HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - With the announcement of the 2021 UH beach volleyball schedule on Tuesday, first-year head coach Angelica Ljungqvist gets a little closer to making her debut as the new leader of the BeachBows.
Beach volleyball was one of the casualties to UH Athletics’ financial struggles due to COVID-19, letting go of long-time head coach Jeff Hall and bringing both indoor and beach volleyball under one coaching staff, with indoor head coach Robyn Ah Mow overseeing both programs, while naming indoor assistant Ljungqvist as the head coach of the beach team.
“It was not my plan and I obviously didn’t know coming to Hawaii that I would be coaching beach volleyball.” Coach Ljungqvist told reporters. “So to answer that in short, no, this position was not on my mind, but the situation happened and I was asked to do this and I’m happy to be here.”
The only 4-year All-American in Wahine volleyball history, Ljungqvist followed up her historic career in Manoa with a long professional career both indoor and in the sand, a feeling the Swede is happy to feel again as she coaches up the BeachBows.
“It’s very special and it’s been very nice for me to actually get my feet out on the sand again, it’s been some years.” Coach Ljungqvist said. “I’ve really enjoyed it, they are a great group of girls that we get to work with.”
Widely considered as one of the most decorated player in UH history, Ljungqvist knows the importance of a winning culture and hopes to continue that with her new role as head coach.
“First of all, the program has such a great tradition and has obviously been to the finals every year since it became an NCAA sport.” Coach Ljungqvist said. “Beach volleyball is a big part of our Hawaiian culture over here, everyone is always playing down at queens and different places around the island, we even used to do that back in the day too during our college days.”
Despite the downsizing of the UH beach program, coach Ljungqvist is encouraged by the growth of beach volleyball as a collegiate sport.
“I’m very excited about the development that the sport has taken in the fact that it’s a growing NCAA sport, I think it’s great.” Coach Ljungqvist said. “I hope we can grow bigger support fro our team, our program here in the state of Hawaii, hoping to make the Ching complex our home arena, really fill that place up and make it a happening event.”
Coach Ljungqvist and the BeachBows open the season on the road against UC Davis and Stanford — those matches set for March 22nd.