PARKVILLE, Mo. – The schedule, the teams and the venue is all in order for the 14th Annual Tachikara-NAIA Men’s Volleyball National Invitational Tournament championship, as No. 1 St. Ambrose hosts the three day event which takes place April 12-14 in Davenport, Iowa at the Lee Lohman Arena.
The six teams competing this year are No. 1 St. Ambrose (Davenport, Iowa), No. 2 Hope International (Fullerton, Calif.), No. 3 Graceland (Lamoni, Iowa), No. 4 Park (Parkville, Mo.), No. 5 Missouri Baptist (St. Louis, Mo.), No. 6 Warner (Lake Wales, Fla.).
Live video will be provided of each match this week by the St. Ambrose department of athletics along with final stats that will be posted on the official tournament website. A recap of each match can be found also at the MAMVIC website.
No. 4 seeded Park University makes its 12th appearance in school history in 2012. The Pirates were the MAMVIC West regular season champs with its 9-1 record and have won two national tournaments in its history back in 2003 and 2008.
In last season’s tournament, the Pirates advanced through pool play and lost a heartbreaking four set match to eventual national champion California Baptist.
Park will begin play Thursday at 4 p.m. against No. 2 Hope, then takes on Mo Bap early on Friday morning at 10 a.m. to finish up its pool play competition.
The Pirates have a plethora of players to watch out for this week including Co-MAMVIC West Player of the Year Fray Luis Fajardo Arteaga.
Arteaga tied with Graceland’s Anthony Robinson for the player of the Year title after his season in which he collected 261 kills and averaged 3.30 kills per set.
For the second straight year, Park’s Rob Cordero earned the MAMVIC West Setter of the Year distinction. The sophomore, dished out 872 assists and averaged 10.63 assists per set and had 18 service aces in the regular season.
Opposite side hitter Zach Penolio earned a spot on the MAMVIC West first-team all-conference after another stellar season. Penolio had 208 kills on the year and stepped up his game on defense with 52 total blocks, good for third on the team.
In his first season at Park, Matheus Roham was named to the all-conference second-team, after leading Park in service aces with 32 and was the team leader in kills with 272.
Kalani Rose and Paul Bilanzic were both up for consideration for conference Libero and freshman of the year considerations respectively.
Rose led the Pirates in digs with 198 and averaged 2.39 per set, and freshman Bilanzic was a force in the middle by leading Park in blocks with 83 and 12 solo blocks.
Park has four wins over national tournament teams this season, including two over Missouri Baptist, a home win over Graceland and win at Lee Lohman Arena over Hope International.
2012 Tournament Schedule - Match recaps available on MAMVIC Website
Thursday, April 12 (Pool Play)
Match 1 - Hope International vs. Missouri Baptist - 10 a.m.
Match 2 - St. Ambrose vs. Warner - 12:30 p.m.
Match 3 - Hope International vs. Park - 4 p.m.
Match 4 - St. Ambrose vs. Graceland - 7 p.m.
Friday, April 13 (Pool Play)
Match 5 - Park vs. Missouri Baptist - 10 a.m.
Match 6 - Graceland vs. Warner - 12:30 p.m.
Friday, April 13 (Semifinals)
Semi 1 - Winner Pool A vs. Second Pool B - 4 p.m.
Semi 2 - Winner Pool B vs. Second Pool A - 7 p.m.
Saturday, April 14 (Championship)
Championship - Winner Match 7 vs. Winner Match 8 - 7 p.m.