The University of Hawaiʻi Rainbow Wahine volleyball team had an incredible run to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Women’s Volleyball National Championship, ultimately ending their season in the Des Moines Regional final against Minnesota.
The team’s sportsmanship and passion really made an impression on mainland fans and demonstrated the aloha spirit that unites teammates and spectators alike. Volleyball fans were also impressed with the energy and enthusiasm of the University of Hawaiʻi Band and cheerleaders.
Building a new legion of Iowa fans
- I just wanted to take a moment to congratulate the University of Hawaiʻi on having a great volleyball season. I know you were hoping to continue playing and reach the Final Four in Omaha, but there’s no shame in losing to Minnesota, as they are a quality team. I honestly didn’t know much about your team before you arrived in Des Moines, but I’m definitely aware now and am a fan.
Living here in Iowa, we’re surrounded by many quality women’s volleyball teams in both the Big 12, and Big Ten, so I’m well-accustomed to watching these teams play in-person and on television. But I was really impressed with how your team played, so it was easy to cheer for the “Bows” while sitting in the stands at Wells Fargo Arena. In particular, the way your team dismantled Penn State was a pleasure to watch…great blocking, gritty defense, great middle play, good rallies, etc. made for a fun evening of volleyball and something to talk about with my fellow volleyball fans.
So I want to thank you (and the team) for representing your school so well this past weekend and playing a key part in making the Des Moines regional a great weekend of quality volleyball. I know the outcome wasn’t what you were hoping for, but you had a great season and, in my opinion, gained a whole new legion of fans here on the mainland!
- I just wanted to commend you and your volleyball program on the all around experience they gave to local residents like myself in Des Moines. The pep band was amazing, the cheerleaders interacted with fans throughout, even going into the stands and coach Shoji is a first class man. Kudos to you and your department.
- It’s safe to say that #7 Hawaiʻi looked like underdogs, but aside from that enticement to root for them, the piece de resistance was that Hawaiʻi brought their pep band and cheerleaders!!! Seriously!! And that band was pumped! They pounded out the theme from Hawaiʻi Five-O, the cheerleaders did gasp-enducing lifts—and guess what Hawaii’s teams are called? Rainbows!! How can you not love that? The men are the Rainbow Warriors and the women are the Rainbow Wahine, and they’re cheered on with “Go Bows.”
And they won!! They stunned Penn State in straight sets!! Yay Rainbows.
We’re going back tonight to watch the regional finals between #2 Minnesota and the Rainbows. Sorry, northern neighbors, I’m rooting for the Bows.
—From Kelly Sargent’s blog, “Hey look, something shiny”