© 2023 BVM Sports. Best Version Media, LLC.

Park University men’s volleyball earns fourth seed in NAIA National Tournament

Park University men’s volleyball earns fourth seed in NAIA National Tournament
Park University men's volleyball team won the Heart of America Athletic Conference tournament on April 1 to earn an automatic bid to the NAIA national tournament. (Courtesy: Nathalia Harth)

Brad Biles - BVM Sports User Submission

PARKVILLE, Mo. — The NAIA announced this afternoon (April 3) that Park University’s men’s volleyball team has earned the No. 4 seed in the NAIA Men’s Volleyball National Championship Tournament that begins Tuesday, April 11, at the MidAmerican Energy Company RecPlex in West Des Moines, Iowa.

The Pirates, 25-1 on the season after winning the Heart of America Athletic Conference regular season and post-season tournament titles, are one of 12 teams to earn a bid to the national tournament and the only school among the top six seeds outside of California or Arizona. Park is also the only Kansas/Missouri school to advance to the national tournament.

Park will open play in Pool D as the No. 4 seed on April 11 against No. 12 seed Webber International University (Fla., 11-5). Following a rest day on Wednesday, April 12, the Pirates will close our pool play against No. 5 seed Ottawa University (Ariz., 13-8) on Thursday, April 13. Both of Park’s pool play matches will begin at 4 p.m.

Should Park win its pool, the Pirates will advance to the national semifinals on Friday, April 14 (at 7:30 p.m.) against the winner of Pool A, with the national championship match scheduled for Saturday, April 15, at 5 p.m.

The Pirates will be seeking the sixth men’s volleyball national title in Park’s history (2003, 2008, 2012, 2014 and 2017) after having lost in the national semifinals the past two years.

Park’s Mike Talamantes, in his 12th season as director of volleyball and men’s/women’s volleyball head coach, has a 267-66 (80.2%) record leading the Pirates’ men’s squad. In addition, Talamantes has 399-71 (84.9%) record as Park’s women’s head coach. His overall record at Park is 666-137 (82.9%). Under his helm, Park’s men have won three national titles (2012, 2014 and 2017), while the women’s team has won two (2014 and 2018).

The Pirates are led on the court by 2023 Heart of America Athletic Conference Player of the Year and Attacker of the Year Joao Friedrich, a junior outside hitter from Joinville, Brazil; HAAC Setter of the Year Eduardo Faquin, a freshman from Florianopolis, Brazil; and HAAC Freshman of the Year Samuel Essilfie, an opposite hitter from Tema, Ghana.

Benedictine University at Mesa (Ariz., 24-3), which won the California Pacific Conference tournament, received the No. 1 seed in the national tournament. Here are the seeds/records of the teams in the tournament and how each earned its bid:


  • No. 1 — Benedictine University – Mesa (Ariz.), 24-3 (won the California Pacific Conference tournament)
  • No. 8 — Georgetown (Ky.) College, 21-6 (won the Mid-South Conference tournament)
  • No. 9 — St. Xavier University (Ill.), 22-4 (won Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament)


  • No. 2 — Vanguard University (Calif.), 16-5 (at-large)
  • No. 7 — Grand View University (Iowa), 19-8 (host and at-large)
  • No. 10 — University of Jamestown (N.D.), 21-3 (won the Great Plains Athletic Conference tournament)


  • No. 3 — The Master’s University (Calif.), 17-4 (won the Golden State Athletic Conference tournament)
  • No. 6 — Menlo College (Calif.), 15-7 (at-large)
  • No. 11 — Indiana Institute of Technology (aka Indiana Tech), 19-8 (won the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference tournament)


  • No. 4 — Park University, 25-1 (won the Heart of America Athletic Conference tournament)
  • No. 5 — Ottawa University (Ariz.), 13-8 (at-large)
  • No. 12 — Webber International University (Fla.), 11-5 (won Appalachian Athletic Conference tournament)

This is an unedited user writing submission. The views, information, or opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Best Version Media or its employees.