Story by Tyler Price, NAIA Media Coordinator
ST. LOUIS, Mo. – (Box Score) Two-time defending NAIA Men’s Volleyball National Invitational Champion No. 2 Missouri Baptist opened up Pool Play on Thursday with a three set win over No. 8 Missouri Valley (25-20, 25-17, 25-20).
This is the 21st-straight win for the Spartans and they improve to 26-2 on the year, while the Vikings fall to 18-13 on the year.
MBU will next face No. 4 Warner on Thursday at 4 p.m., while the Vikings will next take on No. 4 Warner Friday at 10 a.m.
2017 AVCA-NAIA National Player of the Year Kyle Foley dished out 28 assists in the match and collected two service aces.
Luka Cajic led the Spartans with 11 kills, while 2017 AVCA-NAIA All-American Mico Janicijevic had an efficient match with six kills, hitting .462.
The Spartans hit .244 as a team and held Missouri Valley to just .091 hitting. Missouri Valley had 11 total team blocks at the net, but had 18 service errors.
This marks the fourth appearance at the National Invitational for Mo Val, they are now 4-9 at the event.
Missouri Baptist has qualified for the National Invitational each of the last three seasons and are 22-23 all-time at the event. They are looking to become the first team to three-peat since California Baptist won four-straight national titles, 2004-2007.
Andrea Maggio led MVC with 11 kills and 10 digs, while setter Tsvetan Todorov had 18 assists.
MBU is 3-0 against the Vikings this season, all ended in sweeps.