ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Third-ranked Park University men's volleyball team upset the first-ranked Grand View University in the 2017 NAIA National Invitational Championship match. The Pirates (26-5) swept the Vikings (25-4) 3-0 (36-34, 25-21, 25-16) in the finals to win the school's fifth NAIA men's volleyball championship - the first since 2014 and the third under head coach Mike Talamantes.
Daniel Arteaga led the offense with 29 kills, while his teammate, Leandro Sodre, had seven kills. Milos Trivunic had 48 assists for the Pirates' offense. The Vikings' offense was led by Tim Johnson with 13 kills, while his teammate, Savili Bartley, had seven kills. Felipe Rosa had 36 assists in the match for Grand View's offense.
The Vikings led the Pirates for most of the first set. Park made a come-back late in the set, to trail Grand View 20-15. Arteaga had a soft tip over the net for a kill, to trail the Vikings 21-17 in the set. A couple points later, Arteaga got a kill to tie the set up 22-22. Murilo Pereira got a kill for Park, to tie the set up 24-24. Sodre and Trivunic blocked Felipe Noguerira's attack at the net. After the block, Park led Grand View 25-24. The Vikings' Pedro Cardoso had an attacking error; the Pirates won the set 36-34.
Park jumped out in front of Grand View, to start the second set. The Pirates led the Vikings 8-4, before Grand View called a timeout. The Vikings' Bartley had a kill, to take the lead over the Pirates 15-14. Arteaga got the set point for the Pirates' offense, with a kill. Towards the end of the set, the Pirates and the Vikings tied the set up three more times. Park went on to win the second set 25-21 over Grand View.
The Vikings jumped out in front of the Pirates, to start the third set off. Park went on a 2-0 spurt, to lead Grand View 9-7. Later in the set, Dylan Riley had three service aces in a row, to put the Pirates up 18-13 over the Vikings. Sodre got the kill for Park, to win the match 25-16 over Grand View.
Oscar Tuero was named to the 2017 National Invitational All-Tournament Team. Talamantes won the Coach of the Year. Arteaga was named as the Tournament MVP for the 2017 National Invitational Tournament.
Statistical Leads of the Tournament
- Pereira with a hitting percentage of .548.
- Tuero with 5.6 kills per game.
- Trivunic with 12.3 assists per game.