Outside hitter Austin Matautia has left the University of Hawaii men’s volleyball team and will be transferring to UCLA.
Matautia, who started 21 matches during his two-season UH career, said his decision was not based on playing time. Brett Rosenmeir had finished the 2017 season ahead of Matautia in the rotation. Matautia said he was “comfortable” in the program and was looking for a new situation where he would be “uncomfortable.”
“I just think Hawaii is and always will be home,” said Matautia, a 2016 Moanalua High School graduate. “You’re only a Division I athlete once. I think going away will open my eyes to a whole new perspective of life.”
Matautia said he requested — and received — a release from his UH scholarship a few days after the Rainbow Warriors lost to Long Beach State in the championship match of the Big West Tournament on April 21.
“Since then, I’ve been talking to pretty much every school in the country trying to figure out what school would be the best fit for me and my family,” Matautia said.
Until 2017, UH and UCLA were both volleyball members of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. The past year, UH competed in the Big West.
At Moanalua, Matautia was a standout outside hitter who was named to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Fab 15 all-state selection four times. He also was selected to the 2016 Hawaii High School Athletic Association/Enterprise Hall of Honor.
Matautia played in 51 matches during his UH career. In 2018, he led the Warriors with 24 aces. He hit .349, ranking fourth among Big West attackers.