Hometown: Kalaheo, Hawaii
Birth Year: 1987
Position: Middle Blocker
Weight: 235 lbs
College: Brigham Young University
Joined Team: 2013
MAJOR INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION: 2013 - NORCECA Continental Championship (Gold Medal). 2012-13 - Played for Copra Elior Piacenza in Italy, winning the 2013 CEV Challenge Cup. 2013-14 – Playing for Touluse in France.
INTERNATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS: 2013 - Played in nine sets at the NORCECA Championship and finished with 23 points on five kills, seven blocks and one ace.
COLLEGE HIGHLIGHTS: Played for Brigham Young University… Three-time AVCA All-American… Four-time All-MPSF First Team… Named to the MPSF All-Academic Team… Finished his collegiate career ranking first in BYU history for career total blocks… Ranked second nationally in the NCAA in blocks. 2012 – Played in 24 matches, starting all of them, and 91 sets…Finished the season with 170 kills, a .385 hitting percentage, six aces and 155 digs… Contributed a team-high 14 solo blocks and 145 total blocks to bring his career total to 625. 2011 – Named Blocker of the Year in Off the Block’s inaugural season of the award… Played in 105 sets and started all 28 matches… Tallied 234 kills, 23 assists, seven aces, 44 digs and a team-high and NCAA-leading 160 blocks. 2010 – Started 25 of 30 matches… Broke the BYU all-time record for total blocks achieved against then-No. 10 UC Santa Barbara, with 15… Ranked second on the Cougars with 151 blocks. 2009 – Started all 30 matches… Led the team with 169 blocks, averaging 1.47 per set… Led the team with a .387 attack percentage, ranking sixth in the conference… Named Walk On of the Year at the Y Awards.
CLUB/HIGH SCHOOL HIGHLIGHTS: Started playing volleyball in 2002 for ASICS Rainbow… Played for Kauai High School from 2002-2005.
PERSONAL: Born Va’afuti Gaugau Tavana Jr. on Sept. 25, 1987 in Auckland, New Zealand… Parents are Dr. Tofa Tavana Namulauulu G. Vaafuti and Palagi Tavana… Has two brothers, Dennis Murray (1980) and Devin Matauaina (1991), and four sisters, Taufao Faith (1976), Lupeautino Phaedra (1978), Justina Puluafi (1982) and Delsa Julie (1985)… Graduated from BYU in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in commercial management… Favorite foods are kalo and palusami… Favorite book is Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson… He most admires his dad because, “he has always been a great example of hard work and dedication.”
Updated Sept. 2013