HONOLULU – The No. 17 University of Hawai’i Rainbow Wahine volleyball team opens the 2014 campaign this week, hosting Ohio, San Diego State, and No. 25 Arizona State at the Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational Aug. 29-31 at the Stan Sheriff Center. The Rainbow Wahine open the tournament on Friday, Aug. 29 (7:30 p.m.) against Ohio then face Arizona State on Saturday (8:30 p.m.) and San Diego State on Sunday (5:30 p.m.).
The ‘Bows, who won a share of the Big West Conference title last season, will feature a handful of new faces which include seven freshman and University of Arizona transfer Olivia Magill. Outside hitter Keani Passi will also join the fold after transferring from the College of Southern Idaho and redshirting last season.
The tournament marks the 40th season for head coach Dave Shoji who last year became the all-time winningest coach in NCAA Division I women’s volleyball history. The legendary coach enters with a 1,128-189-1 overall record at UH.
UH’s returning starting unit is comprised of sophomore outside hitter and 2013 First Team All-Big West selection Nikki Taylor, junior outside hitter Tai Manu-Olevao and senior middle Kalei Adolpho. Taylor burst onto the scene last year fresh off a stellar prep career, finishing the season second on the team in kills (284) and third in blocks (83). Manu-Olevao was third on the team with 229 kills playing alongside Emily Hartong on the left side. Adopho, a three-year starter, finished second on the squad in blocks (98) last year behind all-conference selection Jade Vorster.
The tournament features three teams from last year’s NCAA Tournament in Hawai’i, Ohio, and Arizona State. Ohio comes in as the defending MAC regular season and tournament champions, ending 2013 with a loss to Michigan State in the NCAA opening round. The Sun Devils, who earned a Top 25 ranking in the AVCA preseason poll, traveled to Hawai’i for the opening round of the NCAA’s last season before falling to BYU in five sets. San Diego State, coached by former Rainbow Wahine great Dietre Collins-Parker, finished fourth in the Mountain West last season.
Aug. 29 Arizona St. vs. San Diego St, 5:00 p.m. | Hawai’i vs. Ohio, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 30 Ohio vs. San Diego St., 5:30 p.m. | Hawai’i vs. Arizona St., 8:30 p.m.
Aug. 31 Ohio vs. Arizona St., 3:00 p.m. | Hawai’i vs. San Diego St., 5:30 p.m.
What: Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational
When: Friday, Aug. 29 – Sunday, Aug. 31
Where: Honolulu, O’ahu (Stan Sheriff Center)
Television: OCSports – Channels 16 (SD) and 1016 (HD) will be broadcasting ALL Hawai’i matches of the tournament with Kanoa Leahey calling the play-by-play. Chris McLachlin (Friday and Saturday) and Lisa Strand-Ma’a (Sunday) providing color commentary.
Radio: ESPN Radio (1420 AM) will broadcast all the Friday and Sunday UH matches live with Tiff Wells handling the play-by-play. Saturday’s match will be broadcast on NBC Sports Radio AM 1500.
Audio Webcast: http://espn1420am.com and http://www.nbcsportsradiohawaii.com
Live Stats: Live in-game stats are available at HawaiiAthletics.com
Ticket Information: Tickets can be purchased at Stan Sheriff Center Box Office, online at HawaiiAthletics.com, or by phone at (808) 944-2697.
Tournament Sponsor: Chevron
Promotions: Tournament-sponsor Chevron will distribute 2,000 pom poms one hour prior to each UH match. Also, Chevron will award hundreds of dollars in Chevron gift cards.