WPU Opens League Play with Sweep Loss to Fellow Top-10 Park

Parkville, Mo.–The Statesmen men’s volleyball team started Heart of America Athletic Conference action against a powerful foe looking for revenge, and unfortunately the squad could not come away with a road victory, falling 3-0 to #8 Park Tuesday.

#5 WPU (1-3, 0-1 Heart), which lost by scores of 21-25, 22-25, 19-25, was outhit .319-.211 and also dropped the blocks battle 10-4. The bout was a rematch of last year’s Heart Tournament Semifinals in which the Statesmen won 3-1.

Tuesday did not hold the same outcome for the navy and gold. Still without Landon Krause (Jr., Appleton, Wis., Sports Management) in the lineup, the Statesmen needed someone new to step to the forefront. Anthony Torres (Jr., Aurora, Ill., Computer Science), Krause’s backup on the right side, attempted to do just that, recording a team-high nine kills. Unfortunately, William Penn could not keep up with the Pirates (3-0, 2-0 Heart).

Ike Papes (Sr., Elwood, Ill., Business Management) produced the first point on a kill, but the rest of the opening set belonged to PU. WPU held a 14-8 edge in kills in the first set, but also led 9-4 in hitting errors.

The second round was tight through the first 34 points as the sides were knotted at 17-17. The Pirates, though, managed the next three points and cruised to go up 2-0 in the match. Both teams caught fire in the set with the Statesmen hitting .440 (12 kills and just one error), but PU sizzled at .531 (21 kills and four errors).

Attempting to stay on the court a bit longer, the visitors pulled out to a 7-3 edge in the third and final set. Unfortunately, a handful of small runs pushed Park on top for good as the Statesmen were limited to a meager .094 attack clip.

Papes managed eight kills overall, while the middle-hitting duo of Charlie Figy (Jr., Appleton, Wis., Sports Management) and Eli Herro (Sr., Dousman, Wis., Business Management) both finished with seven kills. Herro posted a team-high .333 hitting mark in the loss.

Matt Helmick (Jr., Fullerton, Calif., Business Management) tallied 32 assists, while CJ Rettig (Sr., Sierra Madre, Calif., Physical Education), who had four kills, guided the defense with six digs. Herro and Papes each ended the night with one solo block and one block assist.

“This was another tough battle with a good opponent,” Head Coach Luke Bentley said. “The guys keep fighting and showing what we are made of, and I am proud of that. I know we are going to keep getting better.”

Next Up: William Penn returns to Oskaloosa to host #13 Missouri Baptist in Heart play at 6 p.m.

Posted by on Feb 1 2023. 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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