The Park University volleyball team is back on the road, Friday and Saturday, in the American Midwest Conference's southern footprint, beginning Friday night at 5 p.m., against Williams Baptist College. The Pirates also play in Tennessee, Saturday, against Freed-Hardeman at 1 p.m.
The weekend represents opportunity for the Pirates to win for the third- and fourth-consecutive times after sweeping a pair of opponents from Arkansas last week at Breckon Sports Center. Williams and FHU will provide live coverage, with both video broadcasts also slated to simulcast on the Pirate Sports Network at www.parkathletics.tv.
- Friday vs. Williams Baptist, 5 p.m. | Watch Live | Live Stats
- Saturday vs. Freed-Hardeman, 1 p.m. | Watch Live | Live Stats
UP-AND-DOWN WEEK, FOR PARK…
While the weekend was efficient, for the Pirates, putting away Lyon and Central Baptist in six swift sets, the week didn't start on a high note, as Park ended a long run of wins with a four-set loss at NCAA Division II Newman. There was no poll, this week, in the NAIA Volleyball Coaches' Top 25, so the Pirates remain No. 4, taking an overall mark of 14-2 in to the weekend in search of the fourth and fifth AMC wins of the 2017 season.
The Pirates are in a battle in the American Midwest Conference, tied atop the league with two other unbeatens, No. 10 Missouri Baptist (7-0) and (RV) William Woods (4-0).
Nada Meawad continues to be one of the NAIA's best, offensively, averaging 4.59 kills per set, third-best in NAIA volleyball, while Danna Gomes has the eighth-best setting average at 10.85 assists per set, helping Park hit .276 as a team, the fourth-best offensive efficiency in the NAIA.
Park has also been able to cause problems for opponents from the service line, where the Pirates average more than two aces per set, led by Meawad's 31 service aces.
WILLIAMS LOOKS FOR A BOOST AT HOME
Williams Baptist spent two of its last three matches away from home, falling in straight sets to both Harris-Stowe and Missouri Baptist, and the Eagles returned home Thursday night, falling to William Woods in three, ahead of Friday night's match with Park.
The Eagles are 5-14, 1-4 in the AMC, led by Audra Nailing's 2.2 kills per set and 3.1 digs per set from Makenzie Moore. Williams' last wins came on Sept. 18, taking down NCAA Division I Alcorn State in a pair of three-set wins.
FREED FIRES OFF BACK-TO-BACK WINS COMING IN TO WEEKEND
Freed-Hardeman will get a look at another first-place team Friday night, taking on William Woods at 7, coming in to the weekend with wins this week over Harris-Stowe (3-2) and Lane (3-0). Saturday is the final match in a three-match homestand for the Lions, who play three times on the road next week.
FHU (4-8, 2-2 AMC) gets 3.2 kills per set and an ace every two sets from Claire Walker, while Setter Lindsey Gordon averages 8.27 assists per set to guide the offense.
Park has a busy week, next week, beginning Thursday night at home in the season's only non-conference match at The Breck, when Baker University visits at 7 p.m. The Pirates are also on the road for a pair in conference, next weekend, at STLCOP and Lindenwood-Belleville. The reserves are also in action this week, Sunday, at Central Methodist. Check www.parkathletics.com for coverage information next week.