Caleb Turner | Posted: 19 Feb 2019 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

No. 9 BYU continues home stand against Grand Canyon

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PROVO, Utah — No. 9 BYU men’s volleyball continues its home stand with a conference matchup against Grand Canyon on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m. MST in the Smith Fieldhouse.

Week 7 Match Notes

No. 9 BYU (6-4, 2-2 MPSF)

  • The Cougars broke a four-match losing streak with convincing wins over Concordia and No. 14 Southern California in the Smith Fieldhouse last week to remain undefeated at home.

  • Outside hitter Davide Gardini earned Off the Block National Freshman of the Week for his efficient offensive outing against the Trojans on Saturday. He had a career-high 20 kills on a .452 hitting percentage.

  • Sophomore opposite hitter Gabi Garcia Fernandez continued his hot streak with his fifth and sixth consecutive matches in double-digit kills. He has 10 or more kills in every match but one this season and leads the MPSF in kills with 4.55 per set.

  • Junior Wil Stanley had his best week as the Cougars’ starting setter, totaling 93 assists and 14 digs in the two outings. He currently ranks fifth in the MPSF in assists with 9.53 per set.

  • Junior Miki Jauhiainen continues to lead BYU on the defensive end, ranking second in the MPSF in blocks with 1.06 per set. He had a career-high two solo blocks against USC and also reached a new season high with six total blocks against the Trojans.

  • Senior libero Taylor Richards entered the starting lineup last week and made an immediate impact, totaling 12 digs in the two matches.

  • BYU’s defense remains its strong suit early in the season, leading the MPSF in blocks with 2.37 per set and ranking third in opponent hitting percentage at .266. The Cougars have also been applying service pressure with 1.65 aces per set to put them in third place in the MPSF.

Grand Canyon (7-8, 0-3 MPSF)

  • The Lopes dropped their only match last week against Pepperdine in five sets, giving them their third consecutive loss. GCU currently sits in last place in the MPSF.

  • BYU owns the all-time series against GCU 3-0, including two sweeps last season.

  • Freshman outside hitter Christian Janke currently leads the team in kills with 3.41 per set, good for eighth place in the MPSF.

  • Onur Cukur, a 6-foot-8 setter from Turkey, leads the team in assists with 8.09 per set, ranking seventh overall in the MPSF.

  • On the defensive end, Alex Shmelev, a Russian middle blocker who previously attended UVU, leads the team with 1.05 blocks per set to put him in third place in the MPSF.

  • BYU leads GCU on the offensive side of the ball with an 11.5-10.7 lead in kills per set and a .310-.232 lead in hitting percentage. From the service line, BYU leads 1.7-1.0 in aces, and on defense the Cougars lead in blocks per set 2.4-2.3.