POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Feb 2, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 1:51 a.m. HST, Feb 2, 2011
Between the Hawaii Club, Sigma Chi Fraternity, a part-time job and pursuing a double major in computer science and oceanography, it's hard to imagine Caine Jette also has time to pursue a national championship in men's volleyball.
Not only is he doing exactly that, but he's attempting the feat at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one of the toughest academic colleges in the United States.
The 2006 Maui graduate is hard pressed to find a spare moment in his day, yet that's the life Jette chose when he picked MIT over Stanford as his choice for college.
"It's funny. Not too many people choose MIT for athletics, but I chose MIT over Stanford because I would have the ability to play volleyball here, where realistically my chances seeing court time were not that great had I gone to Stanford," he said.
"I definitely can go both ways. I like being busy and I like being involved in a lot of things, but at the same time, summers are great because you have it off and it's not like flying 100 miles an hour all the time. Being busy is kind of just how it's going to be at MIT."
PROFILE | Caine Jette» School: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
» Position: defensive specialist
» Height: 6 feet 1
» Class: senior
» High school: Maui (2006)
"That weekend I'm always giving coach a headache, asking if I can leave practice to help with the luau," said Jette, who has served as Hawaii Club president, luau chair and food chair.
Jette is a defensive specialist for the Engineers, who are 10-1 overall and 6-0 in the North East Collegiate Volleyball Association's New England division.
Each season, the conference champion receives a berth in the Molten Championships, which is the Division III version of the NCAA tournament, and MIT is poised to make its third trip to the final four in the past six years.
"Traditionally we're ranked, maybe a little lower than we are this year," Jette said. "The team is playing well."
Jette was a second-team, all-state soccer player at Maui, where he also played volleyball, football and tennis.
His parents moved to Alaska after he left the islands for college, and he's only been back to Hawaii twice for summer jobs.
"I spent one summer working on Maui and another on Oahu, but mostly when I get a chance I visit my family in Alaska," Jette said. "I don't get back to Hawaii enough, especially now with all the snow we've been having."
As one of a handful of students from Hawaii at MIT, Jette stands out not only for his background, but for his name as well.
"The name 'Caine' came from my dad, who used to work on the plantation on Maui," he said.
MIT has conference games against Harvard and Endicott College before a two-day tournament Feb. 12 and 13 in Beverly, Mass.
The NECVA Tournament is hosted by Stevens Institute of Technology on April 1, and a win there would push the Engineers into the Molten Championships on April 15.
"We've only made it once since I've been here, so it'd be a nice accomplishment to do it again," Jette said.