HONOLULU – (Hawaii Athletics) University of Hawai‘i men's volleyball head coach Charlie Wade announced the signing of Max Wechsung and Aniefre Etim-Thomas of Long Beach City College and Garrett Komisarek of Irvine Valley College for the 2013 season.
In addition local products Kolby Kanetake of Moanalua High School and Daniel Aina, Jr., of Kamehameha Schools-Hawai‘i will also join the team.
Wechsung, a 6-foot-7 setter, graduated from St. John Bosco High School in 2010 while Etim-Thomas is a 6-foot-3 middle blocker and graduate of Wilson High School. Both played two seasons at LBCC and will have two years of eligibility remaining at UH.
The duo helped LBCC win the California Community College Athletic Association State Championship while both earned all-tournament team honors. On the season, Wechsung played both setter and opposite and was named Western State Conference Most Valuable Player. He averaged 2.20 kills, 6.25 assists, 1.49 digs, and 0.90 blocks per set and also led the conference in service aces per set (0.41).
Etim-Thomas, a first-team all-conference pick, averaged 1.97 kills on .560 hitting, which led the state. He also finished second in the state in blocks per set (2.08). During the state playoffs, he averaged 4.25 kills and 2.25 blocks and hit .583.
"Max is an all-around team player, who will challenge for the starting setter position from day one," Wade said. "He is a really steady setter, who makes good decisions and has good placement on his sets. He serves well and is also a pretty effective blocker.
"Our fans will enjoy watching Aniefre play. He loves to compete and plays hard and with an infectious energy. He's fast off the ground and is a relentless worker, especially with his blocking, and will remind our fans of a Jason Ring-type player."
Komisarek, a 5-foot-8 libero, graduated from Saint Francis High School in 2010 before attending IVC. He played in 31 sets as a freshman and averaged 1.50 digs per set and last season finished fifth in the state at 2.77 digs per set while earning second-team all- Pacific Coast Athletic Conference honors and all-tournament team honors at the state championship.
"Garrett is very quick on the court," Wade said. "He played two years at junior college at a pretty high level and his speed and agility will allow him to transition to the Division I game quickly."
Kanetake and Aina were among four players from the state of Hawai‘i named to the AVCA High School Boys Senior All-American watch list. Overall, they are among 74 players from 13 states who are eligible to earn All-America first team or second team honors. In addition, both were recently named to the all-tournament team at the Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association Division I Championships in which Aina's KS-Hawai‘i team finished runner-up and Kanetake's MHS squad placed third for the second straight year.
Kanetake is a two-time all-OIA East first-team selection who also was named to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser's Fab 15 boys' all-state team as a junior. Aina is a four-time all-BIIF selection.
"Both Kolby and Daniel are guys who we got to know through our summer camp program," Wade said. "Both have been really successful at the high school level; have played club at the national level; and are involved with the U.S. High Performance program. They are your prototypical Hawai‘i players. They understand the game well, have good court sense, and are highly skilled and will contribute to our team."
"Daniel's a great kid, he was our team captain and a member of the varsity squad for four years as a setter and libero," KS-Hawai‘i head coach Guy Enriques said. "He has exceptional skills and was our second-best hitter but we needed him to quarterback the team so he primarily played setter. He literally led the entire team to the state finals and if he didn't go down with an ankle injury in the championship match, we may have won the whole thing."