PHOENIX — NCAA record-breaking match between No. 1 BYU and No. 9 GCU ended in a Grand Canyon sweep (22-25, 43-45, 25-10) at the GCU Arena on Thursday.
BYU and Grand Canyon are now on record for the longest set played in NCAA history. Set two between the Cougars and the ‘Lopes ended in a 45-43 Grand Canyon win.
- Gabi Garcia Fernandez: 15 kills, .229 hitting percentage, two service aces
- Davide Gardini: 12 kills, One ace, six digs, one block
- Felipe de Brito Ferreira: Six kills, .500 hitting percentage, two blocks
- Wil Stanley: 34 assists, five digs
Set one started with the two teams going back and forth. Both teams put forth great efforts, but Grand Canyon ultimately ran away with the lead after a 17-17 tie to win 25-22. BYU had 13 kills on a .310 clip as a team. Serves and blocks were in GCU’s favor with two aces and three blocks.
Set two started with a shakeup in the BYU lineup with Teilon-Jonathan Tufuga stepping in for Zach Escheberg. The set began 5-0, with GCU taking a strong lead. After a timeout by BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead, a service error by Grand Canyon brought BYU into the match. GCU led for most of the set until a hitting error brought the game to a 22-22 tie. 'Lopes called a timeout, causing a Gabi Garcia Fernandez service error. One more point by GCU would have ended the set, but a ‘Lopes attack error led to a kill by Wil Stanley and a Davide Gardini ace to tie it at 24s. Service aces and errors would be the story of this historic set with a combined 22 service errors and six aces between the two teams. Each team had many, many opportunities to end the set but an attack error by Gardini and a blocking error by Garcia Fernandez allowed the ‘Lopes to seal the win.
The third set started, as the set before, with both teams fighting for the lead. After a 3-3 tie, GCU quickly took off with the lead. In the third set alone the ‘Lopes dished out four aces, five blocks, and seven kills to stifle the Cougars, holding BYU to only 10 points.
The No. 1 ranked Cougars, now 5-2, will face Grand Canyon for the fourth time in a row Saturday, Feb. 27th at Noon in GCU Arena. The match will be broadcast on GCUTV.