LAMONI, Iowa – Daniel Arteaga led the way for the Pirates' offense with 17 kills, while his teammates, Mario Lucas and Oscar Tuero, both had nine kills each in the match. Milos Trivunic had 37 assists for the Pirates' offense in the 3-1 win over Graceland University. Third-ranked Park (18-2) beat Graceland (6-13) 3-1 (23-25, 25-16, 25-13, 25-13) in a non-conference match. The Yellow Jackets' offense was led Matt Romero and Dalton Forbes both had eight kills each, while their teammate, Silia Tucker, assisted 29 kills.
"Very happy with how my guys responded tonight coming to Graceland and being down three starters," said Park coach Mike Talamantes. "We had to shuffle our line-up around. You could tell in the first set that we weren't in sync and our service receive patterns weren't very crisp. We gave up six service aces which is a team-high for this season."
In set one, it was a close match between both teams Park would pull ahead by two-points and then Graceland would get the next point to be down by one-point. The set been tied up multiple times before the Yellow Jackets took the lead. The Yellow Jackets' Dalton Forbes got the kill to take the lead over Park, to go up 21-20. Graceland's Romero got the set point, with a kill assisted by Tucker. The Yellow Jackets won the first set 25-23. Park hit for .400 percent, while Graceland hit for .375 percent.
In set two, the Pirates gained a three-point lead over the Yellow Jackets due to a ball handling error on Tucker. Park led Graceland 10-7, after Tucker's ball handling error. The Pirates' offense went on a 3-0 spurt, to go up 17-11 over the Yellow Jackets. Tuero got a kill for the Pirates' offense to lead the Yellow Jackets by 10-points. Tuero got the set point for the Pirates with a kill, to take set two 25-16. The Pirates tied the match up 1-1.
In set three, Roman Tkachuk got the kill for the Pirates' offense, to put Park up 10-7. In the middle of the set, the Pirates' offense went on a 4-0 run, to extend the Pirates lead 17-9 over the Yellow Jackets. Graceland's Danny Ly got a kill to stop Park's run. The Pirates won the third set 25-13. Park hit for .458 percent in the third set. The Pirates led the Yellow Jackets 2-1 in the match.
In set four, the Pirates jumped out to a 2-0 spurt, to start the set off to lead the Yellow Jackets 2-0. The Pirates' Tuero and Tkachuk blocked Ly's attack attempt, to put the Pirates up 15-5. Tkachuk got the set point for Park, to take set four 25-13. The Pirates hit for .632 in the fourth set to take the match 3-1.
"A big team win tonight for us without having three of our starters," said Talamantes. "We need to keep this going into tomorrow's match against Dordt College."
The Pirates will be back in action on Wednesday, March 15 as they head to Sioux Center, Iowa, to take on Dordt College in a Midwest Conference match. There will be live stats through DakStats and live video available at Live Stream. The start time is set for 6 p.m.