Despite six departing players and four newcomers, the cupboard is not bare for the University of Hawaii women’s volleyball team, which brings back a handful of key contributors from a team that went 22-8 with a Big West championship and a first round NCAA Tournament win in 2021.

The biggest loss for the Rainbow Wahine is former outside hitter Brooke Van Sickle, the team’s most valuable and productive player, who concluded her six-year college career last season.

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Perhaps the player who looks most prepared to assume the leadership void left by Van Sickle is middle blocker Amber Igiede. A two-time All-Big West Conference selection, Igiede is now a junior for the ‘Bows and hopes to lead by example.

“We have a lot of really good veterans, leaders on this time and I really try to give as much effort for myself and for the team so I really hope that translates as leading by example so that’s what I’ve been trying to do,” Igiede said.

Now an upperclassman, Igiede gained valuable experience over the summer, where she was selected to compete for the US women’s indoor volleyball national collegiate team.

“It was a growing experience because I got to learn a lot,” Igiede said. “I learned way more than I thought I even knew before so I think the biggest takeaway that I got from there was learning a lot so I’m really grateful for the experience.

“I’m still trying to get better and everything you know? But it really helped with widening my lens. Especially for blocking and hitting. It really helped with that and just the speed of it.”