Wil Stanley, left, and Gavin Julien, right, block a shot against Grand Canyon on Feb. 18. It was the first start for the sophomore Julien. (Hannah Miner)

No. 1 BYU men’s volleyball regroups in win over No. 10 Grand Canyon

The No. 1 BYU men’s volleyball team was able to overcome deficits in sets three and four to beat Grand Canyon University 3-1 on Thursday night in the Smith Fieldhouse.

Sophomore middle blocker Gavin Julien made his first career start in place of senior middle blocker Miki Jauhiainen. Head coach Shawn Olmstead said he was pleased with Julien’s performance in his first start.

“He did a great job. I wish we would have set him a little more,” Olmstead said. “He’s got a real big offensive window.”

Olmstead said he went with a different lineup today to give the team a different look and to get the team comfortable in case COVID-19 protocols force players out.

Julien finished the match with two kills and a block.

Jauhiainen came in as relief for Julien in set four, picking up one kill and two blocks in the set.

“Miki (Jauhiainen) came in and got us crucial blocks,” Olmstead said.

BYU was able to adjust to GCU’s attack in sets three and four, eventually taking the match. Olmstead said the team was able to make adjustments defensively and find “another gear” to pull away from GCU in the end.

Set One

BYU was able to fend off an early GCU comeback, winning set one 26-24. The Cougars enjoyed an 18-11 lead during the set, only to see the Lopes tie the score at 24. BYU benefited from GCU errors in the overtime point to close out the set.

Senior outside hitter Zach Eschenberg’s ace gave BYU an early 9-4 lead, forcing a GCU timeout in the process. Eschenberg and senior outside hitter Davide Gardini added two kills early on, and Julien contributed a kill early in his first start of the season.

The Antelopes were able to cut the deficit to three before senior opposite hitter Gabi Garcia Fernandez’s touch kill and senior middle blocker Felipe de Brito Ferreira’s spike pushed the Cougars’ lead to 18-11.

GCU took another timeout after the de Brito Ferreira kill and were able to put a 15-7 run together, tying the score at 24. The Cougars were inaccurate hitting the ball, committing eight errors during the Antelopes’ run.

BYU was able to close the overtime set off of back-to-back errors by GCU.

Gardini finished the first set with five kills and a block, while Garcia Fernandez added four kills. De Brito Ferreira and Eschenberg contributed three kills apiece, with Eschenberg adding an ace.

Set Two

The Cougars dropped set two 25-23, seeing GCU go on a 3-0 run to close out the set.

Set two started off similarly to set one with an Eschenberg ace giving BYU an early lead at 4-1. GCU responded, tying the score at 10.

Eschenberg came up again, adding a kill, and giving BYU a 13-11 lead. Not to be outdone, GCU formulated a 4-0 run, giving them a 15-13 lead.

Coming out of a media timeout BYU tied the score at 15 off of a GCU attacking error. GCU once again responded, grabbing an 18-16 kead off of an ace that bounced off of de Brito Ferreira.

This forced a BYU timeout, followed by 7-4 run by the Cougars and they grabbed a 23-22 lead. The Antelopes were able to close out the set on a 3-0 run, tying the match at one set each.

Eschenberg and Garcia Fernandez led the team with three kills each in the second set.

Set Three

BYU won set three 25-18, overcoming a five-point deficit early in the set.

The Antelopes came out in the set blazing, jumping out to a 9-5 lead off of a BYU net violation.

BYU answered with an 8-4 run to tie the score at 13. Garcia Fernandez and Eschenberg each added an ace during the run.

The Cougars finally took a lead in the set at 16-15 off of a GCU bad set. A Gardini kill extended BYU’s lead to 19-16 and forced a GCU timeout.

The timeout did little to stop BYU’s momentum, however, as the Cougars pushed their lead to 22-17 off of a Garcia Fernandez kill.

The Cougars cruised the rest of the set with a Garcia Fernandez ace winning the set for BYU.

Gardini finished with four kills in the set, while Garcia Fernandez and Eschenberg each had an ace.

Set Four

BYU won set four 25-20, going on a 10-4 run to pull away from GCU and seal the match.

The Cougars took a 7-6 lead off of a Garcia Fernandez kill after trailing 5-3. GCU answered with a 5-2 run to take an 11-9 lead.

BYU tied the score at 11 with a Garcia Fernandez kill off of a diving dig by Jauhiainen in his first set of the match. The Cougars then took the lead at 13-12 with a Gardini kill.

BYU then got out to a 23-16 lead thanks to a 10-4 run. Garcia Fernandez, Gardini, de Brito Ferreira, Eschenberg and Jauhiainen all contribued a kill during the run.

The Antelopes then cut BYU’s lead down to four, forcing a BYU timeout.

The Cougars regrouped after the timeout, closing off the set with a Gardini kill.

Garcia Fernandez ended the set with five kills and Gardini added three kills and a block.

BYU returns to action on Saturday night at home in a rematch against GCU. The match will be at 7 p.m. MST and will air on BYUtv.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Top Sports Stories

BYU basketball lands ESPN 100 four-star recruit Elijah Crawford

BYU basketball lands ESPN 100 four-star recruit Elijah CrawfordAfter the news of Noah Waterman's commitment to Louisville, BYU men's basketball coach Kevin Young had...

Photo Story: Inaugural Big 12 Season for Men’s Hoops

Photo Story: Inaugural Big 12 Season for Men's HoopsFrom 13th in the Big 12 preseason poll, to being ranked as high as No. 12...

From Guangzhou to Provo: BYU Tennis’ Bobo Huang

From Guangzhou to Provo: BYU Tennis' Bobo HuangHow far did you travel when you went to college? Maybe you went across the state, maybe...

Breaking Records: Riley Hunt’s Journey to Hurdling History

Breaking Records: Riley Hunt's Journey to Hurdling HistoryIt was the first outdoor track meet of the season at the Arizona Spring Break Fiesta Meet....
- Advertisement -
Print Friendly, PDF & Email