April 03, 2012
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PARKVILLE, Mo. – The stage is set for the 2012 Tachikara-NAIA Men’s Volleyball National Invitational Tournament championship as No. 1 St. Ambrose hosts the three-day event which takes place April 12-14 in Davenport, Iowa.
Six teams from four different states will represent the field including No. 1 St. Ambrose (Davenport, Iowa), No. 2 Hope International (Fullerton, Calif.), No. 3 Graceland (Lamoni, Iowa), No. 4 Park (Parkville, Mo.), No. 5 Missouri Baptist (St. Louis, Mo.), No. 6 Warner (Lake Wales, Fla.).
The final regular-season poll of the season helped determine the national tournament field, as the top six teams earned qualifying spots. The other four institutions who made the final poll but finished just outside the top six are No. 7 Missouri Valley, No. 8 Grand View, No. 9 Clarke and No. 10 Lourdes.
St. Ambrose has now been to three straight national tournament’s and spent all but two week’s as the No. 1 team in the country this season. The Fighting Bee’s will look to capture its first NAIA Championship in school history and brings with them a 30-2 record and finished the MAMVIC East regular season 12-0.
Hope International makes its third trip to nationals next week under MAMVIC National coach of the year Victor Santiago. The Royals last qualified in 2010 and didn’t make it out of pool play, but in 2009 Hope advanced to the national semifinals and lost in a hard fought battle against eventual national runner-up California Baptist.
This is the first ever appearance in the Tachikara-NAIA Men’s Volleyball National Invitational Tournament for Graceland. Under head coach Chad McDole, the Yellowjackets won the MAMVIC West conference tournament in five sets over Missouri Baptist and finished in a tie for second-place in the regular season standings.
Graceland has a win over Park University on its resume this season and enters the tournament with a 14-11 overall record.
No. 4 ranked Park University makes its ninth appearance in school history in 2012. The Pirates were the MAMVIC West regular season champs with its 9-1 record and have won two national tournaments back in 2003 and 2008.
In last season’s tournament, the Pirates advanced through pool play and lost a heartbreaking four set match to eventual national champion California Baptist.
No. 5 this week goes to Missouri Baptist. The Spartans earned an at-large bid into the field with a 16-13 overall record and appearance in the MAMVIC West conference tournament.
In that tournament, Mo Bap defeated Grand View in three sets in the first round and then followed that up with a three set victory over No. 1 seeded Park University in the semifinals.
Missouri Baptist was then matched up against Graceland in the championship match and fell to the Yellowjackets in five sets (25-14,25-20,22-25,21-25,16-18).
The final spot goes to No. 6 Warner University. This is the second straight season the Royals have qualified for the national tournament.
In its first season in the MAMVIC National conference, Warner went 14-9 on the year and advanced to the conference tournament championship match against host school Hope International. Warner lost to Hope in three sets, but will look to make some noise in next week’s tournament as the No. 6 seed.
Rounding out the top 10 is No. 7 Missouri Valley. The Vikings were the No. 2 seed in last week’s MAMVIC West conference tournament and went 0-2 with losses to Graceland and Park.
But the Vikings had an outstanding season, spending all 12 week’s in the NAIA Top 10 poll and finished the year with an overall record of 19-9.
In just its first season as a member of the MAMVIC conference, No. 8 Grand View picked up some big wins in 2012, none bigger than taking down No. 1 ranked St. Ambrose in five sets at home on Feb. 15.
Under head coach Donan Cruz, the Vikings went 13-13 on the season and 3-7 in the MAMVIC West.
No. 9 Clarke University had a solid season in the MAMVIC East, finishing third in the conference with an overall record of 15-12 and 8-4 conference mark.
Under MAMVIC East coach of the Year Greg Reitz, first year program Lourdes University finished the regular season ranked No. 10 in the country and finished fourth in the conference with a regular season record of 6-6.
2012 NAIA Men’s Volleyball Final Regular Season Top 10 Poll (Apr. 2, 2012)
1. St. Ambrose (Davenport, Iowa)
2. Hope International (Fullerton, Calif.)
3. Graceland (Lamoni, Iowa)
4. Park (Park, Mo.)
5. Missouri Baptist (St. Louis, Mo.)
6. Warner (Lake Wales, Fla.)
7. Missouri Valley (Marshall, Mo.)
8. Grand View (Des Moines, Iowa)
9. Clarke (Dubuque, Iowa)
10. Lourdes University (Sylvania, Ohio)