Match Statistics: http://bit.ly/1aXLACa
Park (34-5, No. 13 NAIA) hit .396 as a team and held Asbury (34-8) to .126, getting a 35-assist, 10-dig double-double from Juliana Barros and nine digs from freshman outside hitter Daniela Duarte. Park also controlled the net, connecting on four blocks, including one solo stuff by Duarte, who was part of two net stops on the afternoon.
Allison Rehner led Asbury with eight kills and KIAC Player of the Year Sarah Sterling finished with seven in a battle of top award winners in their conferences, as Siqueira, the 2013 AMC Player of the Year, also added eight digs and two blocks for Park. Raissa Herczfeld finished with 10 Park kills, helping the Pirates to the tournament's pool-play round, which begins Dec. 3 at the Tyson Event Center in Sioux City, Iowa.
"Obviously I'm happy with the way we played, and anytime your program gets its first-ever win in the national tournament, it's a marquee win," said Park coach Mike Talamantes. "We've said all year that we've got unfinished business, and that isn't changing. We take it one goal at a time, and this was one of those goals. Now we have to prepare and be ready for what's ahead in Sioux City. But today, I thought we were really efficient and balanced and we adjusted when they were able to stop what we wanted to do."
Park took the opening set 25-17 after building an early 7-1 lead, and Duarte's solo block extended the lead to eight, 11-3, before the Pirates went on another run with Kat Partridge at the service line, getting kills from Herczfeld, Duarte and Siqueira to make it 18-7.
Asbury put together a 4-0 run to close the gap to seven, 22-15, when Mackenzie Burke connected on one of her two kills, but Siqueira and Pamela Lima paired on a block of Rehner's attack to win 25-17, completing a set-ending 3-0 run.
Park trailed 1-0 in the second set but answered with a 4-0 run, and the Pirates were in front 14-9 after kills by Barros and Siqueira preceded two Eagle errors, forcing Asbury to stop the set with a timeout. Lauren Purdy connected late, after the stoppage, to put Park up 21-12, forcing another Asbury timeout, and the Pirates went up 2-0 in the match when an errant serve from the Eagles secured a 25-15 win.
Maddie Lewis gave Asbury its largest lead of the match to begin the third set, scoring on a service ace that was mishandled by Melissa Honn, but the Pirates stretched seven-straight points together to build an 8-3 lead with back-to-back aces by Herczfeld that victimized Lewis and Kelly Cole, who finished with a match-high 13 digs.
Morgan Newton's kill helped bring Asbury back within two, 9-7, but four-straight kills by the Pirates, two from Siqueira and single scores from Duarte and Herczfeld, returned a six-point lead to Park, 13-7. The lead reached seven when Purdy found the middle of the Eagle defense from the right side, 18-11, and after kills by Rehner and Newton brought the Eagles back within five (23-18), Siqueira and Herczfeld ended the match with consecutive kills, 25-18, securing Park's first-ever trip to Sioux City.
For more information on the NAIA Volleyball National Championship and a complete look at Saturday's opening-round scores, visit www.naia.org, and next week, log on to www.parkathletics.com for a preview of Park's trip north to Sioux City.