By: Taylor Browne/GCU Staff
The Grand Canyon University Men’s Club Volleyball team clinched a second-place finish in the Mountain West Volleyball Conference Tournament Saturday in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Lopes went a combined 4-2 overall, but unfortunately, were forced to forfeit the championship match to the University of Colorado due to flights.
“The biggest bummer is that the last flight out of Colorado was at 6:45 pm, and we had to leave before participating in the finals,” said Lopes’ Head Coach Trent Bruns. “It’s crazy to think that we could have won.”
Friday, the Lopes opened up the tournament against Utah Valley ‘B’, defeating the Wolverines in two sets, 25-16, 25-13. The Lopes then lost to Air Force Academy in a close three-set match, 25-17, 16-25, 15-10, and to the University of Colorado in a two-set match, but bounced back with a 2-1 victory over Ricks College (19-25, 25-18, 15-10). The Lopes were then placed in the Gold Bracket, finishing 2-1 (sweeping UNLV and Ricks), the lone loss being the forfeit.
“I think the first day was a little hard due to the altitude,” said Bruns. “The ball travels about three feet further, and it was hard to adjust, but the second day we started to figure it out and we played well.”
Despite not making the championships, the MWVC coaches and commissioners honored two Lopes for their outstanding performances in the tournament. Trevor Sperle and Niko Zeiner earned spots on the 2020 All-Conference Men’s Team.
“Overall, they look more comfortable with each other,” said Bruns. “They’ve played together for long enough that trust is built, and you can see it in the way they play.”
The Lopes will be on the road in April for the National Collegiate Club Volleyball Championships in Kansas City, Missouri.