DES MOINES, Iowa — The NCAA Des Moines Regional Volleyball tournament drew four teams and their fans, but one team brought a very unusual sports media team.
The Hawaii Rainbow Wahine team is covered on KKEA ESPN 1420-AM, and by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. But what makes these journalists stand out, is that they are Mother and Son.
“We’re the only mother-son team working in sports journalism in America,” said Cindy Luis, beat writer for the Hawaii Volleyball team. Her son Chris “Tiff” Wells, who is the radio play-by-play announcer for KKEA ESPN 1420- AM, and does broadcasts of the Hawaii Rainbow Wahine volleyball.
“I grew up around volleyball in Hawaii, and played in high school there,” said Wells. Wells later went on to college at Pepperdine, before returning home to work in radio.
“We’re there almost every day, watching a match or practice,” said Wells in a news release from KKEA radio. “It’s kind of different to work at court-side, and knowing that my mother is sitting just a couple of seats to my left,but it’s also a real blessing,” said Wells.
Hawaii faced off against Penn State Friday defeating that squad 3-0. Minnesota came in against Hawaii for the Des Moines Regional final after defeating Illinois Friday 3-0. But in the end Hawaii did not advance, losing in Saturday’s Regional final to The Golden Gophers 3-1. The Gophers advance to NCAA Volleyball Final Four in Omaha next weekend.
The Des Moines 2015 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Regional was hosted by the University of Northern Iowa, but the contest was played at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
UNI also has a connection to the University of Hawaii. Long time UNI Head football coach Stan Sheriff, left UNI to go to the University of Hawaii. As Athletic Director he lobbied for a new arena to be built there in 1994. It is named the Stan Sheriff Center. In Cedar Falls the football field inside the UNI Dome is named Stan Sheriff Field. Sheriff passed away in 1993.
The University of Northern Iowa men’s basketball team will visit the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu next week, for the Diamond Head Classic Basketball Tournament.