March 9, 2010

Grand Canyon inching closer to first miva win in 3-2 loss to Ball State

They can see it, but can't quite reach it  -- at least not yet. The youthful Grand Canyon University men's volleyball program had a 2-1 lead but weren't able to complete its first MIVA victory at Antelope Gym Tuesday, dropping a 3-2 decision to Ball State. GCU lost 30-18, 24-30, 28-30, 30-19, 15-13. It trailed, 5-1 in the final set before battling back to get within one point four times.

"There is disappointment," said sophomore Taylor Griffin (Tucson, Ariz./Ironwood Ridge), who ranks as one of the seasoned-veterans on the team. "We know of our potential. We just haven't completely tapped into it yet. We know it's going to click, it's just a matter of time, patience and hard work."

In the fifth set, a kill by freshman Zach Neilson (Phoenix, Ariz./Sandra Day O'Connor) cut it to 7-6. After the Cardinals jumped back to a 10-7 lead, Griffin followed with a pair of kills to cut it to 10-9. A block by freshman middle blocker Chris Lockwood (Lakewood, Calif./Lakewood) and frosh setter Brad Moore (Orange, Calif./Lutheran) cut it to 11-10.
The Antelopes staved off two match points, one on a Neilson kill and the other on a BSU attack error.
After leading 17-10 in the third set, GCU had to scrap and claw to take its 2-1 set lead.

Tied at 25-25, the Antelopes took the lead on a service ace from freshman Robbie Brannick (Minooka, Ill./Minooka). Kills by sophomore Brock Hutchins (Gilbert, Ariz./Highland/Hawai'i) and freshman Tyler Capko (Las Vegas, Nev./Palo Verde) made it 28-25, but Ball State rallied to tie it again at 28-28. GCU finished it off with a Capko kill and Lockwood-Moore block.
Capko led GCU and tied for match-high in kills with 13. He also had eight digs. Griffin had 10 kills. Moore had 45 assists, two service aces and eight digs. Hutchins and Lockwood also had two service aces apiece. Frosh libero Trent Bruns (Mission Viejo, Calif./Mission Viejo) led in digs with 12. Moore had four block assists. Lockwood had a solo block and three assists. Sophomore Nick Jensen (Herning, Denmark/Ikast Gymnasium/NJIT) added three block assists.

GCU is 11-17 overall and 0-6 in the MIVA. It plays host to MIVA opponent Quincy March 14-15. First serve is 7 p.m. both nights at Antelope Gym.

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