The ‘Lopes dropped the first set 15-25 to the Ramblers, hitting negative while Loyola slated a .529 hitting percentage. Freshman outside hitter Ben Ponnet started strong with three kills in the first set and no errors.
Grand Canyon battled back in the second set but fell short, 22-25. As a team they had 11 kills and just three errors. Jordon Tarantino (Valley Center, CA , Valley Center , Palomar Community College) and Taylor Griffin (Tucson, AZ , Ironwood Ridge) each had four kills and no errors. GCU stayed even with Loyola hitting .381 to their .375, five digs to their six, and 2.5 blocks to their one.
Loyola took the third set and the match with a 25-14 victory.
Tarantino led the offense with eight kills and one service ace. He also contributed six block assists. Freshman setter Keith Smith (Whittier, CA, California High School) had 20 assists and four block assists. Taylor Galliano (Norco, CA , Foothill , Irvine Valley College) had seven digs for the night and libero Trent Bruns (Mission Viejo, CA , Mission Viejo) had five.
The loss marks the end of the 2011 season for the ‘Lopes
with a 0-13 MIVA record and 8-24 overall. The Ramblers will move on
to the MIVA semifinals.