HONOLULU – University of Hawai’i women’s volleyball head coach Robyn Ah Mow-Santos announced the hiring of Angelica Ljungqvist – her former Rainbow Wahine teammate – as assistant coach. In addition, current assistant Kaleo Baxter will remain with the program on Ah Mow-Santos’ inaugural staff.
“I am beyond excited in Angelica’s return to Hawai’i and as a member of my first staff!” exclaims Ah Mow-Santos. “She knows what it means to play for and represent the State of Hawai’i, and what it feels like to put on a Rainbow Wahine jersey and play in front of our amazing fans. With her extensive international experience, including playing on both the Swedish national indoor and beach teams, I believe her knowledge of the game will make an immediate impact on our young players—especially our middles. Her extensive international contacts will help us in recruiting and her high academic standards will also be of great value to our student-athletes. Ultimately, Angelica will be a great role model for all of our players.”
Athletics Director David Matlin also announced associate coach Jeff Hall, whose duties included beach volleyball head coach, will transition solely to the beach program. “Jeff and his staff have done a outstanding job with our beach volleyball program,” says Matlin. “We are excited that he will be able to dedicate 100% of his efforts to this nationally competitive team”
Ljungqvist, who prefers the proper Swedish spelling of her surname, was UH’s first four-time All-American and is a UH Sports Circle of Honor inductee. She is considered the one of the most decorated women’s volleyball players in program history and during her senior year, she was named the AVCA and Volleyball Magazine National Player of the Year and was the recipient of the Honda Award, Stan Bates Award, and Jack Bonham Award.
Along with Ah Mow-Santos, they helped the Rainbow Wahine to a runner-up finish at the 1996 NCAA Championship and a 66-4 record during their final two seasons. A two-time conference player of the year, Ljungqvist still ranks among the program’s leaders in career kills (1,570), hitting percentage (.375), service aces (133), and blocks (733). She was also a two-time Academic All-American.
Ljungqvist was a member of the Swedish Indoor National Team from 1992-2006 in addition to the Swedish Beach National Team from 2002-03 and 2012-14. She played professional indoor throughout Europe, Brazil, and Japan and on the beach in the FIVB World Tour.
For the past six years, Ljungqvist coached with the Vallentuna Volleyball Club while completing her law degree from Stockholm University. The club participated in the second highest division in Sweden and captured the title in consecutive years from 2012-13 and ’13-14. The junior girls took first place in a pair of major tournaments in Sweden – 2012 Youth Grand Prix and 2014 Swedish Nationals.
Ljungqvist also served as a color commentator in indoor and beach volleyball for Swedish television at the Olympic Games in Beijing and London. She also was as a member of the board for the Swedish Volleyball Federation from 2012-14.