Iosia earns top honors at Rainbow Wahine Volleyball’s 2019 Banquet


Norene Iosia // Hawaii Athletics

The University of Hawai’i women’s volleyball team held its annual awards banquet with over 230 people on hand on Sunday night at the Hale Koa Hotel’s DeRussy Hall. The team celebrated their 2019 Big West championship and honored its senior class. The Rainbow Wahine and head coach Robyn Ah Mow also handed out its annual awards.

For the Rainbow Wahine, it is the ninth Big West title and fifth since rejoining the Big West in 2012. It is UH’s 24th overall conference title (15 WAC regular season titles). It also marked the first conference crown for third year head coach Robyn Ah Mow.

The Rainbow Wahine finished the season winning their last 11-straight matches—its longest streak of the year and longest since 2015 when UH won 24-straight matches.

UH’s 24 wins is also the most for Ah Mow in a season after earning 20 wins in 2017 and 18 victories last year. It is also the most wins for Hawai’i since the 2015 season when UH recorded 29 wins. 

For the second-straight season, the top individual honor, the Most Valuable Player award went to senior setter/outside hitter Norene Iosia. Iosia who is one of three Rainbow Wahine to play in all 104 sets this season has been a double-double machine throughout her stellar career. Iosia has recorded 17 double-doubles in UH’s 27 matches this year and has 61 career double-doubles. She finished the regular season ranked in the UH career record books at No. 10 with 1,137 career digs, No. 9 with 3,080 career assists, and No. 4 with 135 service aces—passing associate coach Angelica Ljungvist this past match with a career-high seven aces against Long Beach State. Iosia leads UH this season with 577 assists, 293 digs, and a career-high 44 service aces. Iosia also earned the team’s Best Defensive Player award.

A pair of freshmen–Hanna Hellvig and Amber Igiede–took home the hardware for Best Offensive Player and Best Blocker award respectively. Since junior Jolie Rasmussen went down with an injury in the seventh match of the season, it was Hellvig who stepped up and shouldered much of the team’s offensive load for the ‘Bows. She leads UH with 324 kill and is averaging a team-high 3.12 kills per set. Hellvig also has been strong across the board on the year with 72 total blocks, 188 digs and 15 service aces. Igiede has been a force in the middle, anchoring the Big West’s leading blocking team this year with a team-high 118 total blocks. She also has a team-high 19 solo blocks. Igiede has also proven to be an offensive weapon and is second on the team with 193 kills while hitting a solid .365 hitting percentage.

The Most Inspirational Player award went to senior outside hitter Kirsten Sibley. She has appeared in 54 career matches with 138 kills, 28 blocks and 52 digs. Although she has not seen a lot of playing time this year, Sibley has been the epitome of a team player with an outstanding work ethic and attitude. 

2019 Women’s Volleyball Award Winners
Most Valuable Player:Norene Iosia
Most Inspirational Player:Kirsten Sibley
Best Offensive Player:Hanna Hellvig
Best Defensive Player:Norene Iosia
Best Blocker Award:Amber Igiede

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