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Fan-tastic to be back: Vulcans backers bask in sun, live competition

 While hiding from the sun under colorful umbrellas, fans were finally welcomed back to the University of Hawaii at Hilo for a women’s soccer match against Concordia-Irvine.

Beginning this week, UH-Hilo athletics is allowing 500 fully vaccinated fans to attend soccer and volleyball matches this season.

Dozens of families and friends sat on the bleachers Tuesday at the UH-Hilo baseball field to watch the Vulcans women’s soccer team defeat the Eagles 1-0.

Mahina Kilkenny and her grandmother, Patty Wall, cheered under their umbrella as they watched sophomore forward Nanea Wall play.

“My grandma and I traveled from Kona to watch my little sister play today,” Kilkenny said of the Konawaena alum. “We are so happy to be here to watch the match live since it’s been so long.”

“We brought the umbrella for rain, but I’m glad we can use it for the sun,” Patty Wall said.

Since the women’s team has five home matches in a row, Chris Jensen and Lynda Hoppenrath traveled from California to stay in Hilo for a month to watch senior defender Christy Jensen play her last matches as a college student.

“We were planning to come for the last month of soccer regardless of if we could watch, but we were so excited to see that fans could come to the games,” Chris Jensen said. “She (Christy) is very excited and the team is having a good season, so I’m glad she can have fans at her last games.”

While Christy Jensen had to miss most of her junior season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she was happy to play in a few matches and scrimmages last year.

Bob and Shari Lillie traveled from Oahu to watch their daughter, junior defender Jodi Lillie, play in the season-ending homestand

“We usually watch a livestream of the games, but we love coming out and are very happy to be here,” Shari Lillie said. “Since we can watch in person, we will be traveling to attend all five of the home matches this season.”

Barbara and Rodney Tampon came from Puna to watch their granddaughter, sophomore defender and Keaau High alum Kierstyn Yamamoto, play in person.

“We usually watch the livestreams, but it’s so much nicer to get out and watch a real game,” Barbara Tampon said.

“It’s such a lovely day for it, too,” Rodney Tampon added.

Delbert Cambra was excited to watch his daughter, freshman defender Jacelyn Cambra, play in person for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“She missed her senior season in high school (at Waiakea), which was really hard for her,” Cambra said. “It’s exciting that they are letting us watch in person, but I wish we could be closer.”

Cambra was seated next to Tiana Tehero, who took a half-day from work to watch her friend coach the UH-Hilo team.

“We love to support our local teams and we’ve really missed live sports,” Tehero said. “I mean, why not come out and enjoy sports in this weather?”

To attend a UH-Hilo sporting event, spectators must be fully vaccinated. Minors under the age of 12 may attend with a parent or legal guardian, but masking is required. Spectators must physically distance and wear masks at all times with the exception of removing their face covering to briefly drink or eat.

Soccer tickets are cash only at the gate and are $5 for general admission, $4 for seniors and $5 for middle and high school students. UH-Hilo and Hawaii Community College students can be admitted for free. Volleyball matches cost $10 for general admission.

It is preferred and strongly recommended that all fans planning on attending the event download the LumiSight UH app, which was developed for UH institutions by DataHouse.

The LumiSight UH app will ask guests to upload their vaccination card and fill out a quick assessment of their current state of health.

Vulcans sweep

The UH-Hilo men beat Concordia 3-2, getting goals from Luca Lippert, his fifth, and Alexander Hernandez-Herbach (third) to improve to 4-5-1 (2-3-1 Pacific West Conference).

In the women’s match, Christina Kanellou scored in the 78th minute and Viviana Poli made one save as the the Vulcans (8-3, 5-1) won their fifth consecutive match. The women will be playing at home at noon on Thursday; Wednesday, Oct. 27; Sunday, Nov. 7; and Saturday, Nov. 13. The men follow on those same days at 2:30 p.m.

Fans will be able to support the UH-Hilo women’s volleyball team when they return home on Thursday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m.

Email Kelsey Walling at kwalling@hawaiitribune-herald.com
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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