Hawaii water polo: Misfortune strikes UH; Cal downs Rainbow Wahine in NCAA quarterfinals

Irene Gonzalez defended against UC Irvine in the 2019 Big West championship match in April. / Photo courtesy John Fajardo, Big West Conference

UPDATE: Hawaii got off to a strong start and led California by two goals, and UH was tied with the Golden Bears at halftime, but the Pac-12 school dominated the second half to swim away with a 17-13 quarterfinal win over UH at Stanford on Friday afternoon.

The fourth-seeded Golden Bears, who improved to 3-1 against Hawaii this season — 3-0 on the mainland — rattled off five straight goals spanning the third and fourth quarters once UH got within 12-11 on a goal by Alba Bonamusa-Boix.

Elyse Lemay-Lavoie scored a career-high-tying six goals to led the Rainbow Wahine (18-6). UH fell to 4-2 all-time in its first game of NCAA women’s water polo tournaments.


Ahead of just the sixth NCAA women’s water polo tournament appearance in Hawaii program history, the Rainbow Wahine were dealt a nightmare setback on Wednesday night in the Bay Area.

While UH ate dinner as a team at a local restaurant, two vans containing the team’s equipment were broken into and looted in a nearby parking lot. Uniforms, passports and laptops were among the items stolen.

ABC7 in the Bay Area did a news report on the theft.

Most urgently, UH’s game caps and uniforms were lost in the theft of numerous backpacks. But Shari Smart, the first varsity coach in program history, was making her way up to the tournament and was able to bring replacement gear ahead of UH’s scheduled match against No. 4 California at 10:45 a.m. (Hawaii time) Friday at Stanford, said a UH spokesman traveling with the team.

“They’ll be fine with equipment for the game,” he said.

The match will be live streamed on NCAA.com.

As for missing passports for the team made up heavily of international players, “The administration’s working with people in the proper channels to get it sorted out,” the athletic department spokesman, Gavin Nevill, said.

Head coach Maureen Cole helped calm the team, he said.

UH athletic director David Matlin told ABC7 the value of the lost goods was between $5,000 and $10,000. He told the station, “The good thing is no one got hurt. I mean, this could be so much worse. These are things that are all replaceable. And well work on what we can do to try to replace it.”

The team held its composure for the pre-tournament banquet Thursday night.

This post will be updated with the result of the match against Cal.


  1. H-Man May 10, 2019 7:57 am

    Put this aside and just beat Cal. Go Wahine !!!

  2. iGrokSpock May 10, 2019 9:21 am

    It might be just me, but I’d keep my passport with me. Hope that this can be resolved quickly for the team members.

  3. 808 May 10, 2019 12:47 pm

    My car was broken into years ago. Ever since then, I try not to leave anything valuable in any car that I’m driving. They were already facing an uphill battle in
    the tournament thst is usually dominated by Pac12 teams. Tough break. But they did well against Cal and never gave up. One day Mo and the team will break through.

  4. hapahaoleboy May 10, 2019 1:32 pm

    Coming from Hawaii, where smash and grabs — especially of obvious rental vehicles — are all too common, it’s ridiculous that they left all that gear and personal effects in those vans unattended.

Comments are closed.