HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Rainbow Warrior team didn’t finish their 2019 campaign as national champions, but they earned a hero’s welcome at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport all the same.
In what was an emotional journey for this year’s squad, they can find solace in the fact that they brought sold out crowds back to the Stan Sheriff Center, rallied the local community, set numerous program and NCAA records and last but not least, developed a bond with each other and with the state of Hawaii that will live on for decades to come.
"These guys mean everything to us and hopefully we’ll see them for the rest of our lives and man, it’s so special and you’re never going to get that anywhere else in the world,” said senior outside hitter Stijn van Tilburg.
While van Tilburg’s career as a Warrior has come to an end, his legacy -- as well as the rest of this senior class -- will live on through his teammates, especially Colten Cowell.
“Those are the guys (the seniors) that I entered this program with and they’re going to be some of my best friends for life and it means a lot for me when their collegiate careers come to an end,” Cowell said.