 23-25, 18-25 match.
The Vikings were able to get some early success against Park to open the first game. MVC grabbed an early 3-1 lead thanks to an attack error by the Pirates. MVC held onto the lead at 6-5 when Junior Middle Blocker Zach Bumstead (St. Peters, Mo.) finished with one of his three kills in the match, but Park was able to take its first lead of the game soon after. MVC fell behind by a 10-7 score, but won five of the next six points to hold a 12-11 lead after Senior Middle Blocker Jacob Haar (La Mesa, Calif.) finished the rally off with a kill. Park responded with its best run of play to that point, winning six of the next seven points to jump ahead 17-13. MVC closed back to within an 18-15 deficit late in the game, but the Pirates finished things by winning seven of the final eight points to come out with a 25-16 win in game one.
Game two started with Park holding an early lead, putting MVC into a 4-1 deficit. MVC fought its way back, and eventually took an 8-6 lead when Park suffered an attack error. MVC maintained a lead over the Pirates until Park tied things up at 10-10. Park was then able to win four of the next five points to jump ahead 14-11, but the Vikings fought back again, winning five of the next six points to jump ahead 16-15 when Junior Outside Hitter Zach Brown (Plainfield, Ill.) finished a rally off with a kill. The two teams played even from that point, with the game tied at 20-20. From there, Park won five of the final eight points in the game, and won 25-23 to go up 2-0 over the Vikings.
Park started game three by taking another early lead, this time by a 6-3 score. MVC battled back to an 8-6 deficit when Freshman Outside Hitter Brandstetter (Muehldorf, Germany) finished a rally with one of his two kills. Park followed that up with a small run, winning three of the next four points to pull ahead 11-7, and after MVC cut the Park lead to just two at 12-10 after an ace by Haar, Park quickly extended its lead to 16-11. MVC got back to within a four-point deficit multiple times from that point, the latest at 19-15 following a Haar kill, but Park finished the game by taking six of the final nine points to beat MVC 25-18 in the game, and sweep the match.
Leading the way for MVC were Haar and Brown who each finished with seven kills. Brown ended the game with a .429 hitting percentage. Freshman Libero Ding Hui (Zhejiang, China) had eight digs for MVC while Senior Setter Will McCracken (Goleta, Calif.) had 24 assists and five digs.
The loss finished the MVC season with a 23-11 record. The 23 wins are a program record for most in a season. Park improves to 25-4 and will play in the NAIA Men’s Volleyball National Apr. 10-12 in Denver, Colo.
Other matches from Friday:
Hannibal-LaGrange University defeated Lindenwood University-Belleville (Opening Round)
25-9, 22-25, 25-18, 25-21
Missouri Valley defeated Missouri Baptist (Semifinal #1)
11-25, 15-25, 25-23, 26-24, 15-12
Park University defeated Hannibal-LaGrange University (Semifinal #2)
25-22, 25-9, 25-13
NAIA South All-Tournament Team:
MVP Sr. Setter Rob Cordero-Park
Jr. Right Side Fabricio Toledo-Park
Sr. Middle Blocker Jacob Haar-Missouri Valley
Fr. Libero Ding Hui-Missouri Valley
Fr. Setter Trey Biggs-Hannibal-LaGrange
Sr. Middle Blocker Jordan Pinto-Missouri Baptist
About Missouri Valley College
Known for its dynamic, richly diverse, and friendly educational environment, Missouri Valley College offers many opportunities to grow in mind, body, and spirit. Grounded in the liberal arts, undergraduate studies empower students to master interdisciplinary skills needed to succeed in a knowledge-based global society. MVC offers over 40 academic programs, study abroad program, honors program, extracurricular activities, and 13 sports. The most popular majors include education and business, and some new majors are ag-business, nursing, graphic design, and health information systems (associate degree). Above all, Valley is committed to student success. For more information, call (660) 831-4000 or visit www.moval.edu.