No. 8 BYU swept by No. 5 GCU
PHOENIX — No. 8 BYU men’s volleyball was swept 3-0 (18-25, 22-25, 21-25) by No. 5 Grand Canyon University in GCU Arena Friday evening. With the win, GCU extended its perfect 2023 home record to 10-0.
It was just the second time in the all-time series between BYU and GCU that the Cougars were swept.
Both teams hit well in the top-10 matchup, with the Lopes (15-1) hitting a .413 percentage and BYU (10-5) finishing with a .342 clip. GCU beat the Cougars from the service line, taking home five aces compared to BYU’s one. Outside hitters Miks Ramanis and Luke Benson led the Cougars with 13 and 11 kills, respectively.
The first point of the game came from a Ramanis kill. Through a long rally, a solo block by BYU middle blocker Teon Taylor took the score to 3-2, bringing BYU fans to their feet.
“It [sounded] like a BYU home game right now,” said ESPN+ play-by-play analyst. “The Cougar fans travel very well.”
A kill by Trent Moser, his first of the night, would lessen GCU’s lead to 12-11. The Lopes edged out a three-point lead when a media timeout was called at 15-12. Down four at 17-13, the BYU squad took a breather, looking to gain back its momentum from the beginning of the set.
The Lopes would close off set one with a kill from Camden Giani, winning 25-18. The Cougars hit .320 compared to GCU’s .600 hitting percentage. Ramanis led the Cougars with five kills on a .300 clip and one dig.
Benson had BYU’s first kill of set two, taking the score to 1-1. The Cougars later went on a 5-0 run, including back-to-back kills by Moser, forcing GCU to take a timeout at 6-2. BYU continued to keep hold of its lead, with a kill by Taylor to boost the score to 12-9. The Lopes slowly crept back to tie the game at 12-12 after a block solo by Giani.
An ace by Moser took the score to 17-13. As a result, GCU took its second timeout of the set. The Lopes came back at 22-20 and BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead took a timeout. The Lopes finessed a set two win 25-22 courtesy of a BYU receiving error.
After trading points back and forth, the Cougars tied the game at 10-10 after another block by Taylor. BYU took its first lead of the third set at 12-11 from a GCU attack error. Another tie transpired at 17-17 after a Taylor kill. The Lopes followed with a 3-0 run which propelled them to win the match, taking home set three 25-21.
Tomorrow, the Cougars will face GCU for the second time at 6 p.m. MST, with live coverage on ESPN+.
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