Miles Partain steps away from UCLA men’s volleyball program
UCLA men’s volleyball junior setter/opposite Miles Partain looks on during a match. Partain has stepped away from the program, team officials confirmed to the Daily Bruin on Thursday. (Patrick Shao/Daily Bruin)
By Bryan Palmero and Amy Ionescu
Feb. 9, 2023 2:49 p.m.
This post was updated Feb. 9 at 11:59 p.m.
UCLA men’s volleyball junior setter/opposite Miles Partain has stepped away from the program, team officials confirmed to the Daily Bruin on Thursday.
The announcement comes after Partain saw limited time in the blue and gold’s four-set defeat to Penn State on Saturday and ahead of the team’s home contest against Long Beach State on Thursday night.
In place of Partain, freshman Andrew Rowan will assume full-time setting duty. The 6-foot-6 Rowan has already appeared in 29 sets to Partain’s 21 this season, starting in the Bruins’ loss to the Nittany Lions. Throughout the year, coach John Speraw has extended Rowan’s playing time to speed up the freshman’s development.
“As a team, it stings a little. Nobody wanted him to go,” Rowan said. “But he made his decision, so we got to be happy for him and just be at peace with it.”
Partain, the reigning Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Player of the Year, broke out onto the scene during the 2022 campaign as the Bruins’ fourth starting setter in as many seasons.
As a then-sophomore, Partain sent UCLA to a country-best .374 hitting percentage en route to a 22-5 record and national championship semifinal berth against Long Beach State. Receiving First-Team All-America acclaim, the Pacific Palisades product dished out 10.2 assists per set.
[Related: Superlatives: Daily Bruin Sports honors achievements of UCLA’s 2021-2022 athletes]
While a relatively new starter, Partain had been a star on the professional beach volleyball circuit. Alongside his brother and former Bruin setter Marcus Partain, Miles Partain advanced to the main draw at AVP Hermosa in 2017. They became the youngest pair to advance at an Association of Volleyball Professionals event at 15 and 17 years old, respectively.
Miles Partain built on that performance by being named the 2019 AVP Rookie of the Year before culminating in an AVP Championship and Offensive Player of the Year honor in 2022.
“It was amazing to see the defensive skill of a player of that caliber. He really is a tremendous all-around quality player,” Speraw said. “His ability to turn and attack in transition, his ability to read the game just defensively. … I’ve never, at any level, coached somebody as talented on defense in right back as him.”
Partain is expected to obtain his applied math degree and compete for a spot on Team USA’s beach volleyball roster for the 2024 Paris Olympics.