Beach volleyball in Hawaii earns AVCA and Big West honors

The Hawaii beach volleyball team is fully loaded for the NCAA Tournament with conference and national postseason honors.

On the eve of their first-round game against Loyola Marymount in Gulf Shores, Ala., the Rainbow Wahine received a number of awards from the American Volleyball Coaches Association and the Big West Conference.

UH's top pair of Jaime Santer and Alana Embry were named to the AVCA All-America second team after going 24-11 in 2024. Santer of Toronto and Embry of Poway, Calif., were 13thTh and 14Th All-American in program history. The youngest were Brooke Van Sickle and Kaylee Glagau.

Additionally, UH pairs ranked Nos. 4 and 5, Riley Waggoner/Sydney Amiatu and Anna Maidment/Sydney Miller, received AVCA Top Flight status. To be eligible, a couple must play in at least 15 doubles matches on this flight and win 75% of their matches on this flight.

Alana Embry left and Jaime Santer received second-team All-America honors. (Spectrum News/Brian McInnis)

Wagoner, of Dublin, Ohio, and Amiatu, of Oceanside, Calif., took a 21-6 lead in the fourth flight, including the game against Long Beach State for the Big West championship.

Maidment, of Winnipeg, Canada, and Miller, of San Diego, California, posted a 16-4 record in the fifth flight and also competed in the third flight in recent weeks.

Big West postseason honors were also announced Thursday, with third-year program coach Evan Silberstein named BWC Assistant Coach of the Year for the second time.

Silberstein promoted the “fail fast, fail forward” mantra throughout the season so the team could grow from its early setbacks. UH started 0-5 with a winless weekend at the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Beach Classic in February, a sequence that included a loss to LMU.

“Even leading up to the Big West (championship), we talked to them about three things,” Silberstein said. “Connect…calm…and stay curious. I think that element of curiosity and adaptability has been really helpful for us. Living in the high-pressure moments really worked and put us in a position for success. We’re just thrilled with everything that’s happened so far.”

Santer/Embry and Waggoner/Amiatu were named to the All-BWC first team, while Maidment/Miller and Pani Napoleon/Glagau received honorable mentions.

Cal Poly's Todd Rogers was the BWC's other assistant coach of the year.

Ninth-seeded UH (24-11) will face eighth-seeded LMU (27-13) in the third straight NCAA Tournament, which begins Friday at 7 a.m. Hawaii time.

“We are prepared, we are hungry,” Napoleon told Hawaii media before the team left for Alabama this week. “Honestly, we’re glad we’re playing against them again because it gives us another chance to get revenge.”

Evan Silberstein, center, was named Big West Coach of the Year for the second time. (Spectrum News/Brian McInnis)

Brian McInnis covers the state's sports scene for Spectrum News Hawaii. He can be reached at [email protected].

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