A big weekend for the University of Hawai’i women’s volleyball team just got a little sweeter. With sweeps over CSUN and Long Beach State, the Rainbow Wahine (24-3, 14-2 Big West Conference) won the Big West title outright for the first time since 2016. It was the first title in head coach Robyn Ah Mow’s time at the helm of the program. But the accolades didn’t stop there.
On Tuesday morning, Ah Mow was announced as the Big West Conference Co-Coach of the Year. Ah Mow becomes the first head coach in Wahine volleyball history other than predecessor Dave Shoji to win conference coach of the year honors. Shoji previously earned the honor 15 times, seven with the Big West Conference and eight with the Western Athletic Conference, making Ah Mow’s selection just the 16th in program history.
Senior setter Norene Iosia, who erupted for 7 service aces against LBSU, capped off an incredible career by netting the Big West Conference Player of the Year. Iosia stands firm in the top 10 for every major setter statistic in program history. She is ranked 10th with 1,137 career digs, 9th with 3,080 career assists, and 4th with 135 service aces, recently passing associate coach Angelica Ljungqvist in that statistic. She also makes program history as the first UH setter to win player of the year honors in the Big West Conference. Kanoe Kamana’o, the only other Hawai’i setter to win the award, did so three times in the WAC. This also marks the 25th time that a Rainbow Wahine has finished as the top player in the conference.
Outside hitter Hanna Hellvig rounded out the UH sweep by earning the Big West Conference Freshman of the Year award. Ever since losing top hitter Jolie Rasmussen to injury, Hellvig has been asked to fill her spot in the lineup. All Hellvig did with that opportunity was lead the Rainbow Wahine with 324 kills on the season. She also had a hand in 72 total blocks, with 188 digs and 15 service aces. She nabbed the Big West Freshman of the Week five times during the 2019 season, the most any Rainbow Wahine has earned since the award’s creation in 2015.
Hellvig wasn’t the only UH freshman to earn recognition. The Swedish native was named to the BWC all-freshman team, along with middle blocker Amber Igiede. Igiede, led the fabled Manoa Roofing Company with 118 total blocks, with 19 solo. She also finished with 193 kills on a .365 hitting percentage, all while displaying an unusual versatility for her position with 39 digs, six assists, two service aces, and a double-double.
Igiede and Hellvig weren’t done collecting the hardware. The freshmen duo were both named to the conference first team, alongside Iosia. The UH floor captain’s selection made her just the seventh player all time at UH to make the all-conference first team in each of her four seasons, joining Ljungqvist, Lily Kahumoku, Kim Willoughby, Kamana’o, and Kanani Danielson.
Rounding out the ‘Bows first teamers was junior middle blocker Skyler Williams. The other leading half of the Manoa Roofing Company had a career year, surpassing career-highs with 175 kills and 100 total blocks. Her .388 hitting percentage was the highest among all qualified players in the Big West Conference.
Two ‘Bows were also named to the all-conference honorable mention list. Senior outside hitter McKenna Ross finished the season on a seven-match double-digit kill streak, netting her a career-best 197 kills. Meanwhile, versatile redshirt junior Brooke Van Sickle finished with 179 kills, 176 digs, 39 blocks, 22 assists and 19 service aces. She also racked up three double-doubles this season, despite missing a chunk of the season to injury.