Gauchos Head to Utah for Two Against BYU

Oliver Deutschman (Photo by Tony Mastres)

• The Schedule
Friday, February 24, 2012 at 6 p.m. PST
No. 12 UC Santa Barbara (4-8, 2-6)
at No. 3 Brigham Young University (10-3, 6-2)
Series record vs. the Cougars- 20-27
Streak- Won 2
2010 Series- BYU 2-0
2011 Series- Tied 2-2
Last time out vs. the Cougars- W, 3-1
Friday, February 24, 2012 at 6 p.m. PST
No. 12 UC Santa Barbara (4-8, 2-6)
at No. 3 Brigham Young University (10-3, 6-2)
Series record vs. the Cougars- 20-27
Streak- Won 2
2010 Series- BYU 2-0
2011 Series- Tied 2-2
Last time out vs. the Cougars- W, 3-1

• Can't Make it to the Court?
UCSB men's volleyball matches can be followed live online for no charge with Presto Sport's
"Primetime" app. For home matches, log on to UCSBgauchos.com, go to the men's volleyball
schedule, and click on the"live stats' link for the match you're interested in. You can follow each
point and see player statistics and bios. This weekend's matches will be streamed live, both on
the BYUtv cable channel and byutvsports.com/gameday. The BYUtv channel can be found on Cox (channel 150), DIRECTV (channel 374), and DISH Network (channel 9403).

• The Week in Review
UCSB played in two matches last week, sweeping CSUN at home on Wednesday night before
losing to Long Beach State on Friday night. In Wednesday's win, Miles Evans led the waygoing
off for a match-high 16 kills and a pair of aces. Freshman outside hitter Kevin Donohue
continued to play well, as he has done since becoming a regular fixture in the starting lineup
on Feb. 3, by picking up 11 kills and two aces. Libero Chad Kingi tied a career high with 14 digs.
The Gauchos were not able to get past AVCA player of the week John La Rusch's 49ers on
Friday however, falling 3-1. Evans picked up another 16 kills, while Donohue picked up his first
career double-double (13 kills, 12 digs). There was little else to get excited about for Gauchos
fans, as UCSB was outhit .341 to .138 in the match and failed to record a single ace.

• Scouting the Cougars
The fact that the Gauchos' win at BYU in the 2011 MPSF Tournament was the only home loss
for the Cougars all year is more indicative of the talent level of this team than their first-round
playoff exit would suggest. Despite missing 2011 MPSF Freshman of the year Taylor Sander
due to a hand injury (he still leads the conference in kills at 4.90 per game and points at 5.79
per game), BYU had continued rolling, having won four in a row and 10 of their last 12. Robb
Stowell leads the team in kills with 167. BYU's twin terrors in the middle, Russ Lavaja and Futi
Tavana, combined for an intimidating 113 blocks. Lavaja is tied for second in the MPSF with
1.57 blocks per game. Josue Rivera, who has seen his responsibilities increased in Sander's
absence, is third on team with 136 kills and leads the team with 80 digs.

• Fresh Faced Gauchos
In contrast to last year's senior-heavy and rarely changing lineup, this
year's lineup features just one senior and one starting returner. Head
Coach Rick McLaughlin rarely strayed from his starting seven last year,
but 13 different players have started a match already this year for the
Gauchos. A season-high 11 Gauchos entered the match on Feb. 1
against USC. This year's sole returning starter, Dylan Davis, has done
much to cement his role. Dylan leads the team in total blocks (38) and
is third on the team in kills (58). The sole senior, Blaine Nielsen, serves
as the team captain and is fourth on the team in kills (46).

• Evans Getting It Done
Junior outside hitter Miles Evans has quickly become the team's go-to
attacking option, having led the squad in kills in 10 of the first 12
matches of the season. Miles, a transfer from Santa Barbara City College,
follows in the footsteps of last year's big hitter, Jeff Menzel, who
was also raised in the Santa Barbara area. Miles recently picked up a
career-high in kills, going off for 20 on Jan. 21 against Stanford in just
four games. After picking up 16 kills in both of last week's mastches,
Evans shot up the conference leaderboards, as he now sits third in
kills (4.02 per game) and sixth in points (4.52 per game). Miles has
recorded 10 or more kills in 11 of 12 matches this season.

• Kingi is Digging It
Chad Kingi, UCSB's versatile sophomore libero, has done an admirable
job filling the shoes that All-American Andy McGuire left for him.
Chad leads the Gauchos in digs with 108, and is significantly ahead of
his teammates in the category- Miles Evans is second-best with 59.
After accruing 25 digs in seven games last week, Chad now ranks second
in the MPSF conference in digs at a rate of 2.45 per game. Also a
competent setter, Chad has seen emergency-duty at the setter position,
and has so far compiled 50 assists this year, second on the team.

• Donohue Settling In
Freshman outside hitter Kevin Donohue is beginning to find success
after earning an extended run in the lineup. After playing in just three
of the team's first six matches (including pre-season), Kevin has seen
action in seven of the squad's last eight tilts. Donohue has rewarded
Rick McLaughlin's faith with strong performances in his last four appearances,
all starts. Against Pepperdine on Feb. 3, Kevin picked up a
career-high in kills (17) and hitting percentage (.452). Donohue has
recorded nine or more kills in each of his last four games, and went
on to record his first career double-double of the season on Feb.
17, registering 13 kills and 12 digs. It was the first time a Gaucho had
recorded a double-double this season.