No. 2 BYU beats No. 13 Grand Canyon in straight sets on Senior Night
PROVO, Utah – No. 2 BYU men’s volleyball beat No. 13 Grand Canyon in straight sets (25-17, 25-17, 25-23) on Senior Night Saturday at the Smith Fieldhouse.
“I liked that we were able to put a lot of pressure on Grand Canyon from the service line,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “We got into that second set and the match felt slow. Slowly it all started to come together though. We needed that win tonight.”
Gabi Garcia Fernandez led the Cougars with 12 kills to go with four blocks. Leo Durkin set the team with 29 assists while Zach Hendrickson provided five digs. Christian Rupert collected eight blocks and Brenden Sander had six kills and three aces in the win.
A block from Sander, Rupert and Fernandez helped BYU (19-5, 9-1 MPSF) take a 7-5 advantage in the first set over Grand Canyon (16-10, 3-8 MPSF). A Durkin kill kept the Cougars in front 14-9, and a roll-shot kill from Cyrus Fa’alogo made it 17-12. The Lopes rallied to get back within two, down 17-15, but BYU then scored five-straight points to take a 22-15 advantage. A Durkin, Fa’alogo and Felipe de Brito Ferreira block secured the 25-17 set win.
An ace from Sander gave the Cougars a 3-0 edge to start the second set. A Durkin ace then made it 10-5, forcing a timeout from Grand Canyon. A Ferreira kill stopped a 4-1 run from the Lopes to keep BYU ahead 15-11. With Ferreira at the service line, the Cougars went on a 4-0 rally to extend the advantage to seven at 20-13. A service error from Grand Canyon then gave BYU the set 25-17.
A lengthy rally was won by the Cougars after a block by Durkin, Rupert and Sander, pushing BYU ahead 5-3 at the start of the third set. The Lopes rallied to even the score at 8-8 following a block. Despite a 3-0 Cougar run, Grand Canyon stayed close as a kill brought it back within a point, trailing 14-13. A trio of errors by the Lopes put BYU back up by four, 18-14, before the Cougars took the set and match 25-23 on a Fernandez kill.
BYU hits the road next, traveling to No. 5 Pepperdine Thursday, April 5, at 7 p.m. PDT. The match will be streamed live by TheW.tv.