The University of Hawaii women's volleyball team arrived at practice Monday morning before the sun had risen on Lower Campus Road. With sleepy eyes, the Rainbow Wahine received a big wake up call.
"I walked in and was like 'Oh, we're about to get our butts kicked,' " said setter Norene Iosia.
In the gym was Robyn Ah Mow-Santos, and the message in her first practice as head coach was clear.
"I'm going to give my 100 percent, and I expect them to give 100 percent. I don't care about errors, mistakes," said the former UH All-American setter and three-time Olympian. "I just care about them coming here and working hard."
Ah Mow-Santos brings tough love and a no-nonsense attitude. It's how she was coached, and how she plans on coaching.
She watched film of the last two spring matches and what she saw was a lack of fight and energy causing her to re-evaluate all players on the roster, scholarship players included.
"If you want to stay on the team, I'm just going to be up front with you. Come in the gym and work hard," Ah Mow-Santos said. "I want to be here. If you don't give your 100 percent, who's going to get fired? I'm going to get fired, so I'm going to push you guys to the limit."
For several of the Rainbow Wahine players who had previously played under Ah Mow-Santos at UH or in club volleyball, they knew exactly what to expect.
"Getting the message again, just being refreshed with the message, kind of gives us a sense of urgency and what is expected from everyone," said senior libero Savanah Kahakai. "As long as you're doing what is told and you're doing it with pride and you're giving it your all, then that's all she can ask for."
Ah Mow-Santos is still in the process of figuring out her staff. Kaleo Baxter and Jeff Hall were by her side Monday at practice. She'll return to Las Vegas after spring practice wraps up with hopes of moving to O'ahu full-time around mid-May. When she does, the Rainbow Wahine will hit the ground running.
"I'm excited she's here. We're going to be ten times better. Tough love," said Iosia. "Exactly what we needed."
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