Ninth-ranked BYU Volleyball beat Grand Canyon in a thrilling four-set match on Saturday night(25-16, 21-25, 25-18, 26-24) at the Smith Fieldhouse in front of a crowd of 3,111.
The Cougars looked sluggish to open the first set, but soon settled in and took over the set. The Cougars hit an outstanding .471 in the first set and beat the Lopes comfortably, 25-16.
The Lopes would dominate the second set, as the Cougars could never cut the GCU lead. The Lopes would eventually win the set 25-21, recording five blocks in the set. The third set was owned again by the Cougars again, winning 25-18, and giving the Cougars a 2-1 lead.
The fourth set looked was back and forth at the start, but the Lopes would extend a 16-10 lead and eventually 20-15. With a score eventually at 23-19, the Cougars would come scorching back to tie things up at 23 on a Gabi Garcia Fernandez block. The Cougars would then take the lead on a Miki Jauhiainen block, after a questionable decision by the line judge. The Lopes answered to tie at 24, but the Cougars took the lead on a challenged tip ball, which was originally called for Grand Canyon. Video replay showed that the ball hat skipped off the head of Christian Janke, who then held his head in disappointment, giving away the touch. The Cougars would win the set and match on a Jauhiainen and Gardini block, finishing 26-24.
Storm Fa’agata-Tufuga was phenomenal for the Cougars, hitting .417 with six kills. Jauhiainen was excellent on the net, recording an incredible nine blocks, including the game winner. Fernandez led the Cougars in kills on the night with 20, while Wil Stanley had 36 assists.
The ninth-ranked Cougars improve to 7-4, and will host Stanford on Thursday at the Smith Fieldhouse, before turning around and visiting the Cardinal on Saturday in California.