‘Bows volleyball crowned 2021 National Champions, sweeps BYU in title match

Updated: May. 8, 2021 at 9:34 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Celebration is well underway in Columbus, Ohio — the Rainbow Warriors volleyball team was crowned National Champions, in what was only their second match in front of Fans this year, sweeping arch rival BYU to bring a title to the fans that stuck with the ‘Bows through thick and thin.

“Not only is this win for the fans of Hawaii, but it is because of the fans of Hawaii.” UH head coach Charlie Wade said following the win.

It was a statement victory for coach Wade and company, downing the Cougs in front of a small faction of Warrior Nation that got to watch their first live match in over a year — and the ‘Bows did not disappoint.

“We just cannot believe it, we were just like Ahhhh!” UH fan Dara Young told Hawaii News Now. “You know we just love being there, we love yelling with the guys, we love clapping along with them and I think they really fed off of our energy.”

Dara Young and a group of UH super fans made the long trip to the Covelli Center on the campus of The Ohio State University to witness the Rainbow Warriors claim the 2021 National Title in person.

An experience made sweeter taking it from BYU, a storied rivalry that spans generations — most recently in 2020 — BYU and the ‘Bows would split the series in front of a packed Stan Sheriff Center, right before COVID-19 put the world on pause.

We were there for the March 6th, 2020 game against BYU, the five set game, which was the last game with fans and we were like okay here we go with BYU again!” Young said. “They said were gonna win not only for us, but for the state and the fans and the University of Hawaii and I think they did it.”

Tonight’s historic win also marked “Aloha ball” for a group of seniors that helped change the culture of UH volleyball — all choosing to return for an extra year to get a title for the 808.

“It represents the cumulative process of us staying back,” Senior Colton Cowell said. “Just a deep deep desire to represent the people that have supported us for 5 and 6 years.”

The Rainbow Warriors return to Honolulu Sunday afternoon, with UH holding a drive-through celebration at 3:30 p.m. at UH lower campus near the Stan Sheriff Center, fans enter through Dole Street — wave to the 2021 National Champs, but due to COVID-19 protocols the team cannot accept lei.

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