Grand Canyon Men Rally for MIVA Finals Spot

  0 Wendy Mayer | April 20th, 2017 | College - Men's Indoor, MIVA

Match Stats

  • No. 14 Grand Canyon 3, No. 7 Lewis 2 (25-27, 25-18, 18-25, 25-19, 16-14)
  • Grand Canyon moves to 19-10; Lewis falls to 23-7
  • Grand Canyon Advances to the MIVA Finals to Face No. 2 Ohio State
  • Romeoville, Illinois
  • Attendance: 481
  • Box Score

No. 14 Grand Canyon came back from two sets down and staved off a match-point chance to upset No. 7 Lewis and earn a spot in the MIVA Tournament finals. The Antelopes won the match 25-27, 25-8, 18-25, 25-19, 16-14.

GCU hit .320 on the night, while Lewis managed a 268 effort. The Antelopes served up 10 aces to Lewis’s 3 and also outblocked the Flyers 11.5 to 9.5.

Four Antelope players posted double-digit kill efforts, led by senior opposite Matthew Kinnebrew’s 14. Junior outside hitter Shaley Saada added 13, while senior middle Drake Silbernagel and junior outside Cody Williams chipped in 12 apiece. Kinnebrew also added seven digs and five aces. Saada managed seven digs and four blocks while hitting at a .333 clip, while Williams pulled up seven digs and accounted for three stuffs. Redshirt junior middle Ashton King put up a team-best seven blocks, while junior libero Sky Engleman pulled up 13 digs.

Senior outside Trevor Weiskircher led the Flyer attack with a match-high 15 kills, while hitting .321 and adding six digs, and three blocks. Redshirt sophomore opposite Mitch Perinar added 14 kills and redshirt freshman Ryan Coenen registered 12. Redshirt senior middle Jacob Schmiegelt followed with seven, while hitting at a .500 clip. Senior middle John Hodul put up a team-best five blocks, while redshirt sophomore libero Michael Simmons managed 10 digs.

The set to decide a place in the MIVA Finals saw six lead changes and the teams deadlocked 11 times. A block and a kill by Saada lifted GCU to a 5-3 lead. Two hitting errors coupled with a block and kill by Perinar put Lewis up 8-7. The teams tied at 8, 9 and 10, before the Antelopes vaulted ahead 13-10 on an ace by Williams. Two Coenen putaways aided a 4-0 Flyer run, which put the home team up 14-13 and gave Lewis a match-point chance.  A Saada kill leveled the score and one each by Kinnebrew and Saada stole away the victory.

After splitting the first 20 points of the night, two kills and an ace by Weiskircher aided a rally that put GCU on top 19-15. Another Weiskircher putaway made it 23-21 Antelopes. A Saada kill and Kinnebrew ace knotted it at 23. Lewis scored four of the final six points, winning the set at 27-25 on its third set point chance via a kill by Perinar.

Grand Canyon boasted a 16-9 lead midway through Set 2. Two aces and two kills by Kinnebrew and three kills and a block by Silbernagel helped the Antelopes build the advantage. Lewis would get no closer than four the rest of the stanza.

After hitting .538 in Set 2, the errors piled up for GCU in Set 3 as they hit .091 in Set 3. Three hitting errors, two blocks and two service errors pushed Lewis ahead 14-8 in the stanza. GCU scored two of the next three points, but the Flyers built the advantage to nine at 21-12 on an ace by Coenen. Down 22-13, Grand Canyon battled back with a 5-1 run, including a kill and a block by King. Weiskircher and Perinar putaways, however, gave Lewis the 2-1 lead in the match.

A kill and two blocks by Williams helped GCU to a 10-6 start in Set 4. A trio of Perinar kills and two by Schmiegelt pulled Lewis within one three times, last at 16-15. Three straight kills by Williams and an ace by Kinnebrew put some distance between the teams at 20-15. Kinnebrew and Silbernagel sealed the set with the final two kills.


Courtesy: Lewis Athletics

Romeoville, Ill. – The 2017 campaign came to an end for the No. 7 Lewis University men’s volleyball team as the Flyers dropped a 25-27, 25-18, 18-25, 25-19, 16-14 decision to No. 14 Grand Canyon in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association Semifinals at Neil Carey Arena on Wednesday (Apr. 19) night.

Lewis senior outside hitter Trevor Weiskircher (Loves Park, Ill./Boylan Catholic) notched a match-high 15 kills and hit .321 (15 kills, 6 errors, 28 attacks) to pace the Flyers offensively. Weiskircher also added six digs, three block assists and three assists. Flyer redshirt sophomore opposite hitter Mitch Perinar (Channahon, Ill./Minooka) collected 14 kills, while redshirt freshman Ryan Coenen (Franklin, Wis./Franklin) had 12 kills.

Lewis senior middle blocker John Hodul (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) had a team-best five blocks (1 solo), while redshirt sophomore libero Michael Simmons (Aurora, Ill./Waubonsie Valley) picked up 10 digs. Flyer sophomore setter Matt Yoshimoto (Ventura, Calif./Adolfo Camarillo) had a team-best 42 assists along with seven digs.

As a team, Grand Canyon hit .320 (57-18-122), while hitting over .500 in games two (.538) and four (.565). Lewis hit .268 (54-21-123) as a team.

The Lopes had 10 service aces, including three in game five, while the Flyers had three. GCU also had more digs (43-35) and blocks (11.5-9.5) than Lewis.

With the win, Grand Canyon (19-10) advances to the MIVA Finals against No. 2 ranked Ohio State on Saturday (Apr. 22). Lewis finishes the season with a record of 23-7.

Courtesy: Grand Canyon Athletics

ROMEOVILLE, ILL. – Fifth time is the charm for the Grand Canyon men’s volleyball team. For the fifth consecutive season, the Lopes traveled to face the Lewis Flyers in the MIVA Playoffs. For the first time, GCU emerged with the win. With the victory, the Lopes will play in the MIVA Playoff finals for the first time in program history. GCU improves their record to 19-10 and Lewis ends their season with a 23-7 record. Both teams played with a bit of nerves at the beginning of the first set, as they combined for seven straight errors to open the contest. The teams kicked the nerves and play became reminiscent of how the series has been all season. With the score tied at 25, Lewis knocked down two straight kills to take the set by a 27-25 score.

GCU dominated the second set from start to finish. Matthew Kinnebrew opened Set 2 with two aces, and the Lopes later knocked down three straight kills to force Lewis into a timeout down 2-7. Grand Canyon extended its lead to 18-12 on a kill by Shalev Saada, and the outside hitter finished off the set with another two straight kills. The Lopes took the second set with a decisive 25-18 score.

In the third set, the Flyers earned a dominant win of their own. Saada began the set with a kill but GCU fell behind early and never regained the lead. Lewis recorded 12 kills in the set and earned a 25-18 win.

The momentum shifted again in Set 4, this time in favor of the Lopes. Cody Williams started things off with a kill and GCU continued to stretch their lead. The Lopes maintained a two-to-three point advantage before the attackers took over. Drake Silbernagel knocked down two huge kills during the stretch, including the final point, to finish the set 25-19.

In the decisive fifth set, Williams again opened things with a kill. Later in the set, Williams added an ace to put the Lopes up 13-10. Lewis then scored four straight points to earn the first match point of the night. Saada notched a huge kill to tie the match at 14, then Kinnebrew gave the Lopes match point with a kill of his own. On the final play of the game, Saada slammed a kill to give GCU the win.

Four GCU players reached double figures in kills. Kinnebrew led the Lopes with 14, Saada added 13 and Silbernagel and Williams each tallied 12. Setter Michael Milstein notched 50 assists during the match and Sky Engleman led the defense with 13 digs.

GCU advances to the MIVA Finals and will face the top seed Ohio State on Saturday in Columbus, Ohio. Live stats and video will be available.

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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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