SIOUX CITY, Iowa – No. 14 Midland University saw the final chapter of their 2018 season come to a close on Saturday morning in the semifinals of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Women’s Volleyball National Championship. The Warriors played their best volleyball of the year at nationals but ran out of steam, falling to the eventual national champions from Park University in four sets (26-28, 25-19, 25-15, 25-10). Midland finishes the year 26-8.
In the semifinal match, the Warriors looked to give the Pirates all they could handle in the opening set. The two teams went back and forth the entire set with 10 ties and 4 lead changes. With the Warriors down 26-25, they were able to rally back after a pair of errors by Park followed by a kill from Sydney Morehouse to clinch the first set.
Set two saw the Pirates respond in a big way as they led wire to wire thanks to a 5-1 start. Midland did their best to battle back, pulling within two at 21-19 before a four point run even the match.
In the third set it was once again a back and forth affair, at least early on. Midland played Park even to 11-11 before the Pirates went on big run thanks to their sophomore All-American and potential NAIA Player of the Year, Nada Meawad. With her at the service line and attacking from the back row, Park went on a 14-4 run to go up two sets to one.
Park’s momentum carried over into fourth set as they led start to finish. Midland could never get their offense going in the set. They hit for a -.083 on tired legs from the day before and all week. Park would win the set with ease, 25-10, and move into the title game to face Columbia College.
Midland was led by Taylor Petersen and Priscilla O’Dowd offensively with Jessica Peters coordinating the attack. Petersen had 14 kills to lead the team with O’Dowd netting 11 kills as well. Peters had 36 set assists.
Defensively Morehouse paced the team with 6 blocks at the net while Petersen, O’Dowd and Sheyenne Smith all 4 as well. Brooke Fredrickson finished with a team-high 15 digs while O’Dowd and Peters were one behind her with 14 each.
In the national championship Park and Columbia played a thrilling five set match with the Pirates coming out victorious (19-25, 25-15, 17-25, 25-20, 16-14). Afterwards the Warriors were presented their national semifinalist trophy and plaques followed by the announcement of the NAIA National Championship Tournament Team. Both Priscilla O’Dowd and Jessica Peters were selected to the 14 player team.