Senior Heather Boyan, expected to be part of Hawaii’s No. 1 pairs team for beach volleyball this year, will miss the season after suffering serious injuries in a fall Saturday while hiking on the Ka’au Crater trail in Palolo Valley.
Boyan was airlifted Saturday afternoon and remains hospitalized at The Queen’s Medical Center in stable condition. Health privacy laws do not allow for details of her injuries to be released, but their severity will keep the Munster, Ind., native in the hospital for at least the next few days.
Boyan was to team with All-American Katie Spieler at No. 1 when the third-ranked Rainbow Wahine open the season this weekend at the Pepperdine Kickoff Tournament at Zuma Beach, Calif. Spieler, playing as a graduate student, now will partner with sophomore Lara Schreiber at the No. 2 flight.
Moving to No. 1 will be junior All-American Nikki Taylor and junior Mikayla Tucker.
Boyan, who played four seasons of indoor volleyball at Western Kentucky, was 18-9 last spring as a graduate student, playing with various partners at No. 4 and No. 5. A GoFundMe.com page is scheduled to be launched shortly to help offset medical expenses.
Hawaii opens Saturday with dual matches against defending national champion and top-ranked USC, and No. 7 UCLA. The SandBows finish out the event Sunday with host Pepperdine, ranked No. 2, and No. 4 Long Beach State.
This is the inaugural season for Big West volleyball, as well as the first year the NCAA is sponsoring the sport after four years under the AVCA aegis.