No. 5/5 Grand Canyon offense gallops past No. 8/9 BYU in series opener

Photo courtesy of Grand Canyon athletics

There was no issue for No. 5/5 Grand Canyon bouncing back from its first loss of the season.

Setter Nicholas Slight guided the offense to a .413 attack percentage as Grand Canyon swept No. 8/9 BYU 25-18, 25-22, 25-21 on Friday in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Antelopes (15-1, 4-1 MPSF) opened hitting a match-best .600 and committed a single attack error in their first-game win. The team playing in front of a home crowd of 2,134 people also hit more than .290 in each of the final two games to win the opener of this two-match conference series.

This victory was Grand Canyon’s first match since suffering a five-game road loss to No. 7/7 Pepperdine. That loss ended the Antelopes’ 14-match winning streak – the program’s longest winning streak to start a season.


Outside attacker Camden Gianni finished with both a team-high 10 kills on a .333 attack percentage and two aces against BYU (10-5, 2-3 MPSF).

Along with Gianni, outside attacker Christian Janke had eight kills and one error on a .538 attack percentage. Middle attackers Rico Wardlow and Cameron Thorne combined for 10 kills and zero errors and hit .769.

Thorne also led all players with five blocks, including a block as part of a comeback late in the second game.

Grand Canyon trailed 20-17 before going on a 6-0 run that featured solo blocks from Slight and Thorne. Cooper Herndon coming off the bench as a serving substitution during the run had an ace and contributed to BYU having multiple attack errors.

BYU finished with a .342 attack percentage and hit at least .320 in all three games. In addition, this was the team’s highest attack percentage since setter Noa Haine was inserted into the lineup in mid-February to replace injured starter Heath Hughes.

BYU outside attacker Miks Ramanis in the loss had a match-high 13 kills, while outside attacker Luke Benson contributed 11 kills and hit .381.