2022 NAIA Men's Volleyball Championship Recap

2022 NAIA Men's Volleyball Championship Recap

DES MOINES, Iowa [BOX SCORE]– The NAIA Battle for the Red Banner concluded Saturday night at the MidAmerican Energy RecPlex with Grand View (Iowa) taking home the 2022 NAIA Men’s Volleyball title with a 3-1 win over Benedictine Mesa (Ariz.) as the Vikings added to their trophy case a second time.

The last time Benedictine Mesa (Ariz.) and Grand View (Iowa) met was in the NAIA national championship match in 2021. The Vikings won that match in straight sets but a new season held new opportunities for both teams.

BenU had a rough start to the season with a 2-5 record but once the Redhawks got their feet under them they only lost one match to Vanguard (Calif.) toward the end of the regular-season. The team went on to win the California Pacific Conference Championship to capture an automatic bid to the NAIA national tournament. BenU entered the tournament with a four-game win streak.  

The Vikings picked up the new season right where they left off in 2021 after the team won its first championship title and extended its win streak to 47 wins before William Penn (Iowa) defeated GVU eight games into the 2022 season in three sets for the Vikings first loss in two seasons (2019-20 season was cancelled prior to championship due to COVID 19). As Grand View continued its season it only suffered one other loss that came from another Heart of America Athletic Conference opponent Missouri Baptist. GVU picked up three more wins before closing the regular-season and winning the conference tournament championship to enter the NAIA championship field on a five-game win streak with an automatic bid.

Both teams won their respective pools outright at the NAIA national championship to advance to the semifinals. Benedictine Mesa and Grand View battled through their semifinal matches facing tough Park (Mo.) and Campbellsville (Ky.) teams respectively as the only set that was won by a larger scoring differential was the first set that Benedictine won over Park with a seven-point difference (25-18).

Three of the seven sets played in the semifinals pushed past a score of 25 points before a winner was determined. The highest set score of the tournament came between Benedictine Mesa and Park in set two with a score of 32-30. The highest set scoring total in NAIA tournament history came in the semifinals in 2021 between Benedictine Mesa and Vanguard (Calif.) where BenU lost the third set 34-32 in a 3-1 win for Benedictine. All but one of the set scores in the 2022 semifinals were won with two or three points.

Little did the Redhawks and Vikings know that they would meet again one year later on the same stage, both with a second title in their sites. The Redhawks in their third consecutive NAIA championship match appearance and the Vikings in their second consecutive NAIA championship match appearance.

BenU looking for redemption for the 2021 championship to make them the first team to win two titles in NAIA men’s volleyball championship history. And Grand View looking to be the first team to win back-to-back titles in NAIA men’s volleyball championship history.

Grand View drew first blood in set one with a Kill by Daniel Galili. The Redhawks, however, answered back to get a two-point lead. BenU would hold a two or three-point lead until a 3-1 lead for GVU would tie the score at 15. The teams battled back and forth through six scoring ties until where Grand View went on a four-point run to tie the score at 23 and proceed to close out set one 25-23.

Benedictine captured the lead early in set two until Grand View went on a five-point run to tie the score at 13 and take the lead by two points. The Redhawks answered and tied the score again at 16. The teams went back and forth through eight scoring ties until BenU was able to close out the second set off of two GVU errors.

Grand View led for the entire third set as Benedictine never trailed more than four points.

The teams traded points to start the fourth set until GVU created some space with a 6-2 run. BenU would close that gap with a 4-1 run to tie the score at 21. The teams traded three-point runs and tied the score at 24 all. The Vikings converted on a Benedictine blocking error with a kill off the hand of Bayron Valdez to win the team’s second title in consecutive years.

 Daniel Galili of Grand View led all scorers in the match with 17 kills. Galili was followed by his teammate Daniel Wong with 15 kills of his own.

Francisco Arredondo of Grand View directed the Vikings offense with 52 assists for an average of 13 assists per set.

Bayron Valdez of Grand View led the defensive effort with 15 total digs.

All-Tournament Team

Joao Friedrich, Park (Mo.)

Bastian Korreck, Campbellsville (Ky.)

Daxton Tolman, Benedictine Mesa (Ariz.)

Landon Fuller, Benedictine Mesa (Ariz.)

Bayron Valdez, Grand View (Iowa)

Tournament MVP: Francisco Arredondo, Grand View (Iowa)

Sportsman of the Year: Bryce Thompson, Vanguard (Calif.)


Tournament Statistical Leaders

  • Team tournament statistical leaders through two days of pool play
    • Georgetown (Ky.) 61 kills vs Indiana Tech
    • Campbellsville (Ky.) 0.456 attack percentage vs William Penn (Iowa)
    • Georgetown (Ky.) & Benedictine Mesa (Ariz.) 58 assists vs Indiana Tech 
    • Campbellsville (Ky.) 53 digs vs Grand View (Iowa) 
    • Grand View (Iowa) nine aces vs Aquinas (Mich.)
    • Georgetown (Ky.) 34 blocks vs Indiana Tech 
  • Individual Tournament statistical leaders through two days of pool play 
    • Joao Friedrich, Park (Mo.), 30 kills vs Ottawa (Ariz.) 
    • Kacper Dobrowolski, Georgetown (Ky.), 53 assists vs Indiana Tech 
    • CJ Bride, Georgetown (Ky.), 15 digs vs Indiana Tech 
    • Leonardo Annichini, Grand View, 4 aces vs Jamestown (N.D.)
    • Colin Donisthorpe, Ottawa (Ariz.), 7 blocks vs Park (Mo.) 



Championship Information

April 11-15, 2023
MidAmerican Energy Company RecPlex
Des Moines, Iowa