Valley netters win three of four
PARKVILLE -- Playing the top-ranked NAIA-level team didn't get the weekend off to a good start for the Missouri Valley College men's volleyball team. However, after being swept by California Baptist, the Vikings won three straight matches, knocking off a rated power in the process.
The Lancers (12-3) -- No. 1 in the latest Tachikara NAIA poll -- blew through Valley, 30-15, 30-20, 30-13 Friday during the first match of the Park Tournament at Parkville. Juniors Brandon Deering and Jamie Jennings accounted for more than half of the Vikings' offense with eight kills each.
Valley responded in a big way against No. 9 St. Ambrose (Iowa), stinging the Fighting Bees (9-12) 30-26, 30-20, 30-28 in the nightcap. Deering's 14 spikes and 12 digs led the way for MVC -- with Jennings, freshman Joel May contributing 10 kills and junior Donald Diego and freshman David Hoke each laying down seven shots. Freshman Chandon Chesebro came up with 11 digs and freshman Matt Gleason served up three aces for the Vikings.
Saturday's final contest at Park was a marathon with Trinity International (Ill.). Valley was in position to sweep after winning the first two games, 30-28 and 33-31. However, the Spartans (3-22) held on for a pair of victories, 30-27 and 30-28, before MVC came up with eight spikes without an error during the 15-7 tiebreaker.
May and sophomore Wade Miura each had 17 kills -- Miura adding 18 digs -- and freshman Rickey Estrada pounded down 16 attacks and saved 14 shots during the match. Deering and Gleason combined for 25 digs, with Gleason getting three more aces.
The Vikings finished the day by making a three-hour trip north for a MAMVIC clash with Peru State (Neb.), beating the Bobcats (2-20, 0-8 MAMVIC) for the third time this season, 30-27, 32-30, 32-30. Estrada had 17 kills and 10 digs, junior Donald Diego produced eight spikes and 11 saves and sophomore Greg Miller and freshman Daniel Drees came off the bench for five attacks each.
Valley (10-11, 2-8) will be back in action Friday when it goes to Wichita, Kan., for another meeting with a nationally-ranked conference foe: No. 6 Newman.