Ranked 18th in the country, riding a nine match winning streak, the University of Hawaii women’s volleyball team will close out their home schedule at the Stan Sheriff Center this week with a chance to secure the Big West Conference Championship.
The Rainbow Wahine will enter their final two matches with a one match lead over Cal Poly in the BWC standings, and wins over CSUN and Long Beach State would guarantee the program’s first conference crown in three years.
Along with the excitement of those possibilities, it is also senior week as a total of five Rainbows will be celebrated win, lose, or draw.
Among the honorees, will be setter Norene Iosia, who through tough-love by head coach Robyn Ah Mow has created a special bond between the two of them.
“I’m definitely going to cry, I’m pretty sure, so that’s going to be different for everyone to see,” Iosia said with a smile.
“I got chicken skin,” Ah Mow said. “I’ve seen it, I’m pretty sure that she has seen the emotional side of me as well. You know, we go back and forth but it’s all in good and growing, but yeah, I’m covered in chicken skin right now. I think it’s even for the fans. It’s going to be hard to say goodbye to that girl because she has gone through a lot and she has grown. She’s ready.”
Over the first three seasons of Ah Mow’s tenure at UH as head coach, she has brought up that Iosia’s commitment to the program has been key in getting the Rainbow Wahine to championship form. Through the first few months of taking the job, she was unclear if Iosia would stay at UH, but the tough love and building of a rock solid relationship between the two has become one of the visible cornerstones of the Ah Mow era.
“That’s my headache right there. She knows she’s my headache. She’s done a 180 from the first time I met her to now, the girl is all business so it’s going to be sad watching them go, but happy,” added Ah Mow.
The complete senior class joining Iosia will be Bailey Choy, Kirsten Sibley, Rika Okino and McKenna Ross.
The Rainbow Wahine will take on the Matadors on Thursday, Nov. 21 at 7:00 p.m. followed by The Beach on “Senior Night”, Friday, Nov. 22 at 7:00 p.m. Both matches will be played at the Stan Sheriff Center.