By Park University Sports Information
DAVENPORT, Iowa - The Park (Mo.) men's volleyball team made history on Saturday April 14, 2012, winning its third Tachikara-NAIA Men's Volleyball National Invitational Tournament in school history with a four set win over No. 1 ranked St. Ambrose (25-23, 25-19, 19-25, 25-17).
No. 4 seeded Park ends its magical season with a record of 21-7, while SAU falls to 33-3 and lost in its second straight national title match.
The Pirates now have the second most NAIA Men's Volleyball national invitational titles in NAIA history with three after winning in 2003 and 2008. California Baptist owns the most titles with seven.
In the first set, Park led early on by as many as three points, 8-5, but SAU's Hayden Grove tied up the match 10-10 with a kill and the momentum shifted the Fighting Bees way.
Park later trailed 19-17, then tied it up at 19-19 and took the lead on an attack error by Grove, forcing a SAU timeout.
Then the Pirates took the first set with a kill from Tournament MVP Fray Luis Fajardo Arteaga, he had eight kills on nine attempts in the first set for a hitting percentage of .800.
In the second set, Fabricio Toledo slammed home a beautiful service ace and gave Park a 13-10 lead. Then Park took its largest lead of the match at that point at 22-16 on an attack error by MAMVIC East Player of the Year Dan Dowjotas.
SAU came out firing in the third set and stormed to an 8-3 lead and held on throughout, eventually taking the 25-19 third set victory.
In the deciding set, Park took back all the momentum in front of the crowd of 2,763 fans with back-to-back service aces by Toledo which gave Park the 16-12 lead.
The Pirates could feel the title within its grasp when Arteaga put Park up 20-15 with a kill and Park won its third national title with an incredible ace by junior Matheus Roham to take the 25-17 set.
Zach Penolio supplied the Pirates with 10 kills and hit .444 and Park had seven service aces as a team and Raphael Vieira had a tournament high seven service aces throughout the tournament.
SAU had nineteen service errors and hit .318 as a team and collected a solid nine team blocks.
Dowjotas led the team in kills with 12 and MAMVIC East Setter of the Year Michael Neuner had 29 assists. Hayden Grove and Kyle Schwetz each had nine kills and Schwetz hit a team best .500.
Fray Luis Fajardo Arteaga (Park)
Gustavo Cintron (Missouri Baptist)
Mitch Wiskirchen (Warner)
Kyle Schwetz (St. Ambrose)
Dan Dowjotas (St. Ambrose)
Rob Cordero (Park)
Coach of the Year
Mike Talamantes (Park)
Sportsman of the Year
Michael Neuner (St. Ambrose)
Tournament Statistical Leaders
Hitting Percentage: Kyle Schwetz (St. Ambrose), .500
Kills per game: Fray Luis Fajardo Arteaga (Park), 6.89 kills/set
Assists per game: Rob Cordero (Park), 12.0 assists/set
Digs per game: Mitch Wiskirchen (Warner), 3.0 digs/set
Service Aces per game: Raphael Viera (Park), 0.67 aces/set
Blocks per game: Robert Schramm (Warner), 1.82 blocks/set
First Place Team
Second Place Team
St. Ambrose University
Semifinalist Team Trophies
Missouri Baptist University
2012 Final NAIA Men's Volleyball Top 10 Poll (Apr. 14, 2012)
1. Park University (Parkville, Mo.)
2. St. Ambrose (Davenport, Iowa)
3. Warner University (Lake Wales, Fla.)
4. Missouri Baptist (St. Louis, Mo.)
5. Graceland University (Lamoni, Iowa)
6. Hope International (Fullerton, Calif.)
7. Missouri Valley (Marshall, Mo.)
8. Grand View (Des Moines, Iowa)
9. Clarke University (Dubuque, Iowa)
10. Lourdes University (Sylvania, Ohio)