HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - This Friday, the Rainbow Wahine volleyball team will say aloha to seven seniors in their final home game of the season at Stan Sheriff Center.
Tita Akiu, Casey Castillo, Angel Gaskin, McKenna Granato, Sarah Liva, Faith Ma'afala and Natasha Burns, who is a fourth year junior graduating this school year, will each play their final game as a member of the Wahine.
While there will be post-match celebrations on the court in front of their fans, the best way that head coach Robyn Ah Mow-Santos can think of saying goodbye to her seniors is ending the regular season with a win.
“I’m hoping that the girls come out, especially the seniors,” she said. “And like I said, this is gonna be maybe the last two games you’ll ever play in the Stan Sheriff. So just enjoy it and come out fighting.”
Despite having one of the premier home crowd advantages in the country, the Wahine haven’t been as dominate at the Stan Sheriff Center this season as they would’ve liked. With a 9-6 record at home, the Wahine are looking to finish their season with wins over UC Irvine on Thursday and senior night on Friday against UC Davis.
With an outside shot at receiving a bid for the NCAA Tournament, there is still a lot for the players to play for. But because it’s the last homestand of the season, it’s hard for some of the seniors to not put things in perspective.
“It’s amazing...just being able to be an athlete of four years,” said senior libero Tita Akiu, who transferred to Manoa for her senior season. “It’s something that I’ll remember forever. Me and Sarah (Liva) have talked about it like, even though we haven’t been here for as long as the other seniors have, they made us feel at like we have. And that’s something we can appreciate for as long as we can remember it.”
A senior who has been around the program for the duration of her career is outside hitter McKenna Granato, who leaves behind a legacy as one of the program’s elite outside hitters as one of just 20 Rainbow Wahine in history to record over 1,000 career kills.
“I don’t know much about my legacy, but just like overall the past four years, just being a part of this program is just such an honor and being able to experience being a student-athlete is just an amazing experience. You learn so much and make so (many) relationships with people.”
The ‘Bows will take on UC Davis this Thursday at the Stan Sheriff Center. First serve is set for 7 p.m. HT. Senior night for Hawaii will take place on Friday, November 17th against UC Irvine. First serve is set for 7 p.m. HT.