The Grand Canyon University men’s volleyball team fell to a 1-3 record after losing today’s match 2-3 to the Juniata Eagles.
The team made school history on Friday night being the first men’s team to win their season opener but they were unable to grab another win.
The ‘Lopes came out strong in the first set with a .321 team hitting percentage, 15 kills, 3 service aces and 2 blocks. Freshman outside hitter Ben Hunt (Huntington Beach, CA/Servite) came out with 6 kills to lead the offense while junior middle Taylor Galliano (Norco, CA/Foothill, Irvine Valley) had 3 kills on 4 attempts. GCU won the set 25-19.
Juniata took the second set 19-25. Both teams fought hard with five tie scores and three lead changes. Sophomore libero Trent Bruns (Mission Viejo, CA/Mission Viejo) picked up the defense with 5 digs in the second set but the team was unable to execute, their hitting percentage dropping to an even .000.
After the short break, both teams came out with a winning mentality. There were 14 tie scores and three lead changes before the Antelopes grabbed a 27-25 win, putting them ahead 2-1 for the match. Freshman Ben Ponnet (Merchtem, Belgium/OLVC) came out strong with 4 kills, 5 digs and 1 service ace in the third set.
The fourth set belonged to the Juniata Eagles as they held the lead the entire set and won 16-25. The Eagles hit .500 compared to GCU’s .160. The ‘Lopes fought at the end but were unable to make-up the difference so late in the set.
The match ended in a Juniata victory, 12-15. There were four ties scores before the Eagles were able to pull away and defeat GCU 2-3 for the match.
Despite the tough loss GCU had three hitters with double digit kills. Hunt carded 14 kills, 1 service ace, 1 solo block and 4 digs. Ponnet finished with 11 kills, 3 service aces, 4 total blocks and 7 digs. Junior opposite Ed Ricker (Waukegan, IL/Waukegan, Quincy) also came through with 11 kills, 2 service aces, 1 solo block and 4 digs. Bruns ended the match with 14 digs and freshman setter Keith Smith (Whittier, CA/California) had 45 assists and 5 digs.
GCU will face Hope International and California Baptist
University next weekend in California.