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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, May 9, 2001

UH men's volleyball adds two 6-4 outside hitters

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

On Sunday, the University of Hawai'i men's volleyball team bid aloha to seniors Torry Tukuafu and Brenton Davis in an elegant postseason banquet in Waikiki.

Yesterday, the Warriors found their replacements.

Jose Delgado, a highly regarded outside hitter from Puerto Rico, and Aaron Payne, who is competing in this week's Armed Forces Volleyball Tournament at Fort Shafter, have decided to play for the Warriors next season. Both will have four seasons of eligibility.

The 6-foot-4, 200-pound Delgado, who also visited Ohio State, Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara, is a strong and accurate hitter from both outside positions, as well as a good passer. He also can set.

UH first noticed Delgado at last year's Junior Olympics. Later, UH scouted Delgado at a tournament in Los Angeles. Soon after, Delgado, who will play for Puerto Rico's Junior team this summer, drew the interest of several college teams.

Payne, who also is 6 feet 4, will complete his tour of duty with the Army in November. Using money from the G.I. Bill, Payne will enroll at UH in January.

Payne, who was raised in Arizona, is best suited for the outside. He is a capable passer. Payne wrote several letters to the UH coaches, who then reviewed his videotapes. Because Payne will receive financial aid from the government, he will not count against the monetary value of 4.5 scholarships that the Warriors are limited to using on their players.

Last fall, UH signed Delano Thomas, a 6-foot-6 middle blocker from Sacramento, Calif.

A player from England verbally committed to UH in April. But the scholarship offer was rescinded after the player behaved erratically during follow-up interviews with the UH coaches.

UH coach Mike Wilton announced setter Kimo Tuyay and outside hitter Tony Ching will play for the U.S. Junior National team this summer.

Two weeks ago, the 6-foot-3 Tuyay was named the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation's Co-Freshman of the Year.

"As a freshman, he came really close to setting us to (the NCAA final four) championship tournament," Wilton said. "He'll get better and better each year."

Ching, a 6-foot-2 sophomore who rotated at opposite hitter with Tukuafu, also played well, despite several injuries. He missed one league match because of a deep gash suffered in a mo-ped accident, and played the final two weeks with a sore right (swinging) arm.

"Tony had a lot of unfortunate physical problems, but he persevered," Wilton said.