The Hawaii women’s volleyball indoor team has added a transfer to its 2018 roster in former Texas Tech defensive specialist/libero Reyn ‘Tita’ Akiu. A senior in the fall of 2018, Akiu will have one year left of play and should be immediately eligible.
The move represents a homecoming for Akiu, who came to Texas Tech originally out of Honolulu, Hawaii where she attended Kamehameha Schools – Kapalama Campus. At the prep level, she was a 2013 All-State Honorable Mention pick and a three-year varsity starter.
Akiu immediately made an impact with the Red Raiders as a true freshman in 2015 and appeared in all 30 matches. That progressed to 2016 when she became the team’s starting libero for all 31 matches and posted the second-most digs in one season in Texas Tech history with 547. Her performance and 4.91 digs per set earned her a spot on the All-Big 12 Second Team.
This past season as a junior, Akiu suffered a knee injury that stunted the beginning of Big 12 play for her. Still, she battled through the pain for 11 starts and 16 matches as the team’s libero. In total, she logged 373 digs (3.52 per set) and 16 aces (0.15 per set) on a team that went 19-15 (4-12 Big 12) and made it to the NIVC Championship match.
The loss leaves Texas Tech with three players who can play the defensive specialist/libero role plus any fall additions for the team.
Hawaii went 20-8 in 2017, going 14-2 in the Big West before making the NCAA Tournament. That roster featured five defensive specialists/liberos, but three were seniors, leading to the need for a player like Akiu to join the roster. She won’t be totally new to her fellow teammates either, as she joined McKenna Granato and Norene Iosia at the U.S. Women’s National Team Open Volleyball tryouts back in March.