Hakala signs with team in Switzerland
Lauri Hakala was expecting to be working this fall ... but it will be on the court instead of in the classroom.
The All-American opposite, who recently completed his volleyball career at Hawaii, has signed a contract to play for Lausanne University Club, a professional team in Switzerland.
Hakala will be playing for LUC's new coach Carl McGown, the former men's coach at Church College of Hawaii (now Brigham Young-Hawaii) and BYU. McGown has been a consultant for the Warriors volleyball team the past two falls.
"I'm very happy that I get to go and play at a higher level," Hakala said. "And I'm playing for one of the best coaches I've ever had."
Hakala, majoring in speech communications and German, had planned to finish his course work this fall and graduate in December. The academic all-league player said he will return in May and graduate next summer.
"Lauri is a very good volleyball player and a really hard worker in the gym," McGown told the Star-Bulletin.
"He's a good person and I like his values. And I know he'll work his butt off for the team."
McGown said there is a chance that he'll sign another ex-Warrior for the season, which runs September through March. McGown has been in contact with outside hitter Matt Carere, a Canadian national, who played for Hawaii in 2005 and '06.
Hakala said he is returning home to Finland and will play for the Finnish beach national team for two months before heading to Switzerland. The 24-year-old, who speaks eight languages, said he's working on a ninth: French.