HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The UH Wahine indoor volleyball and beach volleyball programs will merge into one program, due to the financial struggles brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Making decisions that affect so many people are not easy,” UH Athletic Director David Matlin said in a statement on Tuesday. “We have been analyzing our financial situation and looking for ways to reduce expenses and this option, as hard as it is, is one that we need to exercise at this time.”
This is not a new model, but Matlin says that in the current financial climate, it was not feasible to keep two separate coaching staffs.
Current indoor head coach, Robyn Ah Mow will oversee both teams, while former beach head coach, Jeff Hall, will be replaced by indoor associate coach, Angelica Ljungqvist as the ‘beach head coach’.
Ljungqvist will immediately take over head coaching responsibilities and she will retain Evan Silberstein as the assistant coach.
Coach Ah Mow is optimistic about the future of both programs, as she accepts the challenge of leading them both to national contender level of play.
“I am very saddened by the news and I feel for Jeff and his family,” Coach Ah Mow said in a statement. “These are unprecedented times. We will come together, embrace the challenge, and continue to build on the great work that Jeff has developed with the beach program.”
Hall has served as the head beach volleyball coach for the Rainbow Wahine for five-plus seasons before today’s realignment of programs.
This is the first sign of financial struggle, after UH lost all of their fall sports due to growing concerns over COVID-19.