- Grand Canyon def. #11 Ball State 3-2, (20*25, 25-21, 25-23, 20-25, 16-14)
- Grand Canyon improves to 9-8, 5-4 MIVA
- Ball State falls to 14-4, 6-3 MIVA
- Hosted by Ball State
- Match results
Courtesy of Grand Canyon Athletics
GCU needed redemption after suffering a quick three-set loss to the Ball State Cardinals last night. They earned every bit of that redemption on Thursday evening. The Lopes battled through five sets to defeat No. 11 BSU 20-25, 25-21, 25-23, 20-25, and 16-14. With the win, Grand Canyon improves to 10-8 for the season and remains in a tie for fourth place with Ball State in the MIVA.
After another slow start in the first set, GCU gained momentum in Set 2. The Lopes came out swinging in the second set and jumped out to a 13-9 lead. Drake Silbernagel and Shalev Saada led GCU during the set, each tallying three kills. Grand Canyon was impressive defensively, recording 3.5 team blocks and ten digs during the set. GCU went on to win 25-21, their first win of the matchup.
The third set was a back-and-forth battle between both teams. GCU gained an early 11-9 lead before the Cardinals rallied back to take a 21-19 advantage. A kill from Matthew Kinnebrew and two blocks from Saada regained the lead for GCU for good. Saada and Kinnebrew each knocked down kills in the final points of the set to secure the 25-23 win for the Lopes and put them ahead, up two sets to one.
After the fourth set went to the Cardinals, GCU came to play in the fifth and final set. With the scored tied at 11, Saada knocked down a huge kill then partnered with Ashton King to block BSU on the following play. Saada recorded two more kills to put the Lopes up 15-14 and then Cody Williams recorded the final kill of the contest to seal the five set victory for the Lopes.
Kinnebrew led the Lopes during the match with 13 kills and 10 digs. Saada followed closely with 12 kills and seven digs. Cullen Mosher added nine kills, seven digs, and three aces while Michael Milstein tallied 43 assists and nine digs. Libero Sky Engleman added eight kills for the contest.
GCU will take a well-deserved break for the next week and a half. The Lopes will return to action on March 10th and 11th as they travel to Lebanon, Ill. for two matchups with McKendree.
Courtesy of Ball State Athletics
It was a fight to the finish in Worthen Thursday night for the No. 11 Ball State men’s volleyball team. The Cardinals suffered a disappointing loss to MIVA rival Grand Canyon, 3-2, despite a strong performance from freshman Matt Szews.
“We were out of system tonight,” said head coach Joel Walton. “There was a huge difference in the way our middles played last night compared to tonight. It put a lot of pressure on our outside, which Szews was able to produce on. He led us in kills, but there was little help from the left side and the middle.”
Szews came out firing, leading the team with 23 kills, a career high, for a .333 hitting percentage. Those 23 kills places the left-handed outside attacker 17th in school history (during rally scoring era) in kills in a five set match. The freshman also led the team in digs with nine. Brendan Surane also came out swinging and knocked down 13 kills, four digs and two block assists. Defensively, Matt Walsh had eight total blocks andMitch Weiler added seven.
The opening set went to the home team, 25-20. The Cardinals went on a 4-0 run to win the set on a Grand Canyon attack error. Szews had five of Ball State’s 13 kills along with three digs. Walsh had three of the Cardinals’ seven blocks.
Grand Canyon came out to even the score 1-1 after taking set two. Szews had seven kills for a .400 hitting percentage in set number two. As a team, Ball State had 13 kills, 11 digs, two block assists and one service ace. The Lopes had nine kills and seven block assists in their second set victory, 25-21.
After the ten minute break, the two teams came out and battled hard in the third set. After 14 tied scores and four lead changes, Grand Canyon came out with the set three win, 25-23. Connor Gross and Walsh each had one solo block. Weiler added three block assists whileAnthony Lebryk tallied two.
Ball State was able to claw their way back to win set four, 25-20. The Cardinals had 14 kills for a .393 hitting percentage. Szews and Surane each tallied four kills while Walsh and Lebryk each knocked down two. In the fourth set victory, Ball State had 6 team blocks.
The final set went down to the wire before Grand Canyon won on a Cody Williams’ kill, 16-14. Surane, Szews and Walsh each had two kills. Edgardo Cartagena led the team with three digs in the fifth set.
The Ball State men’s volleyball team moved to 14-5 overall and 6-4 in the MIVA. The Cardinals will have a short break before returning to action in the Ohio State Tournament against UC Irvine (March 10) and UC San Diego (March 11). Both matches are set to begin at 5 p.m.
“We have to make sure that next weekend we are ready to play on both nights. It can’t just be a one night effort,” added Walton.
For the most up-to-date news on the Ball State men’s volleyball team, please follow @BallStateSports and@BallStateMVB.