By: Taylor Browne/GCU Staff
In their first home tournament of the fall season, the Grand Canyon University Women’s Club Volleyball team put together an impressive run, hosting and defeating a number of local state teams, and taking the championship match at the Lopes Performance Center on the GCU campus.
“It was a great opportunity for all the in-state college club teams to get together in one gym, get a ton of touches, and compete,” Lopes Head Coach Kris Naber said. “I think everyone left feeling that Grand Canyon hosted the tournament well, and it was a great day to play volleyball.”
The back-to-back defending Mountain West Volleyball Conference champions began the tournament with early victories, delivering dominant performances against Arizona State University (2-1 (27-25, 20-25, 15-11)), Northern Arizona University (2-0 (25-19, 25-17)), before taking the championship with a 2-1 win over University of Arizona, 25-21, 20-25, 17-15.
Last year, the Lopes lost to both U of A and ASU, but didn’t drop a match this time.
“I am so proud of them,” said Naber. “Our junior college competition throughout the fall really prepared our team for competing against teams like ASU and U of A. For this team to come together and to be able to not drop a match is amazing.”
It was all about ball control and coming through with big plays that brought GCU success.
“We found ourselves down, we found ourselves up, and it really comes down to playing consistent volleyball, said Naber. “We came through with big plays when we needed to, and we really focused on our side of the net.”
As the fall season comes to a close, Naber has plenty of reasons to be excited for the direction of the program.
“It was a good close to the fall season for all the teams,” said Naber. “The girls are excited because teams will be made for the spring, and when they come into practice next season, they will be practicing with their team and competing with their team.”