The University of Hawaii women’s volleyball team is gearing up for its final two matches of the regular season: Thursday, Nov. 21 vs Cal State Northridge and Friday, Nov. 22 vs Long Beach State. If the No. 18-ranked Rainbow Wahine win one of the two matches, they clinch at least a share of the Big West title. If they win both, they win the title outright. (It would be their first since 2016; their 26th overall conference title; and their 10th Big West title.)
Both matches will air live on ESPN Honolulu starting at 6:50 p.m. Tiff Wells will bring you the action.
Friday night will be “Senior Night,” and five special Rainbow Wahine will be bidding aloha to the home crowd at the Stan Sheriff Center: setter Bailey Choy, setter Nore Iosia, defensive specialist/libero Rika Okino, outside hitter McKenna Ross and outside hitter Kirsten Sibley.
ESPN Honolulu interviewed each senior yesterday. Look for our exclusive video next week. In the meantime, here’s a sneak preview of our chat:
WHAT WAS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT AS A RAINBOW WAHINE?
BAILEY CHOY: “We went to this beach house on the West side for this team bonding thing. It was so beautiful. The sun was setting, and right before it got completely dark we bombed the coaches with a bunch of water balloons. They were just sitting in their chairs, watching the sunset. They did not see it coming. That was pretty fun!”
KIRSTEN SIBLEY: “The moment that stood out for me the most [happened] my freshman year. Starting my first game. Annie Mitchem had [a broken finger] and I ended up going in for her. The whole atmosphere at the Stan Sheriff arena, it was incredible. To experience that for the first time, that felt so significant. That’s when I knew that I was part of something really special.”
McKENNA ROSS: “I would have to say my most memorable moment here was playing my first game. It was against the University of Arizona, and I was sort of thrown in to hit on the right side. It kind of shocked me because I came [to UH] as a DS/libero and so I wasn’t sure if I’d ever get to hit in college. I think that opportunity that Coach Dave gave me built a lot of confidence in me, and I also showed myself that I could play at this level.”
RIKA OKINO: “That is a hard question! I think, for this current season, my favorite moment was when we beat Cal Poly and Santa Barbara in our home arena. Those are really competitive teams, and they got the best of us last year. It was just awesome. We were playing great volleyball and it was tons of fun.”
NORENE IOSIA: “What comes to mind is my first time playing in the Stan Sheriff [Center]. We played Wisconsin, and I got to go in. And Emily Maglio served the ball right to my head! I instantly made this face because I hate getting hit in the head. In the huddle, Savanah Kahakai was, like, ‘I can see your face, I can see your face…” And then Emily runs off the court. I was thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, Mags!’ Yeah, that was one of the funniest memories.”
Look for our full senior tribute video next week!
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