Phoenix, Ariz. — Late rallies were not enough for Seattle U volleyball (9-8, 0-3 WAC) on Thursday as it dropped a 3-0 decision to league leader Grand Canyon (13-2, 3-0 WAC), falling 25-22, 25-22, 25-19. Redhawk sophomore Sofia Sanchez finished with a match-best 12 kills, while sophomore Kailee Kurokawa recorded a career-best 32 assists.
Seattle U finished the match with a 43-40 advantage in digs and were led by junior Tijana Milojevic who had a match-high 15. Rachel Stark meanwhile chipped in with nine. The Redhawk attack though was inconsistent as committed nearly twice as many attack errors, 16-9, and was held to .203 hitting while the Lopes converted at a .302-clip.
The Redhawks kept paced early in the opening frame holding leads of 5-4 and 8-7. The Lopes however pushed past with three unanswered to claimed a 10-8 advantage. Seattle U then trailed, falling behind by as much as five, 19-14.
SU then began to push back behind a Stark-kill which sparked a 4-0 run. Milojevic aided to the Redhawk cause with her second ace of the frame helping SU draw level at 21. The rally however was cut short as GCU closed the first with a 4-1 spurt.
Grand Canyon capitalized a sluggish Seattle U start in the second set as the Redhawks trailed 10-5 to open. They would however slowly trim the deficit the with back-to-back kills from Sanchez and Stark to make it 15-13 before consecutive kills from Julia Queiroz and Eve Kerschenbaum narrowed the margin to one, 16-15.
Redhawk miscues however spelled disaster as Seattle U surrendered four unearned points helping the Lopes breath at 22-17. Coming out of a timeout, the SU attack regained its rhythm with a kill from Kerschenbaum and two from Sanchez, but the effort was not enough as GCU took the set, 25-22.
An early kill by Sanchez helped the Seattle U take a quick 3-2 lead to open the third, but the advantage soon disappeared with a 3-1 GCU spurt. Stark and Queiroz kills helped the Redhawks force ties at 6-6 and 7-7 before Kerschenbaum added another kill as finished with 10, to give Seattle U a slim 8-7 lead.
Tied at 11, GCU then surged with a 6-1 rally as it sprinted out to a 17-12 lead. Trailing by six down the stretch, the Redhawks pieced together three unanswered to narrow the gap to 21-18, thanks in part to a Kerschenbaum-kill and Stark-ace. Seattle U however were unable to continue its push back as the Lopes accounted four of the next five to close out the match.
Looking to bounce back, Seattle U will resume action on Saturday at 1 pm when it takes on CSU Bakersfield.