Jolie Rasmussen’s long-awaited return gives the Wahine volleyball team a boost
At 18-4 it was already deafening. When a Northern Colorado mis-hit into the net made it 19-4 Hawaii, it was eardrum-splitting. This wasn’t six points from aloha ball — as much as it felt like it.
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At 18-4 it was already deafening. When a Northern Colorado mis-hit into the net made it 19-4 Hawaii, it was eardrum-splitting.
This wasn’t six points from aloha ball — as much as it felt like it.
This was a match tied at one set each, in the first round of the NCAA tournament. But everyone knew it was over.
The final was 26-24, 24-26, 25-8, 25-15.
Is it possible to fire up a team that is already stoked?
Well, judging from the lift Jolie Rasmussen gave the University of Hawaii women’s volleyball team the answer is a definite yes.
Rasmussen’s entrance to start the third set fired up UH. And it didn’t take long for it to break the Bears.
She hadn’t played due to injury since Sept. 12. But the Wahine kill leader early in the season put down two quick ones to get Hawaii started in the third with a 4-2 lead. And then they just pulled farther and farther away.
“Very exciting. Super happy to be back,” Rasmussen said. “This team has supported me this whole journey.”
But, first, how did we get here?
Hawaii won the first set 26-24 when a video review at 24-all overturned what was originally ruled a net violation by UH.
In another close set, UH went up 15-13 in the second. But Northern Colorado refused to go away, and Lauren Hinrichs blasted the winning kill as the Bears took this one by the same 26-24 score.
That’s when coach Robyn Ah Mow decided to play the ace hidden up her sweatshirt sleeve — actually, the one standing with her teammates, ready for her first game action in nearly three months.
After those first two kills, Rasmussen’s mere presence turned things up yet another notch when that didn’t seem possible.
Sky Williams was already dominating, 5-for-5 in the first two sets, and they both said that made things easier for Rasmussen.
Northern Colorado flubbed a Hawaii serve, and UH was up 10-3. That’s when you began to get the feeling this one was over.
By that time, Rasmussen was standing 15 feet away from the backline, cheering the point with the reserves.
She was there, too, next to Williams, both cheering wildly as the match officially ended after the next set.
“We’re whole again,” Ah Mow said. “We’re starting our second season and we’re whole. Obviously everybody’s overjoyed to have her back.”
The coach picked the right time to show her team is “whole” again.
Rasmussen finished with just four kills in 13 swings. But Northern Colorado was never the same after those first two.