By Katie Green Manager of Athletic Communications and Media
DES MOINES, Iowa – The first team to punch its ticket to the 2018 NAIA Men’s Volleyball National Invitational championship match is host Grand View (Iowa). The Vikings held off Missouri Baptist in the opening semifinal on Friday with a 3-1 win.
Missouri Baptist led for the majority of the opening set. However, Grand View stayed close and tied the score at 20 and capitalized on a kill by Tim Johnson that sparked a four-point run to close the set, 25-21.
The Spartans again jumped out to an early lead in the second set but with a nine-point run, the Vikings captured the lead. From that point, there were six ties. The final tie at 22-22 saw three Spartan attack errors that gave Grand View the two-set lead.
Another six ties came in set three but they all happened early as the teams fought for the lead, but a kill by Missouri Baptist’s Steven Rodriguez started a 5-2 run where the Spartans would take the lead and see that lead through to a 25-19 set three win.
GVU took the lead at 3-2 with an MBU attack error and pushed that lead to a six-point lead that gave them the cushion to hold the Spartans off to take the match.
Grand View’s Felix Chapman and Missouri Baptist’s Luka Cajic recorded a match-high of 20 kills. Tim Johnson of Grand View and Stephen Rodriguez of Missouri Baptist followed with 15 kills of their own.
Chapman hit an impressive 0.633 attack percentage with only one blemish on 30 total attempts.
MBU’s Kyle Foley recorded a match-high 39 assists. Alfredo Batista of Grand View tallied a match-high 11 digs.
Grand View will take on the winner of the second semifinal between Benedictine Mesa (Ariz.) and Lourdes (Ohio) in the championship match at 6:00 p.m. CT in the Charles S. Johnson Wellness Center. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 as well as the NAIA Network.