ONU Athletics launches inaugural season for men's volleyball as well as its Pacific Rim Initiative.
In a special edition of the 'Athlete Spotlight,' ONU Athletics interviewed Max Slaughter (FR/Honolulu, Hi.), a transfer student from Honolulu Hawai'i, and a member of the inaugural men's volleyball team for Olivet Nazarene University.
Slaughter is a key member in a new initiative that ONU Admissions New Market Developer Bob Harmon and Director of Athletics Mike Conway developed, with the intent to help students from the Pacific Rim Region achieve their goals and dreams.
The objectives for this initiative include focusing on students that are advancing the ONU mission of "Education with a Christian Purpose", developing and maintaining long-term lasting partnerships, helping to enrich and minister to an "underserved" part of the globe, and to diversify ONU's student population. While recruiting students like Slaughter is just one of the goals, ONU wants to be there to support other students like Slaughter from start to finish to fulfill their individual goals and dreams.
"ONU is excited to bring its mission of "Education with a Christian Purpose" to the pacific rim," said Harmon. "We are reaching out to young men and women from the region to be a part of one of the nation's premier Christian universities. This program is designed to help make a student's transition to the University seamless. From airport pickup to parent communication or just someone to talk to, we will be there for them. We are thrilled that Max will be a trailblazer and help set the tone for other students coming from the Hawaiian Islands."
Max is originally from Hawai'i where he attended Moanalua High School. There, he led his team to three straight conference championships and three state championship appearances. During his high school tenure, Slaughter was recognized as the HHSAA Hawaii Player of the Year in 2019, along with being a Volleymag.com First Team All-American and the Scoringlive Player of the Year. His success at the high school level translated to the college playing field, where he was able to help his former school, Menlo College, to a 17-1 start to the season before COVID-19 ended their campaign. With prior experience at the college level, Slaughter will bring leadership to a group of young and talented players that surround him at ONU.
"During the time of my transfer [from Menlo College], I wanted to look for a specific degree, which at the time was zoology or environmental science," said Slaughter. "I also wanted to continue to play volleyball. It was a pretty difficult degree to find as well as finding a college with men's volleyball so it narrowed down my decisions to ONU and a few other schools, around the area that had that degree."
Head men's volleyball coach Daniel Cabrera praises Slaughter not just as a men's volleyball player, but as a person of character.
"Max is a team player and enjoys the game," said Cabrera. "The best quality is his character, he is a gentleman who is patient and loves to support his teammates. It's fun to coach Max because he wants to learn something new every time, and he wants his teammates to be successful. He can put the ball away on the outside and middle back every time. It's impressive to see him swing because he will read the defense first."
Slaughter also praises Cabrera for his coaching philosophy and his coaching style.
"I think coming here and reaching out to him when I was searching for my school, he has always been very helpful and encouraging," said Slaughter. "When I got here, I fell in love with his philosophy about picking each other up all of the time and he just wanting to be the best version of ourselves."