The Park (Mo.) Pirates won their second NAIA Women’s Volleyball National title against Columbia (Mo.) 3-2.
The Pirates opened set one strong and created a five point lead. The Cougars, however, bounced back and tied the score at 16 and went on a 9-3 run to win the first set.
Park started the second set with a 6-1 run and lengthened the lead at most 16 and evened the score at one set apiece.
The Cougars regained control of the match and opened set three with a 5-1 run. From that point on, Columbia maintained the lead to win its second set of the match.
Columbia opened set four with the lead, but after a six point run the Pirates captured their first lead of the set. Park saw that lead through to force a fifth set.
Park opened the fifth set with a 5-1 run before Columbia called a time out. The Cougars came storming back and tied the score at nine, 10, 13 and 14, but with a Columbia attack error and and kill by Nada Meawad the Pirates won the 2018 title.
Each time these two teams met during the season each game went to five sets. Columbia was the only team to hand the Pirates a loss during the 2018 season.
This was the third time that a championship match has gone to five sets. The first two times were in 2008 (Fresno Pacific (Calif.) vs Concordia (Calif.)) and 2016 (Hastings (Neb.) vs Dordt (Iowa)).
The Pirates won their first title in 2014 against former member Texas Brownsville.
Nada Meawad led all scorers with 36 kills and an attack percentage of 0.408.
Danna Gomes had 63 assists and 12.6 assists per set.
Celina Monteiro recorded 23 digs and 4.6 digs per set.
Columbia - Kiersten Anderson, Barbara Sabino and Manuela Vargas
Dordt (Iowa) - Ema Altena
Grand View (Iowa) - Kelsey Redmond
Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) - Sarah Cruz
Midland (Neb.) - Priscilla O'Dowd and Jessica Peters
Park - Danna Gomes and Maren Roper
Rocky Mountain (Mont.) - Hailey Copinga
Southern Oregon - Makayla Hoyt
Viterbo (Wis.) - Katie Frohmader and Lydia Xu
National Tournament Defender of the Year - Celina Monteiro, Park
National Tournament Most Valuable Player - Nada Meawad, Park
National Tournament Coach of the Year - Mike Talamantes, Park
Champions of Character Selection: Providence (Mont.)
National Tournament Service Award: Stew McDole, Graceland (Iowa)