The Grand Canyon University men’s volleyball team dropped a 3-1 decision to Loyola University in Chicago tonight.
GCU is now 5-11 for the season, 0-1 in conference. This was Canyon’s first conference match of the season and Loyola’s second. The Ramblers are now 2-0 in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association.
Grand Canyon came out strong in the first set beating Loyola 25-21. The team hit .462 with 16 kills and just four errors. Jake Wekell (Tempe, AZ, Marcos de Niza) led the offense with six kills and just one error. Freshman Ben Hunt (Huntington Beach, CA , Servite) and junior Taylor Galliano (Norco, CA , Foothill , Irvine Valley College) each added a service ace.
The ‘Lopes dropped the next three sets (20-25, 19-25, 14-25). The Ramblers controlled the second set holding the lead the entire set and GCU unable to even tie the score. The third set, however, was more of a battle as Canyon fought to stay in the game. There were three lead changes and 11 tie scores before the Ramblers came out on top. The third and final set again was controlled by Loyola and ended the match in a 1-3 loss for the ‘Lopes.
Wekell ended the match with 15 kills, five digs, and two block assists. Galliano had another impressive evening hitting .444 with 11 kills. Freshman setter Keith Smith (Whittier, CA, California High School) racked up 38 assists for the night. Sophomore libero Trent Bruns (Mission Viejo, CA , Mission Viejo) held the defensive with a .957 serve receive average (45 attempts and just 2 errors) and seven digs.
The Grand Canyon Antelopes will take on the Loyola University Ramblers again on Monday, Feb. 14 at 7:00 pm (CT).