Hawai’i Celebrate Five Decades of Rainbow Wahine Volleyball


HONOLULU—The University of Hawai’i celebrated five decades of Rainbow Wahine volleyball as the ‘Bows renewed their annual Alumnae Game on Friday night at the SimpliFi Arena at the Stan Sheriff Center. Players representing teams from 1972-2021 were in attendance. After the Alumnae Game, the current Rainbow Wahine and the Alums went head-to-head in five skill competitions which was followed by a Green/White scrimmage to cap off the festivities.

After a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19, the re-vamped Alumnae Game made its return as 34 former Rainbow Wahine participated in the event. The Alumnae’s White Team won two sets over the Green Team, 25-15, 15-6.

The winning White Team then played a bonus set against the current UH coaching staff plus alumna Courtney Lelepali. The coaches prevailed, 25-18.

After the Alumnae’s three sets, a new wrinkle was added this year with several skill competitions. In each challenge, two current varsity members battled against each other, then the alumnae went against each other. The two winners faced off head-to-head to determine the champion of each competition. In the “Setting to Target” challenge, alumna Dani Mafua Santos edged out current Wahine Kate Long, 5-4. Alumna Savannah Kahakai won 4-0 in a “High Ball Out-of-System” competition with Talia Edmonds. Current Rainbow Wahine Riley Wagoner won the “Serve and Pass to Target” contest with Tayli Ikenaga, 11-6 against alumna McKenna Ross. Later, Kahakai came back to win the “Serving Location” competition over Kendra Him, 33-31. In the final challenge, Amber Igiede, Tayli IkenagaLang and Edmonds combined to edge out the alumnae team of Kalei Adolpho, Dani Mafua, Janelle Gong and Bailey Choy, 6-4 in a “1 vs. 1 commit blocking and defense” competition.

In the Green/White scrimmage between the current varsity team, the White team, led by Igiede’s 12 kills, prevailed, 25-22, 15-13. The Green Team’s Riley Wagoner posted nine kills in the loss. Making her first appearance in front of the hometown fans was middle blocker Kennedy Evans who was in on a couple blocks and three kills. All 12 players suited played the entire two sets.

This was the Rainbow Wahine’s bye week. Next week, the ‘Bows begin defense of their back-to-back Big West titles against UC Davis on Friday, Sept. 23 and UC Riverside on Saturday, Sept. 24. Both matches are slated to start at 7:00 pm.

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