Viking Men's Volleyball Tops Culver-Stockton in Conference Tournament

Posted April 7, 2017

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Marshall, Mo. (April 7, 2017)- The No. 8 Missouri Valley College men’s volleyball team played in the semifinal round of the 2017 Heart of America Athletic Conference Postseason Tournament Friday afternoon in Des Moines, Iowa, against Culver-Stockton (Mo.) College.  The Vikings trailed early, but came back to earn a win in four games, by scores of 21-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-21.

 

The opening game featured an early lead for the Vikings, as an ace from Junior Setter Andrea Maggio (Vasto Italy) and kills from Sophomore Outside Hitter Ivailo Enev (Sofia, Bulgaria) and Senior Outside Hitter Casey Wood (Hermosa Beach, Calif.) put MVC up, 3-1.  Culver-Stockton followed with a run, taking the next seven points, to open an 8-3 advantage.  Missouri Valley gradually worked back, and used an ace from Senior Setter Jalen Holsten (St. Louis, Mo.) to cut the deficit to 12-11, but CSC responded with three-straight points to hold a 15-12 advantage.  The Vikings got to within one point on multiple occasions, the latest at 20-19 after a Wildcat error.  Culver-Stockton pulled away from there, taking five of the final seven points to earn a 25-21 win in game one.

 

The two teams played even through much of game two, as neither built up larger than a one-point lead until CSC held a 12-10 advantage.  A block from Enev and Senior Middle Blocker Jose Martins Arcuri (Sao Lourenco, Brazil) tied the score at 12-12, and MVC eventually opened a 16-13 lead, built by Wildcat errors.  Enev finished off a kill to put the Vikings on top 17-13, and Missouri Valley maintained at least a two-point advantage form there.  Culver-Stockton got to within an 18-16 score, but an error and a kill from Wood opened a 20-16 advantage.  The Vikings finished off the game with a kill from Senior Middle Blocker Mohamed Diyani (El Jadidad, Morocco) to earn a 25-20 win, and tie the contest at 1-1 in games. 

 

The third game again featured the two teams trading points, eventually leading to a 9-9 score.  A Culver-Stockton error and Wood kill put MVC in front, 11-9, but the two teams stayed within one point of each other until a service error from CSC gave Missouri Valley a 15-13 lead.  Senior Right Side Travis Middleton (Madera, Calif.) followed with a kill to put the lead at 16-13, but the Wildcats won three of the next four points to trail, 17-16.  The Vikings eventually stretched out its lead to 20-18 after a kill from Senior Middle Blocker Gustavo Kozma (Sao Paulo, Brazil), then built a 24-19 lead after back-to-back double blocks from Diyani and Enev, and Middleton and Diyani, along with a kill form Enev.  Culver-Stockton got to within a 24-22 score, but the game ended on a Wildcat service error, putting MVC up 2-1 in games with a 25-22 win.  Missouri Valley finished with a .500 hitting percentage in the third game.

 

Missouri Valley took an early lead in the fourth game, as a block from Wood and Diyani, along with kills from Middleton, Diyani and Enev pushed the score to 5-2.  Culver-Stockton eventually tied the game at 6-6, and again at 8-8.  The Vikings followed with four-straight points, coming from another block from Wood and Diyani, along with a Maggio service ace and two Diyani kills.  Missouri Valley then held a 15-11 lead, and a 17-12 lead later in the game.  The Vikings maintained a sizeable lead, extending the advantage to 23-16 after a kill from Middleton.  The Wildcats responded with a run, taking the next five point to trail by a 23-21 score, but Diyani answered with a kill, while Martins and Kozma finished the game off with a block to give MVC a 25-21 win, and take the match, 3-1.

 

Leading the team was Wood who finished with 13 kills, while Enev had 12 kills and a .320 hitting percentage.  Maggio had 32 assists in the match, with two service aces, while Freshman Defensive Specialist Skyler Capplonch (Kailua, Hawaii) led the team with 11 digs.  The Vikings finished with 18 total blocks in the game.

 

The win moves Missouri Valley to 17-11 on the season, while Culver-Stockton falls to 13-19.

 

The Vikings will next play in the Heart Postseason Tournament championship match, against No. 1 Grand View (Iowa) University Saturday at 2 p.m.  The winner clinches an automatic berth into the 2017 NAIA Men’s Volleyball National Invitational, which runs April 19-22 in St. Louis, Mo.  Missouri Valley lost twice to Grand View during the regular season, both in three games. 

 

 

 

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 30 academic programs, study abroad program, extracurricular activities, and 13 sports. The most popular majors include education and business, criminal justice and exercise science. Above all, Valley is committed to student success. For more information, call (660) 831-4000 or visit www.moval.edu.

 



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