BYU outside helps Italy advance to U21 World Championship second round

Photo by Fabiana Huffaker

Italy is moving on to the second round of the FIVB U21 World Championship thanks in part to BYU outside attacker Davide Gardini.

Gardini was a member of the Italian Men’s Junior National Team that won the Pool D championship and earned one of the eight berths to the World Championship second round that will begin Monday in Bahrain.

The BYU sophomore had a kill and an ace coming off the bench as Italy swept Canada in its tournament opener on Thursday. With Gardini on the bench, Italy swept Poland and Brazil in its other first round matches.


Gardini joined Italy for this bi-annual international tournament after being named the 2019 MPSF Freshman of the Year and an Off the Block Freshman All-American.

The outside attacker finished his inaugural college season in the nation’s top 25 with a 3.47 kills per game average and had a .320 attack percentage. Gardini had at least 20 kills in six matches, including having both a team-high 23 kills and five aces to help BYU beat Stanford in the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals.

Italy will open the second round of the World Championship against the host nation Bahrain on Monday. It also will play Iran on Tuesday and Argentina on Wednesday as part of second round pool-play.

The top-two teams from this four-team pool will qualify for the medal round and the World Championship semifinals.