UH Volleyball Comes to Molokai
The Molokai community got the opportunity to experience top notch volleyball at their doorstep last weekend, when the University of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine Volleyball team came to the island. They held clinics for youth players on Friday, and invited to the public to a practice and intra-quad scrimmage at the Molokai High gym on Saturday.
Head Coach Robyn Ah Mow-Santos, a decorated three-time Olympic volleyball player from Oahu, attended UH herself before her Olympic career and previously served as assistant coach for the Rainbow Wahine volleyball team.
“It’s great that we get to bring our girls here to experience this different culture,” she said of Molokai. “We want them to appreciate what they have but coming to Molokai is something not everyone gets to do so it’s a great thing for our girls.”
The feeling of a great opportunity was mutual, as more than 100 Molokai students in grades four through 12 came out on Friday to participate in clinics taught by the UH coaches and players.
“As long as the kids have a good time and as long as they learn one thing about volleyball or something outside of it, I am happy,” added Ah Mow-Santos.
The team’s visit was sponsored by Texaco as part of a partnership with UH Athletics and a state-wide initiative to bring the university’s sports programs to the neighbor islands, which had also been fostered previously by Chevron, said Lori-Lei Rawlins-Crivello, vice president of Rawlins Service Texaco station on Molokai. She said she was contacted by gas provider Island Energy, proposing the volleyball team’s visit to the island.
“That was a no-brainer,” said Rawlins-Crivello. “Rawlins Service would surely love to sponsor this amazing event to bring the UH Wahine Volleyball to Molokai for our youth and our community of Molokai, as these opportunities are very rare.”
It wasn’t the first time she had planned the team’s visit.
“In… 2014, we were set to have the UH Wahine volleyball team travel to Molokai to have a clinic and an intra-squad scrimmage such as this, especially since we had our very own Kalei Adolpho playing,” she said. “Unfortunately that very weekend, we had a really bad storm forcing us to cancel it entirely. Since then, we have continued to pursue this desire to make this a reality.”
Last weekend, it finally happened, and the team was able to share their skills and love of the game with the Molokai community.
Molokai roots also run within the team. Player Clare Anderson’s Molokai family helped host UH staff and coaches for the weekend, while Ah Mow-Santos also has ties to the island.
“I have been coming to Molokai for family reunions on my grandmother’s side since I was a small kid,” said the coach.
Rawlins-Crivello thanked UH staff and MHS Athletic Director Lee DeRouin for their help and cordination, as well as Racquel Dudoit of Dudoit’s Bus service, the Mikamis of Molokai Drugs and Kamoi Snack-n-Go, and The Friends of Molokai High and Intermediate School for their contributions of transportation, advertising and meals for the team.