HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In the end, Saturday’s NCAA Tournament title game was a victory for Long Beach State over the Rainbow Warriors. But that doesn’t mean Hawaii didn’t have any winners on the night.
With the Hawaiian flag draped over his shoulder like a cape, Ethan Siegfried celebrated his NCAA national championship victory Saturday night with his friends and family on the court.
Siegfried, Long Beach State’s starting outside hitter, was born and raised in Hawaii. A former Punahou stand out in volleyball, paddling and kayaking, Siegfried also has two national title under his belt through his collegiate career as a 49er.
But even though it was a moment worth celebrating, he couldn’t help but have mixed feelings.
“Outside of the game, off the court, it might be a bit bittersweet,” Siegfried said. “But when you’re on the court on your side of the net, you’re just with your boys. And that’s all it is. Nothing against (Hawaii), they’re a great team. Love those guys, I know a lot of those guys and have played with them in other tournaments. They’re great players.”
Going to school thousands of miles away from Honolulu has its pros and cons. But even though his schedule as a student-athlete makes it difficult to go home throughout the year, Siegfried always makes time to return home during the summer.
“I love representing back home,” Siegfried said. “Born and raised, I’m going to (represent) it until the day I die, all the time. I’m bleeding Hawaii. It’s tough playing against Hawaii; hard to be their rival.”