HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - 2019 Big West Freshman of the Year Hanna Hellvig, will not be returning to the University of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine Volleyball team due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Head Coach Robin Ah Mow announced on monday that the outside hitter will not be returning to Manoa for her sophomore season.
“This has been a very tough decision for me to make, but with the ongoing situation and uncertainty with COVID-19 in the United States right now, it doesn’t feel safe for me to go back from the other side of the world,” Hellvig said in a statement on Monday. “I want to make it clear that my withdrawal has nothing to do with the team or the coaches.”
The Sweden native thanked UH for her time on the team and reflected on the fans who filled the Stan Sheriff Center every game.
“I am beyond thankful for the opportunity to play volleyball and represent the state of Hawai’i. I am also grateful for all of the dedicated fans who came to every single game and always supported the team.” Hellvig said. “I will miss the girls and the coaching staff a lot, and I will be cheering them on from Sweden from now on. They are great people and deserve nothing but the best!”
Coach Ah Mow understands the situation that Hellvig is facing, but will miss the impact that she had on the team.
"Hanna was a huge part of our team's success last season, but we understand her concerns and her decision," Ah Mow said in a statement. "She is obviously a very talented volleyball player, but also a great person and we wish her continued success in whatever she decides to do."
In just one season with the Wahine, Hellvig helped the team get to the NCAA regionals.
Her short career with UH ended with 193 digs, 16 assists, 15 service aces and 81 blocks. She also led the team with 348 kills, which ranked 6th in the Big West.