HONOLULU (KHON2) — The University of Hawai‘i women’s indoor volleyball program will combine forces with the beach volleyball program, Athletics Director David Matlin announced today. The move is a financial decision resulting from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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“Making decisions that affect so many people are not easy,” Matlin said. “We have been analyzing our financial situation and looking for ways to reduce expenses and this option, as hard as it is, is one that we need to exercise at this time.”
Women’s indoor volleyball head coach Robyn Ah Mow will oversee both programs. Indoor associate coach Angelica Ljungqvist will replace beach volleyball head coach Jeff Hall and assume the title of head beach volleyball coach.
“This is the model that was in place when the beach program began,” Matlin said. “We moved away from it to allow both programs to have separate staffs, but it is just not feasible anymore.”
Hall has served five-plus seasons as head coach of the Rainbow Wahine beach volleyball program.
“Jeff has led our beach volleyball program to the national championship tournament in each of his five years as head coach,” Matlin said. “We’re very proud of the job he has done and the student-athletes he has developed in the program. “He has been an important member of our athletics department ‘ohana and we wish him well.”
Ljungqvist will take over head coaching duties immediately, while beach volleyball assistant coach Evan Silberstein will remain with the program. Ah Mow looks forward to the challenge of leading two programs and optimistic that the staff can collaboratively keep both programs as national contenders.
“I am very saddened by the news and I feel for Jeff and his family,” Ah Mow said. “These are unprecedented times. We will come together, embrace the challenge, and continue to build on the great work that Jeff has developed with the beach program.”
Ljungqvist is looking forward to the opportunity to lead the beach program.
“My heart goes out to Jeff,” Ljungqvist said. “This is not something I expected to happen, but I’m humbled to take on this new responsibility. I’ll pour all my energy into making the best of this situation, especially for our student-athletes, and try to make this a seamless transition.”