UH alums Beijing-bound
Three former Rainbow Wahine, plus a Punahou product, are volleyball Olympians
In a word, unbelievable.
That's how Hawaii women's volleyball coach Dave Shoji described yesterday's nomination of three former Rainbow Wahine and a Punahou product to the U.S. Olympic Team.
"I think it shows you how much an influence the state of Hawaii has on the sport," he said. "It's unbelievable that four with Hawaii ties -- five counting Logan (Tom) -- are going to Beijing. I would love to go watch them."
Instead, Shoji will be at the Stan Sheriff Center on Aug. 9 when his Wahine team opens fall camp. With an 18-hour time difference, he'll already know how his former All-Americans did in their Olympic opener against Japan.
Named to the team yesterday were setter Robyn Ah Mow-Santos (1993-96), middle Heather Bown (1998-99) and outside hitter Kim Willoughby (2000-03).
Also named was setter Lindsey Berg (Punahou '98). Making her third Olympic team was Stanford's Logan Tom, who is part-Hawaiian and the daughter of the late Mel Tom, a former NFL player.
This will be the third Olympics for Ah Mow-Santos and Bown, both of whom are two-time All-Americans. Willoughby, a three-time All-American and 2003 AVCA National Player of the Year, will be making her first appearance at the Games.
Berg, an all-Big Ten performer at Minnesota, is going to the Olympics for a second time.
"I'm really glad Kim finally decided to play of for the U.S.," Shoji said. "I didn't have any doubt she could make the team, but she had to commit. I'm happy she did.
"I think for Robyn and Heather, their experience was the determining factor. The competition was very keen to make this team."
Hawaii is the only college program to have three players on the team. The roster is pending USOC approval.