Grand Canyon University

No. 9 Lopes sweep match at USC

Janke’s 14 kills help GCU win season series with Trojans

(Los Angeles, CA)  The No. 9 Grand Canyon men’s volleyball team took down USC in straight sets Friday night on the road. The Lopes (5-10, 5-10 MPSF) defeated the Trojans (5-11, 5-11 MPSF) for the second time this season to move into fourth place in the conference standings.

Sophomore outside hitter Christian Janke led GCU with 14 kills and two aces in the match. Fellow sophomore Kyle Thompson, a Lopes middle blocker, finished with an impressive .733 hitting percentage with 11 kills and no errors on 15 attempts.

Janke started the Lopes off on the right note with back-to-back aces, helping to send GCU to a 9-5 lead after he added a kill and a block. Sophomore opposite Hugo Fischer also made an impact in the first set, recording three kills and an ace as the Lopes built a 15-10 lead. GCU continued to build on its lead with a double block from Fischer and senior middle Ian McLain putting the Lopes up 18-12. Another block from GCU, this time by Thompson and sophomore setter Heath Hughes, forced a USC timeout with the Lopes leading 22-15. Thompson, Fischer and Janke each recorded one more kill to secure the opening-set win at 25-18.

The Lopes kept the momentum going with three straight points to start the second set. McLain got a kill and an ace for the first two, followed by a solo block from Fischer. Back-to-back kills from Janke put the Lopes up 8-5, and GCU then ran the lead to 11-6 to force a USC time out. Senior outside hitter Trevor Weary came nailed a kill to set up GCU’s 19-12 lead before another Trojan time out. A four-point USC run closed the gap to 21-19, but the Lopes pulled out a 25-22 set win after two kills from Thompson and one from Fischer.

USC made the third set competitive, leading 12-8 after a GCU timeout. The Lopes put together a three-point run with kills from Fischer and Thompson, closing the gap to one. The teams battled back and forth until another three-point GCU run tied it at 18-18. USC held onto its lead at 22-19, forcing a Lopes time out. McLain picked up a kill and Thompson and Weary teamed up for a block to cut the Trojans’ lead to 22-21. Another block from Thompson and Weary and a Weary kill tied the set again at 23-23, prompting USC to call time out. Thompson and Weary teamed up for their third double-block of the set to give GCU a 24-23 lead. USC scored twice to send the set into extra points. Thompson and Janke recorded kills for a 26-25 GCU lead. After another Trojan point, Janke picked up his 14th kill to set up match point. McLain finished the set and the match with a kill to give GCU a 28-26 set win and the match.

Press Release courtesy of Grand Canyon Athletics – Cassidy Mace

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