The coaching change for the University of Hawaii Women’s volleyball program was a bittersweet one for Wahine players.
Some said when they heard the news they started crying. They weren’t tears of sadness over Coach Dave Shoji leaving, but instead ones of happiness over the announcement of new head coach Robyn Ah Mow-Santos.
On one hand, they lose one of the game’s great coaches.
“It is a huge honor to say we were coached by Dave, one of the most of the most successful coaches in the sport,” said Kalei Greeley, a Wahine Outside Hitter.
One the other, the team will welcome back a well-liked coach in Ah Mow-Santos.
“She’s really close to the girls, and we see her as a strong female figure,” said Emily Maglio, a Wahine Middle Blocker.
So it may come as no surprise to hear the team’s reaction to the news.
“Everyone was ecstatic and in disbelief because they were so excited. Some of girls had her as a coach and they know what she can bring to the program. They’re really excited about next season and our potential with her as our coach,” said Greeley.
What Ah Mow-Santos brings is a passion for the game and, just as important, for the athletes themselves.
“You can tell how much she loves volleyball by how much she cares about each and everyone of us in every aspect as an athlete and student,” said Maglio.
“The fact she relates and cares about players is a really good characteristic she has,” added Greeley.
Players like the fact the former Olympian knows firsthand the struggles student-athletes face both on the court and off.
The University’s other head volleyball coach, also sees Ah Mow-Santos as a great pick to lead the Wahine team.
“Robyn is a strong leader and has a great volleyball mind. She’s going to be a great head coach,” said Charlie Wade, UH Men’s Volleyball Coach.
While it remains to be seen how well she will do, the announcement ended some of the current uncertainty regarding the Wahine program.
“Now that we know who the new coach will be, it puts us at ease and we can focus on training for next season,” said Greeley.
Athletes said Ah Mow Santos pushes players to perform their best, requiring them to stay on their toes, while paying attention to every detail of the game. So current Wahine players are now gearing up for all the hard work ahead.