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BYU Roundup: Cougar men’s volleyball adds Lucas Torres

By BYU Sports Information - | Jun 28, 2024

BYU men’s volleyball head coach Shawn Olmstead has announced the official signing of transfer Lucas Torres from Vancouver Island University.

“Lucas has outstanding character and will fit in perfectly with our team,” said Olmstead. “He comes from a strong and historic club in Brazil. BYU has had excellent Brazilian players who’ve added tremendously to our program and we’re always excited to add another one to our roster. Lucas is a physical athlete at the net and in the back row which is exactly what you need out of an opposite.”

Torres is a 6-foot-4 outside hitter/opposite from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, who played for two seasons at VIU from 2023-2024, averaging 2.21 kills per set. He also earned a .319 hitting percentage on 69 total attempts. Torres was named the MVP of the Pac West Tournament on February 29, logging 20 kills as the Mariners came back from a 2-0 deficit for a five-set victory against Douglas.

Torres joins Bernando Adam as the second player from outside of the United States on the 2024-25 BYU men’s volleyball roster, with both being from Brazil.

The Cougars are also expected to sign former Hawaii outside hitter Keoni Thiim, who posted on social media that he was transferring to Provo. The 6-0 graduate transfer from Honolulu was the fourth leading hitter for the Warriors last season with 162 kills (1.67 per set) while hitting .303. Thiim is considered one of the top servers in the country and contributed 40 aces.

BYU finished 16-9 last season, 7-5 in MPSF play. The Cougars were seventh in the final AVCA poll of 2024 and are expected to return five starters in outside hitters Luke Benson and Miks Ramanis, middle blocker Teon Taylor, setter Tyler Herget and libero Jackson Fife.

Softball adds two transfers

BYU softball head coach Gordon Eakin announced the signing of transfer Lindy Milkowski on Friday.

“We are thrilled Lindy is joining us for our 2024-25 season,” Eakin said. “She will have a huge impact both offensively and defensively. Defensively she can help behind the plate, at first base and in the outfield. She is a serious home run threat and RBI producer. She also has a cannon for an arm behind home plate.”

A 5-foot-8 catcher, Milkowski hails from Olathe, Kansas and has spent the last three seasons at Eastern Illinois after playing her freshman season at Iowa. She earned Second Team All-Ohio Valley Conference Infielder honors in 2023, First Team All-OVC Catcher honors in 2022 and All-OVC Newcomer Team honors in 2021.

Injured and unable to play last season, Milkowski will come to Provo with one final year of eligibility. In 2023, she led the OVC with 14 home runs, 47 RBI and 30 walks drawn. She played in 108 games for the Panthers between the 2022-23, totaling 95 hits, 93 RBI, 49 runs, 26 doubles and 23 home runs.

With a career .287 batting average, Milkowski also has a .386 on-base percentage and .564 slugging percentage. Defensively, she has posted a career .980 fielding percentage.

On Thursday, Eakin announced the signing of transfer Kennadee Belnap.

“Kennadee is a player that flew under the radar because of injuries,” BYU associate head coach Pete Meredith said. “Now that she has fully recovered, we are excited about adding her to our pitching staff.”

A 5-foot-9 right-handed pitcher out of Evanston, Wyoming, Belnap is an Evanston High School graduate who played last season at Galveston Community College in Galveston, Texas.

She pitched 27 total innings across 13 appearances, posting a 1-1 record with a 5.44 ERA. Belnap fanned 19 batters during the 2024 season, including a career high six strikeouts against Coastal Bend in April.

Belnap joins Danica Acosta, Ilove’a Brittingham, Amiya Hernandez, Miranda Mansfield, Ariyah Morgan, Breana Townsend and Jada Villegas as the eighth member of the Cougars’ 2024 recruiting class.

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