WALNUT RIDGE, Ark. – Fourth-ranked Park didn't waste any time setting the tone for Friday night's three-set win at Williams Baptist College, hitting .609 in the opening set of a 25-10, 25-14, 25-18 win that saw Aneisha Ford hit .643 with 10 kills, adding three blocks to get the Pirates to 4-0 in the American Midwest Conference.
"We did a great job shaking off a long bus ride and getting to work early in the match," said Park coach Mike Talamantes. "That's all on the players, especially after a long ride like that. We were very aggressive in our serve game today and we were able to use that to sustain some runs. It was a good way to start a long road trip."
The Pirates had nine service aces on the night, four from Meawad, while Williams (5-15) was held to a zero hitting mark, totaling only 15 kills on 84 attempts with 15 errors. Alyssa Leatherman finished with 10 digs for the Eagles, who fell to 1-4 in conference matches.
Park had seven points before Williams Scored, as Noura Meawad, Ford and Amanda Santos blocked WBC's Audra Nailling to give Park a 7-0 lead. Nailling was able to stop the run with a kill, but Park went right back to work with the next three points, getting a Nada Meawad kill to make it 10-1.
Already up 11 late, Park put the set away with a 4-0 spurt, part of a 9-2 set-ending run to win 25-10, claiming set point on Monteiro's service ace. Park didn't trail in the match until the third, winning the second set 25-14 with a 4-0 run in the middle, and in the third, Williams' biggest lead never reached more than three points, 7-4, before Park stormed back with four of the next six points to tie the score at 8.
Tied later at 12, Park went on a 6-1 run to lead 18-13, a five-point lead the Pirates maintained at 20-15 when Gomes found Nada Meawad for a kill. The Pirates put the set and match away with a 4-0 run after Williams trimmed the lead to three, winning with Kaci Crabtree at the line, as Ford put away a kill followed by two Eagle errors to end the match.
"I think the third set did lag a little but we put in so much energy building those big leads in the first two, and that's something we have to manage as the season progresses," Talamantes said. "We grew up a little and came together a lot last week, and I think that showed today. We need to do it again tomorrow."
The Pirates stay on the road Saturday, at 1 p.m., taking on Freed-Hardeman on the Pirate Sports Network at www.parkathletics.tv.