An exciting top-five men’s volleyball matchup between Hawaii and Lewis — eventually won in four sets by the No. 1 Rainbow Warriors — took an interesting turn between the first and second sets on Friday at Romeoville, Ill.
With the Flyers taking a 1-0 set lead — the first set taken from UH all season — the Lewis student broadcasting team, apparently not realizing its microphones were still hot, went on a questionable tangent, led by the play-by-play man.
He said: “I can’t believe they’re called the Rainbow Warriors, to be honest. That’s the worst name I’ve ever heard of any team, in the history of human existence.”
@LewisMVBall thanks for the live stream…
Oh btw, maybe next time learn how to pronounce someone’s name. And don’t forget to know if the mic is hot… pic.twitter.com/fiBSdoA3ov
— Keegan Ohta (@ClutchKeyGG) January 18, 2020
Lewis athletics apologized on Twitter after the match.
2/2 and reminded them that even though they were on break on the radio side that there microphones were still hot. This a learning experience for our students. Please accept our sincere apologies for this unfortunate incident.
— Lewis Athletics ✈️ (@LewisFlyers) January 18, 2020
UPDATE: The student broadcasters themselves apologized during Lewis’ match on Saturday.
— Lewis Athletics ✈️ (@LewisFlyers) January 19, 2020
Some fans took to social media to express their displeasure.
Don’t follow an apology with an excuse. Students shouldn’t have said that in the first place. If they aspire to be media members in the future they need to understand they are no longer fans and disrespecting the opposing team is unacceptable.
— Flashy (@flashdash007) January 18, 2020
UPDATE: The Lewis men’s volleyball team’s Twitter account also offered an olive branch.
This was an unfortunate mistake and we're sorry that this ruined a great match between two very good programs. We realize we can offer apologies for what occurred and realize that it'll never be enough. We meant no disrespect to your team or fanbase.
— Lewis Men's V-Ball (@LewisMVBall) January 18, 2020
The broadcast itself was benign (and even sometimes entertaining) otherwise, with some mispronunciations of “Parapunov” and other Rainbow Warriors.
The tenor of the broadcast was more subdued over the final three sets, but that likely had more to do with UH swinging a mid-match turnaround and taking each of those frames with some clutch performances from Rado Parapunov, Chaz Galloway, Patrick Gasman, Brett Sheward and others.