Gianni lifts No. 9/9 Grand Canyon to historic upset of No. 1/2 BYU

Photo courtesy of Grand Canyon athletics

Not even the longest game in the history of NCAA men’s volleyball during the rally scoring era was enough to overshadow the performance of outside attacker Camden Gianni.

Gianni had a match-high 19 kills on a .567 attack percentage as No. 9/9 Grand Canyon upset No. 1/2 BYU 25-22, 45-43, 25-10 on Thursday in Phoenix, Arizona.

The 40-point second-game overtime surpassed the previous record for longest game by two points. The Antelopes fought off eight game-points in the overtime and had 11 of their own failed game-point opportunities before outside attacker Christian Janke converted on the game-winning kill.


Gianni had two kills and a block in the overtime. In addition, the all-conference outside attacker opened the match leading all players with 10 kills in the first-game win.

Grand Canyon out-hit BYU .355 to .165, including limiting the Cougars to a negative-.217 attack percentage in their 15-point third-game win to complete the sweep. Gianni also was the only Grand Canyon to play to have double-digit kills.

The Antelopes finished with 13 blocks — 10 more blocks than the Cougars.Middle attackers Ian McLain and Kyle Thompson both had a match-high five blocks, while Gianni contributed four blocks.

BYU entered on a five-match winning streak and 5-1 all-time versus Grand Canyon, including two wins against the Antelopes last week.

Opposite Gabi Garcia Fernandez, the 2020 National Player of the Year, led BYU with 15 kills. In addition, All-American outside attacker Davide Gardini added 12 kills against Grand Canyon.

With this loss, BYU drops into a tie with No. 7/7 UCLA for first place in the MPSF. The Cougars and Antelopes will conclude the second of their back-to-back two-match series on Saturday.