By: Chase Gardiner/GCU Staff
On March 2 and 3, the Grand Canyon University Men’s Club Volleyball team traveled to Grand Junction, Colorado, to compete in the Mountain West Conference Tournament. Despite a strong performance in the tournaments’ pool play round, the Lopes ultimately finished in fifth place after an early loss in bracket play.
To open the tournament, the men found themselves pitted against the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. Establishing a pattern that would last for all of pool play, the Lopes quickly claimed a victory in only two sets, with scores of 25-16 and 25-19.
Following this impressive showing, the men continued their trend of success as they matched up against Utah Valley University B for their next pool play match. With scores of 25-19 and 25-18, the Lopes served up their second straight two-set shutout of the tournament.
Riding the momentum of their first two victories, GCU entered into their final pool play match against Salt Lake Community College A, again sweeping the match, 25-20 and 25-21.
The Lopes hoped to continue their hot streak the next day as bracket play began, but such results would prove elusive.
In the opening match of bracket play, the Lopes met heavy resistance from Utah State University A, who handed them their first set loss of the tournament (25-22). In a valiant effort, the men fought back to even the match up at a set apiece, 25-18. Despite GCU’s best efforts, Utah State claimed the third set, 15-11, to tag the Lopes with their first loss of the tournament. Suffering a loss so early in bracket play proved costly, since it eliminated the Lopes from championship contention.
Instead, the Lopes would face off against the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in the fifth-place match. After dropping a close first set, 29-27, the Lopes refused to fold, bouncing back to claim the second set, 25-21. Unwilling to suffer another loss, GCU closed out UNLV in the final set, 15-11.
On March 16, the Lopes will look to improve off of that fifth place finish when they compete in the West Region Challenge in Anaheim, California.
Interested in joining the men’s club volleyball team? Contact the coach to learn more!