Statesmen Show Promise in Loss at Park

Parkville, Mo. — Men’s volleyball returned to action Tuesday night as they made their way south to take on new Heart of America Athletic Conference foe Park. The Pirates entered as the #2 team in the nation but the Statesmen gave a good accounting of themselves in the first and third sets. Unfortunately, they could not take a set on the night, losing 26-24, 25-16, and 25-23. The team falls to 4-6 overall and 3-6 in the Heart.

The Pirates got on the board first but a block from Eli Herro (So., Dousman, Wis., Business Management) leveled the score at 1-1. Park got a couple more points and soon led 5-2. Anthony Torres (Fr., Aurora, Ill., Computer Science) then produced the first kill of the night for WPU and after some errors by Park, the score was even at 5-5. WPU went on a streak of three-straight points, with Torres collecting an ace and CJ Rettig (So., Sierra Madre, Calif., Physical Education) putting down a kill.

Connor Muff (Jr., Kenosha, Wis., Business Management) secured a dump-kill to put the navy and gold up 10-7 and the squad would continue to lead as they took a 15-10 edge. Up 19-13, things looked golden, but the Pirates began to respond to the threat. Going on a 7-2 run, they closed the distance, with WPU clinging to a slim 21-20 lead. With a couple errors by each side, the game was squared up at 22-22. Torres put the Statesmen up 23-22 but the Pirates tied things back up immediately. They then went up 24-23 but WPU fed Torres again, who he slammed a ball down, making the score 24-24. But in the extra rallies, the Pirates got both points and took set one 26-24. WPU hit .071 in the first, with nine kills and seven errors.

Park opened the second set with a big 5-0 run that swept away any positive momentum the visitors had. WPU got on the board but soon found themselves down 7-3. The team was able to get some points from then on but nothing in a sustained run to get the Statesmen back into competition. Trailing 21-12, WPU found some fight to put up four in a row but Park closed out set two with a 25-16 victory.

Set three started with Caleb Seguin (Jr., Pickering, Ontario, Digital Communication) putting a ball away for the Statesmen, with Torres racking one up on the next rally. The lineup kept a toe in front until things were level at 6-6. JohnieJoel Jackson (Jr., Houston, Texas, Biology) delivered his first kill of the night to put the team up 9-8 but Park would not back down, evening the score at 10-10.

The teams exchanged points at the navy and gold found their stride again. Tied at 14-14, Park then pulled away with four unanswered points. But their own errors allowed the Statesmen to hang around in the set, with William Penn tying the game at 19-all. Torres helped to keep things at level pegging but Park then upped their game. Taking the lead 22-21, they then went up 24-22. Despite another clutch kill from Torres, Park finished off the sweep with a 25-23 decision in the third set. WPU had 10 kills and seven errors in the final frame.

The team hit .103 on the night, with 26 kills, two aces, and two solo blocks. Torres paced the lineup with seven kills while Rettig, Charlie Figy (Fr., Appleton, Wis., Sports Management), and Ike Papes (So., Eldwood, Ill, Business Management) each ended with four apiece. Muff had 21 assists in the game. Carlos Garcia (So., Laredo, Texas, Biology) had four assists and a team-high six digs. Papes had five digs as did Muff.

“We played well and battled all night long,” said Head Coach Luke Bentley. “They’re a very good team obviously and this conference is tough. But our guys are doing things on the court we haven’t done this year, which is great to see.”

Next Up: William Penn will host Jamestown on the front end of two nonconference games. The Statesmen will play the Jimmies on February 18 at 7 p.m.

Posted by on Feb 17 2021. Filed under College Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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