Rainbow Wahine Volleyball picked to win Big West Conference

Olivia Magill // Hawaii Athletics

The University of Hawai’i women’s volleyball team was voted to reclaim the Big West conference title in 2015, according to the Big West women’s volleyball preseason coaches poll as voted on by the nine head coaches.

The Rainbow Wahine collected eight first-place votes en route to an 80-point total. Reigning Big West champion Long Beach State, who went a perfect 16-0 record en route to capturing the 2014 title, nabbed the remaining first-place vote and secured second place with 68 points. UC Santa Barbara rounds out the top three after earning 56 points.

Last year, Hawai’i had its streak of 19-straight conference titles (WAC and Big West combined) snapped as they finished in second place with a 13-3 Big West record and a 22-7 overall mark. The ‘Bows appeared in its 33rd overall and 22nd-straight NCAA tournament, falling in the second round to Washington in the second round.

The consensus amongst the coaches this season is that Hawai’i will find itself back in familiar territory at the top of the standings when the season concludes. Head Coach Dave Shoji, entering his 41st season at the helm of the UH women’s volleyball program, returns most of his roster thanks to a youthful team he showcased in 2014. Leading the charge is a trio of All-Big West First Teamers in outside hitters Nikki Taylor and Tai Manu-Olevao and 2014 AVCA All-America Honorable Mention member Olivia Magill, who dominated the Big West on both sides of the net with league highs in hitting percentage (.405) and blocks (1.34).

The Rainbow Wahine open their season with the Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational, August 28-30. Idaho, Oregon State and Wichita State will all be coming to Honolulu to begin the 2015 season.

2015 Big West Women’s Volleyball Preseason Coaches Poll

1.  Hawai’i (8)  80
2. Long Beach State (1) 68
3. UC Santa Barbara 56
4. CSUN 53
5. UC Davis 50
6. UC Irvine 39
7. Cal Poly 32
8. UC Riverside 15
9. Cal State Fullerton 12

( ) Denotes first place votes

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