Rainbow Warrior volleyball stars shine bright on & off the court
What they do on the court is something special as UH men's volleyball senior stand outs Joe Worsley and Stijn Van Tilburg are both reigning All Americans and well on their way to doing it again this season. When they are not chasing a National Championship, both use their spare time to inspire keiki.
What they do on the court is something special as UH men's volleyball senior stand outs Joe Worsley and Stijn van Tilburg are both reigning All Americans and well on their way to doing it again this season. When they are not chasing a National Championship, both use their spare time to coach keiki from across the island.
When you're the star players on the No. 1 men's volleyball team in the country, people will take notice. But walking into a room full of young volleyball players can exaggerate it.
"Like a celebrity walks in the room," Leiana Leong said when describing the presence of the 2019 Rainbow Warriors.
"I would think that if you're a setter and Joe Worsley comes in and starts talking to you, you all of a sudden have some pretty big ears, and if you're a position player and Stijn van Tilburg walks in the gym," Hawaii men's volleyball head coach Charlie Wade said.
Their spare time is very limited as of course on the court they are leading the Rainbow Warriors to a perfect 23-0 record and then have to attend class. But that has not stopped these guys from giving back, to teach the next generation of local talent throughout Honolulu.
"A lot of these kids are looking up so much to you and sometimes you're almost a little taking a step back and think wow they really are doing anything you say," Stijn van Tilburg said.
For senior setter Joe Worsley teaching is in his blood.
"My family we own and run a volleyball club. That's kind of our lifestyle I am used to it. I just love helping and giving back because they are super fun to work with," Joe Worsley said.
You can see his (Joe's) passion and those able to soak it in can feel his passion.
"Thank you for taking this time to come and coach us and give us advice," Heipua Tautuaa, a student at Waianae High School said.
Van Tilburg gets the same reaction his opponents do on the court.
"I remember being like super scared of him because he is really tall and he could hit amazingly, it was so cool," said Samantha Trevino, a student out of 'Iolani School.
The intimidation lasts about a second when they see his (Stijn's) big smile.
"He doesn't yell at us a lot, but he wants us to be the best that we can and wants us to push ourselves to get better," said Caitlyn Murata, a student at 'Iolani School.
The players Stijn and Joe coach give the love right back. A few even made cut-out signs of the UH player's faces that can be seen waving around in the crowd during matches.
"I made their faces, got their attention while they were playing so they kind of just saw their own face in the stands. They are like what are we doing right now we're on the court right now," Leong said, a player out of Maryknoll School.
"(They) made signs and it was super cute, so it's been fun. You look up and it's awesome to get all that support," Tilburg said.
Of course it sometimes comes with a little school girl crush.
"They are always interested in what guys are single," Worsley added.
See them blushing a lot?
"Yep, more with the other guys, with me I kind of blend in with everybody, the other guys they are more into," Worsley said.
The top-ranked Rainbow Warrior volleyball team celebrates "senior night" this Saturday against No. 3 UC Santa Barbara. Game time at the Stan Sheriff Center is set for 7:00 p.m.