Park Wins Its NAIA Tourney Opener With Sweep of Missouri Baptist

4/17/2008

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Parkville, Mo. - Henry Uribe had 15 kills and Ryan Stafford notched 13 more, as Park University swept Missouri Baptist - 30-26, 30-18, 30-27 - in the second match of the 2008 NAIA Men's Volleyball National Invitational Tournament.

The top-seeded Pirates improved to 25-1 on the season and 1-0 in pool play, while Missouri Baptist fell to 18-9 and 0-1 in Pool A. J.P. da Silva led the team at the net with 42 assists, while Uribe added six blocks to total 19.5 points.

Matt Mahoney led Missouri Baptist's offensive attack with 14 kills. MoBap resumes tournament play Friday at 12:30 p.m. against Cardinal Stritch, while Park takes on the Wolves in Thursday's nightcap at 7 p.m.

The Pirates fell behind early in the opening game, as Missouri Baptist jumped out to a 14-9 lead before Park went on a 7-2 run to get within two, 16-14. Uribe had two kills in the run, and later in the game, the junior gave Park its first lead of the match at 18-17 with a service ace that split the right side of the Spartan defense.

Prior to taking the lead, Caio Maciel got the Pirates to within one with a block in the middle of the floor, and Park tied it a play later when Missouri Baptist fumbled a set in the middle of the floor to make it 17-17.

Park later took a three-point lead to force a Spartan time out when Uribe stuffed the Missouri Baptist right side to make it 23-20, and out of the break, the Pirates finished on a 7-6 rally to win it 30-26.

The Pirates opened game two up 7-5 before a 4-0 run made it 11-5 on a Uribe kill. Four serves later, a MoBap error put Park up eight at 14-6, and after a rally on the next play, Dragomir Katanic fired from the middle of the floor, landing a deflection to make it a nine-point game, 15-6.

MoBap was forced into its second time out of the game when Park went up 10, as Maciel recorded a solo block to make it 17-7, and the lead extended to 11 (20-9) before Missouri Baptist managed to reach double-digits.

The Spartans went on a 3-0 run to cut the lead to 20-12 after getting by the 10-point barrier, but Stafford stopped the spurt with a right-side kill to extend the lead back to eight.

Uribe pushed the lead back to 10 with a kill to make it 25-15 late in the second, and Park finished on a 5-3 run to win it, 30-18, grabbing a 2-0 match lead.

In game three, the Pirates fell behind 13-11 before Uribe and Katanic combined on a block to tie it, but MoBap rallied back to regain a two-point lead, going up 17-15 on a Stafford error at the net.

MoBap later extended its lead to 22-19 past the 20-point barrier, but Park fought back by scoring the next two points to get within one, 22-21. Stafford floated one in past the Spartan front line to tie it at 23-23, and after an MBU time out, Park got the next two points to go up 25-23.

Missouri Baptist made its last stand in the match over the next four serves, going on a 3-1 run to tie it at 26-26, but a pair of points, including an Erick Albuquerque solo block, made it 28-26, and the Pirates won two of the final serves to win their 15th-straight match.

The win also puts Park head coach Cory Frederick one win away from the 100-win plateau at 99-16 in four seasons at the helm of the Park volleyball program.

Article courtesy of Park athletics.

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