#2 BYU Sweeps #12 Grand Canyon on Senior Night

  0 Kyp Harasymowycz | April 01st, 2018 | College - Men's Indoor, MPSF, News


  • #2 BYU def. #12 Grand Canyon, 3-0 (25-17, 25-17, 25-23)
  • BYU improves to 19-5, 9-1 MPSF; GCU drops to 16-10, 3-8 MPSF
  • Provo, Utah
  • Attendance: 3568
  • Box score

PROVO, Utah – After a hard-fought five-set loss to Concordia-Irvine on Thursday night, the #2-ranked Cougars bounced back with a quick three-set win over #12 Grand Canyon (25-17, 25-17, 25-23). The match marked the last home match of the careers of starting setter Leo Durkin, starting outside hitter Brenden Sander, starting middle blocker Christian Rupert, libero Erik Sykes and middle blocker Price Jarman.

BYU was led by Gabi Garcia Fernandez with 12 kills, 4 blocks, 3 digs and an ace. No other Cougar had more than 6 kills. Setter Leo Durkin finished with 29 assists, 4 digs, 2 blocks and an ace. Christian Rupert finished with a match-high 8 blocks on the night. Brenden Sander and libero Zach Hendrickson with team-highs of 5 digs each. Sander also pounded a match-high 3 aces and added 4 blocks and 6 kills to his totals.

The ‘Lopes picked the wrong day to have their worst night of the season in hitting percentage (.049). They were also held without an ace for the first time this season. Offensive, GCU saw 7 kills each from Cody Williams and Cullen Mosher. Williams added 5 digs and a block, while Mosher had 2 blocks and a dig. Setter Zachary Melcher distributed 19 assists, 3 digs and 2 blocks. Libero Sky Engleman led all floor defenders with 7 digs. Caleb Blazer proved a bright spot for GCU with 4 kills on 7 errorless swings (hitting .571) while blocking 3 balls on the night.


Courtesy of BYU Athletics

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.

Courtesy of Grand Canyon Athletics

PROVO, Utah – Grand Canyon men’s volleyball team fell to No. 2 BYU on Saturday night in straight sets. Scores were 17-25, 17-25 and 23-25. The Loss moves GCU to 16-10, 3-8 on the year while BYU improves to 19-5, 9-1.

The Lopes were bested in most categories tonight despite holding the Cougars to a .183 hitting percentage. GCU led in digs with 24 and added 27 kills, seven blocks, 26 assists while failing to record an ace for the first time this season. The Lopes were able to force BYU to commit more errors each set but could not capitalize and fell in three.

Cody Williams and Cullen Mosher led the team in kills with seven with Williams adding five digs and a block. Zachary Melcher got the start at setter and was good for 19 assists, three digs and two blocks, one of which came solo. GCU’s middles sustained their efficient play with Caleb Blazer leading in hitting percentage at .571 to go along with four kills, and team-leading three blocks while Ashton King contributed three kills, two blocks and a dig with a .429 hitting mark.

BYU was coming off the wrong side of a reverse sweep at the hands of Concordia on Thursday night and made sure to jump out early and often on the Lopes. In the first two sets, the Cougars jumped out to leads that GCU would not catch and ended with the same 25-17 result. GCU hit at their best clip .172 in the first set but followed with a -.111 in the second.

The third set was the closest of the night despite a .029 hitting mark from the visitors. BYU got out to an early 8-5 lead but the Lopes showed their grit and worked to tie the set at eight following a solo block from Melcher. From there, both sides stayed within striking distance until a 21-15 Cougar lead gave the set a familiar feeling. GCU did not buy into it and went on to secure six of the next seven points behind kills from Mosher and Will Schwob accompanied by two momentum swinging blocks from Blazer, Schwob and Melcher. BYU called a timeout with their lead cut to 23-22 and secured the next point. Schwob tried to fuel the Lopes comeback with a big kill but the Cougars put the set and the match away on the next point.

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