Grand Canyon Falls to Johnson & Wales, 3-2

The Grand Canyon University men’s volleyball team fell to the Johnson & Wales Wildcats in a 2-3 decision at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The first set of the match was a preview of the night ahead for the ‘Lopes as they battled to beat the 

Taylor Galliano
Wildcats 29-27. Freshman Ben Ponnet (Merchtem, Belgium/OLVC) started the night with 5 kills, while Ben Hunt (Huntington Beach, CA/Servite) and Jordon Tarantino (Valley Center, CA/Valley Center , Palomar Community College) had 4 apiece.
 

GCU lost the next two sets (16-25 and 21-25) as Johnson & Wales hit .429 in the second set and .229 in the third. The ‘Lopes came back in the fourth set to tie the match at 2-2 after a 25-23 victory. Tarantino and Taylor Galliano (Norco, CA/Foothill , Irvine Valley College) each had 4 kills. Keith Smith (Whittier, CA/California High School) and Galliano led the team in blocks for the set with 4 and 5 respectively.

Johnson & Wales started strong in the fifth set but the ‘Lopes answered equally strong, fighting for a win. In the end the Wildcats pulled out a victory beating the ‘Lopes 15-12 to win the match 3-2.

Middles Brennan Zotovich (Anthem, AZ/Boulder Creek) and Galliano led the team, staying strong the entire match. Zotovich hit .750 for the night with 6 kills and no errors on 8 attempts. Galliano hit .412 with 10 kills and only 3 errors. Tarantino finished the match with 17 kills and 7 digs. Hunt recorded 10 kills and 12 digs, while Ponnet had 11 kills and 7 digs. Libero Trent Bruns (Mission Viejo, CA/Mission Viejo) ended the match with 10 digs and three assists.

The ‘Lopes will host Carthage and Lees-McRae on Thursday, January 28 in Antelope Gymnasium starting at 1:00 pm.

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