The Grand Canyon University men’s volleyball team dropped its final match of the weekend, 1-3, to the Carthage College Red Men today.
After a four match series, the ‘Lopes ended the weekend 3-1, beating Lees-McRae College twice and splitting the two matches with the Red Men. Carthage came out strong in the first set hitting .409 as a team with 12 kills and just 3 errors. GCU, however, struggled hitting an even .000 with 9 kills and 9 errors. The ‘Lopes fought back, picking up the defense with 6 digs but were unable to keep up, losing the set 18-25.
The second set was much like the first but this time the Antelopes competed with five lead changes and 13 tie scores before the Red Men went on to win 25-19. Freshman Ben Hunt (Huntington Beach, CA , Servite) came out with 4 kills to lead the team while Taylor Galliano (Norco, CA , Foothill , Irvine Valley College) had 3 kills and no errors. Ben Ponnet (Merchtem, Belgium, OLVC) and Jordon Tarantino (Valley Center, CA , Valley Center , Palomar Community College) each contributed 2 block assists.
Carthage struggled in the third set and GCU capitalized on their weaknesses controlling the set and winning 25-19. This time Ponnet came out with 4 kills and again Galliano had 3 with no errors. Trent Bruns (Mission Viejo, CA , Mission Viejo) and Taylor Griffin (Tucson, AZ , Ironwood Ridge) held the defense with a combined 9 digs, 4 and 5 respectively.
The fourth and final set truly was a fight to the end. Carthage held the lead the entire game and there were 5 tie scores but that was only the beginning. The ‘Lopes fell behind 19-24 when a kill by Griffin gave GCU the ball at 20-24. Griffin served the next three points, bringing the score within one. Carthage called a timeout, hoping to stop Griffin’s serve. While the serve still went in, the ‘Lopes were unable to stop a kill from the Red Men’s Tim Walker to end the set, 23-25, and the match, 1-3.
Grand Canyon’s Galliano led the team with 11 kills and 4 errors to hit .389 for the match. Ponnet added 7 kills and 5 total blocks. Tarantino contributed 5 kills and 5 blocks.
The ‘Lopes will head to Springfield, Mass. next weekend for the Hall of Fame Tournament beginning Friday, Feb. 4.