A seven-match win streak is on the line Friday and Saturday for fifth-ranked Park University in Columbia, as the Pirates look to make it 10 in-a-row as part of the 2017 Columbia Cougar Fall Classic.

 

TALAMANTES NEEDS ONE TO BECOME PARK'S ALL-TIME WINNINGEST WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL COACH

With one more win, Park coach Mike Talamantes is the winningest coach in Park women's volleyball history. With last week's win over Lindenwood-Belleville, Talamantes is tied with Rhonda Miles at 203 wins on the Park sideline.

 

PIRATES AMONG NAIA'S MOST EFFICIENT

Efficiency has been the key to Park University's success in 2017, at the two-thirds mark  of the regular season, boasting the fourth-best hitting percentage in NAIA volleyball (.283) and the fifth-most assists per set (13.46). Junior setter Danna Gomes claims the majority of those assists, at 11.14 per set, where she's fourth in the NAIA, helping Nada Meawad to 4.59 kills per set, the second-best kills average in NAIA volleyball.

2017 NAIA National Team Rankings

  • #4 in Hitting Percentage (0.283)
  • #5 in Assists per Game (13.460)
  • #8 in Kills per Game (14.270)
  • #28 in Service Aces per Game (2.000)
  • #45 in Total Service Aces (140)
  • #48 in Total Assists (942)

2017 NAIA National Individual Rankings

 

QUICK HITS: NOTES ON A 19-2 RECORD

  • Through its last seven matches, the Pirates are 21-1 over 22 sets.
  •  15 of Park's 19 wins are sweeps.
  •  In all, the Pirates boast a set record of 60-10.
  • The Pirates are in a first-place tie in the American Midwest Conference at 7-0 with William Woods.
  • With one more win, the Pirates will reach 20 wins for the seventh-straight season under Talamantes.
 

THE MASTER'S BEGINS COUGAR CLASSIC FOR PIRATES

Park will start the Columbia Fall Classic against a team starting to break out of a slump, against The Master's (7-11), a team that is 3-4 in its last seven matches after starting the season with just two wins in its first nine matches. Friday's match is the first-ever between Park and The Master's.

Key performers… Jane Cisar, a 6-foot-1 right side, is the team's top attacker at 2.23 kills per set and a .223 hitting percentage. Defensively, McKenna Hafner averages 4.64 digs per set.

 

PARK LOOKS TO EXTEND ALL-TIME SERIES LEAD ON CMU

Saturday morning's match between Park and Central Methodist (15-9) will be the 10th all-time between the Pirates and Eagles. Park beat CMU in four sets last season, and in 2017, the Eagles have won four-straight, as well as eight of their last nine since Sept. 30.

Key performers… Madison Bond is a force at the net for CMU, totaling the 15th-most blocks (91) in NAIA volleyball, while Darcy Latham needs just one more kill to get to 300, settling in at 299 and in 17th in the NAIA going in to the weekend. In all, CMU has the eighth-most kills in the NAIA this season (1,229).

 

A SIOUX CITY REMATCH BETWEEN #5 PARK AND #6 WESTMONT

It might be the match everyone is talking about in NAIA volleyball, this week, when No. 5 Park meets No. 6 Westmont (22-1), Saturday at 3 p.m. Last season, Park and Westmont met for the first time, and it was on a national stage, in Sioux City, when the Pirates bumped the Warriors out of the NAIA national tournament in the quarterfinal round in four sets. It was just Westmont's second loss of the season and moved Park in to the national semifinals.

Westmont has won 21-straight after a loss on the first day of the season to College of Idaho.

Key performers… Libby Dahlberg is one of the most efficient hitters in the NAIA, with a .433 hitting percentage, and multiple setters have the Warriors averaging the most assists per set in the NAIA at 14.81. Amy Buffham averages 6.45 assists per set, while Camryn Kaina averages 5.18.  

UP NEXT…

It's back to American Midwest Conference play, next week, beginning Tuesday when the Pirates fight cancer against Stephens College at 7 p.m., at the Breckon Sports Center on the Pirate Sports Network at www.parkathletics.tv.

Next week also brings a big match in the AMC with No. 13 Columbia College, Thursday (Oct. 19) at 7 p.m. That match will be played at the Southwell Complex in Columbia, and will air (simulcast) at www.parkathletics.tv via http://portal.stretchinternet.com/columbia