The Park University Pirates women’s volleyball team was on a 31-match win streak.
And a 32nd straight victory was going to be a big one, as it would be for a NAIA national championship.
Unfortunately for the Pirates, it was rival Missouri Baptist that ended that streak and claimed the national title.
No. 4 Park lost to No. 3 Missouri Baptist 3-2 (25-18, 20-25, 25-15, 14-25, 15-8) on Saturday night in the NAIA championship match in Sioux City, Iowa.
It was Missouri Baptist’s second straight NAIA national championship.
Nada Meawad had 20 kills and 13 digs for Park, while Amanda Mendes had recorded 37 assists and 13 digs for the Pirates. Meawad was named Attacker of the Tournament.
Park finished the season 34-3, while Missouri Baptist ends this title run at 33-2.
Park got to the title match with a dominating performance in beating No. 1 Jamestown (N.D.) in straight sets on Friday night in the semifinals.
Park came into Saturday’s tile match seeking the program’s third NAIA championship. The Pirates were NAIA champions in 2014 — when they finished the season 40-0 — and again in 2018.
Park’s previous two losses in the 2021 campaign came against Midland (Neb.) and Viterbo (Wis.), the exact two teams that beat Missouri Baptist this season.
Missouri Baptist holds a 16-13 all-time advantage against Park, but during Mike Talamantes’ time as head coach for Park (since 2011), the Pirates were 11-6 against Missouri Baptist coming into Saturday’s championship match. Park, in fact, had won 10 out of the previous 11 matches against Missouri Baptist.
Each program has now won two NAIA volleyball championships.