3300 W. Camelback Rd. Phoenix AZ 85017
No. 1 men's volleyball sweeps No. 9 Grand Canyon to complete series
PHOENIX — The No. 1 Cougars bounce back and sweep No. 9 Grand Canyon (25-19, 25-19, 25-13) to complete the four game series.
BYU men’s volleyball avenged Thursday's loss with a dominant sweep of GCU in Phoenix. This was the fourth time in a row the Cougars (6-2) and ‘Lopes (2-4) faced off, with BYU coming out of the series with three wins.
Serving and blocking was the key to success for the Cougars. In total, BYU had 12 blocks compared to GCU’s one, and in the ace category, BYU had eight with three for GCU.
- Davide Gardini: 11 kills, .588 hitting percentage, one ace, three digs
- Gabi Garcia Fernandez: 11 kills, .429 hitting percentage, three aces, six blocks
- Miki Jauhiainen: two kills, one ace, five blocks
- Wil Stanley: 26 assists, four digs, two blocks
- Felipe de Brito Ferreira: one kill, six blocks
The match began very evenly with both teams trading leads until 16’s. Three Cougar blocks in a row, followed by a GCU attack error, allowed BYU to take the lead (BYU 18-16 GCU). Gabi Garcia Fernandez came through with the Cougars first of eight aces in the match, next to a BYU block would force a ‘Lopes timeout (BYU 21-18 GCU). The Stanley brothers ended the set with a serve by Jon and an overpass kill by Wil (BYU 25-19 GCU).
Teilon Tufuga started in the Cougar lineup in set two, immediately securing a kill and an ace to tie it up at 3’s. Back-to-back blocks by BYU gave the Cougars the lead that they would keep for the remainder of the set (BYU 9-7 GCU). BYU hit .600 in set two for the best team percentage of the match out of both teams, with 13 kills on 20 attempts and only one error.
Set three was a clinic in serves with BYU recording six aces. Gardini’s ace in the middle of the set (BYU 9-7 GCU) provided a momentum shift at just the right time, giving the Cougars the push to complete the sweep. A kill by Garcia Fernandez, followed by a Jauhiainen and de Brito Ferreira double block, put the Cougars in set point position (BYU 24-13 GCU). Wil Stanley secured the W with a service ace to end the match.
Next, BYU will travel to California to take on Concordia Irvine and USC on Mar. 4th and 5th.
No. 1 men's volleyball on the road at No. 9 GCU this week
PROVO, Utah — No. 1 ranked men’s volleyball (5-1) is heading to Phoenix for a pair of matches at No. 9 Grand Canyon (1-3) this week.
Games are scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 25 at 6:00 pm MST and Feb. 27 at Noon. All matches will be played in GCU Arena and will be broadcast on GCUTV.
BYU is looking to continue a 5-game win streak and uphold their No. 1 ranking. This will be the third and fourth time the Cougars and ‘Lopes have faced off this year, all in a row. The first meeting on Feb. 18th ended in a 3-1 set BYU win. Gabi Garcia Fernandez led the team with 15 kills and 2 aces, followed by Davide Gardini with 14 kills, one ace and four blocks. The Feb. 20th match was a 5-set thriller lasting nearly three hours from first to last whistle. Depth on the BYU team, led by a career night for Zach Eschenberg and off the bench performance by Brandon Oberender, contributed to the win.
Assistant coach Micah Naone spoke on this week’s matches after Saturday's win. He said, “We approached the sets we won with a better mindset and it paid off. What we were doing was working, GCU was just getting there two points faster than us. For us, going forward next week, cleaning up some of those little mistakes will help. Those little points just add up and I think we will do a better job.”
There will be a limited amount of GCU students and athlete families in attendance. For information on GCU's spring sports attendance policy click HERE