PHOENIX — No. 1 BYU bounced back from a loss on Thursday to sweep No. 9 Grand Canyon (25-19, 25-19, 25-13) to complete the four-match series.
The Cougars avenged Thursday’s loss with a dominant sweep of GCU in Phoenix. This was the fourth time in a row the Cougars (6-2) and ‘Lopes (2-4) faced off, with BYU coming out of the series with three wins.
Serving and blocking was the key to success for the Cougars. In total, BYU had 12 blocks compared to GCU’s one, and in the ace category, BYU had eight with three for GCU.
Three Cougar blocks in a row, followed by a GCU attack error, allowed BYU to take an 18-16 lead in Set 1. Gabi Garcia Fernandez came through with the Cougars first of eight aces in the match, next to a BYU block would force a ‘Lopes timeout at 21-18.
The Stanley brothers ended the set with a serve by Jon and an overpass kill by Wil for a 25-19 victory.
Back-to-back blocks by BYU in Set 2 gave the Cougars the lead that they would keep for the rest of the way. BYU hit .600 for the best team percentage of the match out of both teams, with 13 kills on 20 attempts and only one error.
Set 3 was a clinic in serves with BYU recording six aces. Gardini’s ace in the middle of the set provided a momentum shift at just the right time, giving the Cougars a 9-7 lead and the push to complete the sweep. A kill by Garcia Fernandez, followed by a double block from Jauhiainen and de Brito Ferreira , put the Cougars in set point position at 24-13. Wil Stanley secured the W with a service ace to end the match.
Next, BYU will travel to California to take on Concordia Irvine and USC on Mar. 4th and 5th.
USF ends Cougars’ eight-game winning streak
SAN FRANCISCO — Despite a 25-point, eight-rebound performance from Shaylee Gonzales, BYU women’s basketball fell 86-72 to San Francisco in the Cougars’ final game of the regular season.
“Hopefully we can regroup and learn from this,” said BYU head coach Jeff Judkins. “We didn’t do as well as we could have at guarding the three-point line or cutting off their drives to the basket. We weren’t quite as mentally prepared as we needed to be. But we’re looking forward to resting up next week and preparing for the (West Coast Conference) tournament.”
Gonzales dropped a team-high 25 points on 10 of 19 shooting to go along with eight rebounds, a pair of assists and a steal in 35 minutes of action. Paisley Johnson Harding backed Gonzales with 17 points, five assists and three rebounds, while Maria Albiero scored a season-high 14 points.
Lauren Gustin pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds while Sara Hamson added eight points for BYU (17-4, 13-3).
The Cougars trailed by as many as 15 points in the second quarter before fighting back to within four in the third. The Dons (14-9, 10-7), fueled by freshman guard Ioanna Krimili’s 27 points, shot 57% from the floor and 47% from three on the game to keep BYU at bay and seal the win.
The Cougars begin their preparations next week for the upcoming WCC Tournament, which will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada, March 4-9. The final WCC standings, which are based on an adjusted winning percentage system this season, will be unveiled on Sunday, Feb. 28 and will determine tournament seeding.
Baseball finally takes one from Texas
AUSTIN, Texas — BYU scored five runs in the fifth inning, grabbing the lead on a 2-run single from Brock Watkins to edge Texas 5-4 on Saturday.
Reid McLaughlin earned the win for the Cougars, pitching three innings of scoreless relief.
BYU finished 3-5 on their Texas swing, splitting four games with Texas State and dropping three of four to the Longhorns.
The Cougars will play a three-game set at Oregon State beginning next Thursday.
Women’s soccer scores shorthanded goal to beat USF
HERRIMAN, Utah — BYU women’s soccer made its West Coast Conference debut for the 2020-21 season with a nail-biting 3-2 win over the University of San Francisco at the Zions Bank Real Academy on Saturday.
All-American Mikayla Colohan scored what ended up being the game-winning goal in the 72nd minute to breaking BYU’s two-game losing streak and solidify BYU’s third consecutive win over San Francisco.
“We came back and did what we needed to do and closed it out,” head coach Jen Rockwood said. “Every conference game has to be earned and fought for. It’s not going to be easy.”
In the 16th minute, a little chip shot went a long way for BYU forward Makaylie Moore Call as she secured the first goal of the night. The score was Call’s seventh of her career.
In the 55th minute, San Francisco’s Ashley Humphrey, assisted by Cassidy George and Kalena Teufel, put the teams on even playing ground, snagging a goal.
Folino reentered the game in the 58th and scored two minutes later, upping BYU’s lead to 2-1.
The Dons equalized off a penalty kick, following Josie Guinn Gelalich’s red card due to a handball in the box in the 70th.
The Cougars, down a player, recovered within minutes. Colohan notched BYU’s third goal in the 72nd.
Up next, BYU faces Missouri on Wednesday, March 3, at 7 p.m. CST in Columbia, Missouri. The game will be carried live on the BYU Sports Network — BYU Radio 107.9 FM/BYU Cougars App.