The Grand Canyon University men’s volleyball team defeated Carthage College in a 3-2 decision today, bringing them to a 3-7 record this season.
It was a battle between the two teams with the largest win margin being four points. The first set was controlled by the Carthage Red Men as the team hit .250 and had 4.5 blocks. The ‘Lopes however were unable to execute consistently dropping the set 23-25. Freshman Ben Ponnet (Merchtem, Belgium, OLVC) hit .500 with 4 kills on 6 attempts and just 1 error.
GCU came out in the second set ready win hitting .290 and picking up the defense with 12 digs. The teams battled back and forth with 10 tie scores but the ‘Lopes maintained the lead. As a team, GCU had 14 kills and just 5 errors to win the set 25-21.
Carthage came back in the third set to beat the ‘Lopes 25-22. GCU had 13 kills to the Red Men’s 15 and two fewer blocks, giving Carthage the advantage. The fourth set was a battle with neither team wanting to lose. The ‘Lopes fought through four lead changes and 17 tie scores before they were able to pull out a 31-29 victory to tie the match at 2-2. Jordon Tarantino (Valley Center, CA , Valley Center , Palomar Community College) and Taylor Galliano (Norco, CA , Foothill , Irvine Valley College) dominated the middle with 4 kills each and a combined 3 blocks.
Again the fifth set proved to be a battle of the will, as both teams were looking for a win. There were 6 tie scores before GCU managed to pull an 18-16 victory, ended with a kill by Ponnet. Four players finished the match with double-digit kills and freshman setter Keith Smith (Whittier, CA, California High School) racked up 57 assists. Tarantino went an entire match without a single hitting error and 12 kills. Ponnet led the team with 16 kills and 9 digs. Galliano hit .423 for the match with 14 kills and 3 block assists. Outside Tyler Capko (Las Vegas, NV, Palo Verde) had 12 kills and 9 digs. Holding the defense was sophomore libero Trent Bruns with 15 digs and 5 assists.
The ‘Lopes play again at 7:00 pm tonight against the Lees-McRae Bobcats in Antelope Gymnasium.