COLUMBIA, Mo. – Maren Mair had another big match at the net with six blocks and added 11 kills with .364 hitting, as No. 3 Park avoided upset for a third-straight match, topping Olivet Nazarene University in four sets – 25-18, 25-18, 22-25, 25-17 – in Columbia, Missouri.

 

Mair was one of three in double figures for the Pirates, who were led by Nada Meawad's 19 kills, while Katherine Dudra matched Mair's 11 kills, and Danna Gomes posted a 39-assist, 15-dig double-double while helping the team hit .286.

 

"Second match was much better today, in terms of execution," said Park coach Mike Talamantes. "We didn't make nearly the number of mistakes we made in the first match, this morning, and our timing was a lot better. It was a good way to close things against a really good Olivet team."

 

Park (7-1) trailed early in the opening set but gained a lead and cushioned it with a 7-1 run, splitting a 10-all tie to take a 17-11 lead when Tijana Sisic and Mair blocked ONU's Rachel Kirby. The Pirates claimed the set on back-to-back kills by Noura Meawad and Nada Meawad, 25-18, and Park won the second set by an identical score, this time leading wire-to-wire to get a seven-point win.

 

A big run by the Pirates was the story of the second set, as well, but this time it covered the opening 12 points, as Park led 9-3 on Aneisha Ford's kill from Corina Rodriguez. The Pirates nearly closed the match in three, leading 21-19 late in the third before ONU finished on a 6-1 run to force a fifth, 25-22.

 

Park was able to shut the door on the fourth early, separating a 4-4 tie with five-straight points, going up 9-4 after an error followed consecutive points for Mair. The lead reached eight when Sisic and Mair again got the better of Kirby at the net for a block, and Ford registered the match winner after a 3-0 run by ONU negated a 10-point Park lead. Ford's kill made it 25-17 and sent the Pirates out of Columbia with three wins in four tries.

 

"I'd call it a successful weekend, although we always want to come out of a tournament at 4-0," Talamantes said. "Viterbo was a very tough match yesterday and we took them to five while learning a lot about what we need to do. We got better as this event progressed, and we need to do more of it next weekend."

 

The Pirates will be back on the road for a neutral-court tournament next week, traveling to Baldwin City, Kansas, to play in Baker University's Invitational, beginning Friday against Graceland University.