Named to National Team
First it was Hector Petri with his javelin and then it was Kau'ilani Misipeka with the shot put and discus.
Now another Samoan athlete is making headlines. This time, in the world of volleyball.
Norene Iosia, a setter for the University of Hawaii's women's Rainbow Wahine volleyball team, was last week named to the U.S. Women's Junior National Team (WJNT), a 12-player squad competing at the 2017 FIVB Volleyball Women's U20 World Championship in Boca del Rio and Cordoba, Mexico - July 14-23.
(The US qualified for the World Championship after winning gold at the 2017 Women's U20 Pan American Cup in San Jose, Costa Rica).
Iosia is a freshman at UH and she was one of two setters that was selected to the squad, out of a 16-player group that trained July 2-11 at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO.
The five-foot-eleven graduate of Redondo Union High School from Torrance, CA finished off her first season at UH with 971 total assists while averaging 10.33 assists per set, and finished the season second on the team with 31 service aces.
According to hawaiiathletics.com, Iosia led UH with 13 double-doubles for the year, earned three Big West Freshman of the Week awards, and was named to both the All-Big West First Team and to the All-Freshman Team, while also earning UH Manoa Scholar Athlete Honors in the classroom.
Samoa News understands that Iosia is the only Samoan on the team representing the U.S. in the 2017 FIVB Volleyball Women's U20 World Championship.
Samoans in Colorado and California have shared Iosia's story with Samoa News, saying she is one of those naturally gifted athletes that is on her way to big things.
"She is an Olympic athlete in the making," said one Samoa News reader. "One of the best Samoan volleyball players — man or woman — that I have seen," said another.
Collectively, they all agree that if she remains injury-free, there is no telling how far Iosia can go.
In high school, Iosia always thrived in volleyball. and earned four varsity letters in the sport, and helped lead the Sea Hawks to four league titles and a pair of state championships in 2014 and 2015.
Those same years, she was named the Daily Breeze’s Player of the Year and earned all-state DI Player of the Year honors. She was also the winner of the 2016 Andi Collins Award, which is presented to the best senior setter in the nation.
Most notably, Iosia was part of the American Samoa National Volleyball Team that came home with the gold medal during the 2015 Pacific Games held in Papua New Guinea.
Iosia has two sisters and three brothers, and is the daughter of Moe and Marlene Iosia of Torrance, CA, and granddaughter of the late Taufi Moeaveave Iosia of Aunu'u and Saitaua Peapea Iosia of Leone; and Maua and Ailini Teofilo of Tula and Olosega, Manu'a who reside in Patterson, CA
Iosia, who has played for the Mizuno Long Beach club volleyball team for 11 years, plans to pursue a degree in family resources.
Malo lava Noreen! Alo i ou faiva!