Wahine open two-a-days in shape, ready to go

Photo courtesy of UH sports media relations

https://hawaiiathletics.com/news/2022/8/9/womens-volleyball-opens-fall-camp-on-tuesday.aspx

Above link to UH’s recap of Wahine’s first day of practice. The team picture shot at dawn on the campus track tells you how early they got up to do their mile run.

There’s also links to photo gallery and player interviews.

By Cindy Luis

Building a culture takes time.

It takes patience.

Those are the two biggest takeaways from Robyn Ah Mow’s first fall practice in 2017 through Tuesday’s opening of two-a-days. 

“Some say I’m getting soft,” the Hawai’i women’s volleyball coach said. “No, I’m not.”

But there was a gentler Ah Mow seen Tuesday in Gym I than the, shall we say, less-than-pleased version six seasons ago. The three-time Olympian and Wahine All-American setter does not suffer certain things lightly, the biggest of which is someone not being prepared to work hard from Day 1.

Her first official glimpse of that readiness came early during the team’s predawn mile run on the campus track. Everyone came under the time threshold that had been set on the first try, something that didn’t happen in 2017.

Asked about her observations from the morning fitness testing, she said, “First thing, they all in shape. Thank goodness for team culture. They all worked hard over the summer.

“We haven’t been able to have contact with them since May (per NCAA mandate) but they said at (Monday’s team meeting) they wanted to make sure they were ready for this practice today. They are ready.”

It’s even different from last fall where Hawai’i was trying to rebuild the culture after the Big West put women’s volleyball on a one-year hiatus due to COVID-19. That time off hurt in many ways, including a delay in expectations as well as having to relearn to be game ready and leadership skills.

The Wahine return 10 from the 20-8 team last season but did lose six, including Big West player of the year Brooke Van Sickle as one of three to graduation. The looseness of the new transfer portal also allowed for three others to find new homes (2021 freshmen hitters Martyna Leoniak, Ilayda Demirtas and Mia Johnson).

Hawai’i brought in five for 2022: freshman setter Jackie Matias (Punahou); freshman hitter Caylen Alexander (Georgia); junior DS Talia Edmonds, a transfer from Michigan State; and junior hitter Chandler Cowell (King Kekaulike), a transfer from Saint Mary’s. Paperwork is still pending on Utah transfer Kennedi Evans, a middle blocker who has been with the team for the past few weeks.

The early morning workouts through Aug. 20 will continue to help the Wahine’s body clocks as they prepare for the season-opening roadtrip to Texas A&M. Hawai’i plays the host Aggies on Aug. 26 at 6 a.m. HST followed by Pitt on Saturday at 11 a.m. HST and San Diego on Sunday at 5 a.m. HST.

It’s an ambition opening schedule and “People might be thinking I’m crazy but I like the challenge,” Ah Mow said. “The girls like the challenge and depending on how we do, it will help our RPI.”

With no coaching guidance allowed, the Wahine decided to take matters into their own hands. They told Ah Mow as much on Monday.

“They said they did a mock practice,” she told reporters on Tuesday. “I was like, wow, that’s cool.”

 

 

6 Comments

  1. Great article and glad to see you back covering Wahine Volleyball!
    It would seem that the “culture” is now a given and fortunately, the veterans are teaching the newbies the culture of being ready from the get go. Gotta feed off of Kate Lang’s exuberance and know this will be a fun season! GO BOWS!!

    • Thanks. I guess I’m sort of ready to come out of mourning. It’s been a tough seven weeks since my BF passed. I think it will be a fun season for them. Was a bit worried about MB but I think the Utah transfer will be a big help. Wouldn’t be surprised, tho, if Igiede does six rotations.

      • Just take your time and may God Bless you and your ohana. We will be waiting for you with the same enthusiasm, anticipation and welcome of your written words of the Bows!
        I’m guessing Robyn wouldn’t put Amber In for 6 rotations if she couldn’t play defense in the back row. Beach prolly helped out a lot! GO BOWS!! GO CINDY!!

        • very sweet of you. Igiede is a really good defender and I think they may use her on the 3-meter when Lang rotates to front row. Beach definitely helped her overall game and she has really nice hands.

  2. Hey Cindy, how is Anna Kiraly progressing/recovering from her medical condition? I’m hoping that she will be able to contribute this season. And great to hear that you are back in the saddle again.

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