Nov. 21, 2008
STANFORD, Calif. -
Stanford men's volleyball coach John Kosty announced the signing of two top recruits for the class of 2013. Adding to the stellar recruiting classes of the past three years, Stanford volleyball will welcome Jake Kneller (Westlake Village, Calif.) and Chandler Kaaa (Hilo, Hawaii) to The Farm.
"We are very excited to welcome these two wonderful young men to our Stanford family," Kosty said. "They are the type of players that will integrate quickly into our team and add to our tradition of excellence."
Kneller, a hard-hitting 6-foot-4 outside attacker, was the captain of the 2008 U.S. youth national team, helping lead the team to a gold medal in the 2008 NORCECA Championships this summer in El Salvador. The first-place finish qualified the U.S. for next year's FIVB World Championships. He also won golds at the junior national championships in 2006 and 2008 with his Pacific Palisades club team.
In 2006, Kneller was named to the 16 Open Division all-tournament team. In 2008, he was the top point-scorer in the finals of the 17 Open Division championship. At Westlake High School, Kneller was named to the Marmonte League second-team during his sophomore year as he helped the Warriors to a league co-championship.
"Jake brings a big-time arm swing and a championship attitude to our program," Kosty said. "He, like a lot of our players, has won championships at many different levels. That is a trait that is hard to find and hard to teach."
Kaaa, a multi-talented 6-4 setter, is a two-time Hawaii state first-teamer. He led the Big Island's Kamehameha School of Kea'au to the state tournament in his sophomore and junior years, playing setter and outside hitter. As a 16-year old, he played hitter/setter on his Pilipa'a 18 club team and led it to a silver medal at the 2007 junior national championships in the 18 Club Division. That same summer he set the U.S. youth A2 Red national team to the gold at the U.S. High Performance championships. In the summer of 2008, Kaaa set for Highline Volleyball Club (Long Beach, Calif.) and helped it to a Bronze Division finish in the 18 Open division of the U.S. junior championships.
For Stanford, Kaaa will perform as a setter giving the Cardinal a very talented and deep group at that position. Kaaa brings athleticism, a multiple skill-set and a good knowledge of the game to The Farm. He becomes the seventh player from Hawaii to join the team, joining Kawika and Erik Shoji
, Spencer McLachlin
, Max Halvorson
, Jordan Inafuku
, and Brad Lawson
"Chandler has a style of setting that is smooth and accurate," Kosty said. "He has a good court presence and will be able to run a high level offense. I am very excited to have him join our elite group of setters."
The addition of Kneller and Kaaa brings the total number of Stanford players with U.S. National High Performance experience to eight. It has been the goal of the coaching staff to recruit and develop players that will be a part of the U.S. pipeline.
"Our national team players get exposure to some of the best competition around the nation, and for some, the world," Kosty said. "This gives those student-athletes an edge on their peers that is hard to duplicate. Of course they must be talented enough and committed enough to deserve those opportunities. Our student-athletes have been that."
Stanford finishes its fall season Friday with the Cardinal and White Scrimmage at Burnham Pavilion. Game time is p.m. and admission is free.
The 2009 regular season begins Jan. 9 at the UCSB Elephant Bar Tournament. Stanford fans will get their first chance to watch the Cardinal play at home Jan. 30, against NCAA semifinalist Long Beach State at Maples Pavilion at 7 p.m.