HONOLULU—University of Hawai’i head coach Scott Wong announced his 2014 recruiting class which includes three prep All-Americans, an international talent and a seasoned Division I transfer from Notre Dame. Sammi Brown, Gianna Guinasso, Hi’ilawe Huddleston, Ka’iwi Schucht and Lara Schrieber have committed to play for the Rainbow Wahine next season and should bolster what should already be a strong squad that finished third nationally last season.
“I’m extremely excited about our 2014 class of SandBows,” Wong said. “The group is diverse in experience and type of play, but the one thing that all five have in common is their desire to be the best. The addition of this group—along with our new additions to the indoor team—creates a team that I believe will consistently compete for championships.”
Guinasso, Huddleston and Schucht all hail from Southern California and earlier this spring were named AVCA All-Americans. Guniasso was one of just four elite players placed on the inaugural AVCA High School All-American Sand Volleyball Team, while Huddleston and Schucht gained honorable mention.
Guinasso (Huntington Beach HS/Huntington Beach, Calif.), is one of the top sand players in Southern California. She won gold medals in the AAU Best of the Beach and the AAU Junior National Volleyball Championships while winning the AAU Southern Pacific (California) District Championship. She also medaled in the AAU Pan Pacific Championships and the AAU Junior California Open (regional) and was selected to represent the U.S. in the International Children’s Games (ICG).
Meanwhile, Huddleston (Rancho Bernardo HS/San Diego, Calif.) and Schucht (Serra HS/Escondido, Calif.) are cousins who have paired up as one of the top junior tandems on the West Coast. The pair captured the U18 Division of the 2014 SoCal Open that qualified them for the USAV Junior Beach Tour National Championships. The pair, who play for the 692 Beach Volleyball Club, also captured the Ocean Beach U16 Division last fall and placed sixth in the BVCA Nationals last summer.
UH also gets a seasoned volleyball prospect in Brown, who comes to UH after a four-year career at Notre Dame. The Santa Barbara native displayed her versatility throughout her career, lining up at setter, right side hitter and defensive specialist for the Fighting Irish. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame she was a member of USA Girls Youth National Beach Training Team and played in the 2009 World Championships with the USA U21 Youth National Beach Volleyball Team. Brown, who has one year of eligibility with the Rainbow Wahine, has remained active on the beach volleyball scene and has even teamed up with UH junior and fellow Santa Barbara native Katie Spieler in various California Beach Volleyball Association tournaments.
Schrieber will arrive at UH as the program’s first-ever international recruit. A member of the German Beach Volleyball Junior National Team, she was a silver medalist at the 2012 FIVB U18 Youth European Championships and claimed fourth at the 2013 championships. Schrieber and her partner Nadja Glenzke recently competed in the 2014 FIVB U21 World Beach Championships, going a perfect 3-0 in pool play before being knocked out in the round of 16.
The Rainbow Wahine posted a 20-4 overall record this past season and placed third at the AVCA Sand Volleyball Nationals in Gulf Shores, Ala. UH returns the bulk of last year’s squad in 2015, including three All-Americans in Spieler, Nikki Taylor and Brittany Tiegs.