18th ranked Rainbow Wahine open 2015 season with Chevron Invitational

Nikki Taylor

The No. 18 University of Hawai’i women’s volleyball team opens the 2015 season this week, hosting Idaho, Wichita State, and Oregon State in the Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational, Aug. 28-30. The ‘Bows open the tourney on Friday, Aug. 28 against former WAC rival, Idaho at 7:00 pm. UH will then face Wichita State on Saturday, Aug. 29 at 7:00 pm and Oregon State on Sunday, Aug. 30 at 5:00 pm. Both the Shockers and the Beavers received votes in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Pre-season Coaches’ Poll after posting solid seasons a year ago.

Hawai’i, which was picked to reclaim the Big West title in the recent coaches’ poll, returns 12 letterwinners–including five starters. Middle hitter Olivia Magill earned AVCA All-America honorable mention and all-Big West first team honors last season. Magill, who is a senior, led the conference last season in hitting percentage (.405) and blocks per game (1.34). Also returning are all-Big West first team members Tai Manu-Olevao and Nikki Taylor. Manu-Olevao led UH with 289 kills and was second on the team with 34 aces last year as a junior. Taylor finished 2014 with 239 kills and 79 total blocks. The Rainbow Wahine also returns Big West all-freshman team player Kalei Greeley and starting setterTayler Higgins who will be a junior this year. Last season, UH recorded a 22-7 overall record and a 13-3 mark in conference. UH advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Pushing the returnees this seaosn will be one of the tallest incoming class in UH history. The three freshmen include two outside hitters—Casey Castillo who is 6-3 and McKenna Granato who is 6-0 and 6-5 middle hitter Natasha Burns. Two-time AVCA junior college Player of the Year, Annie Mitchem is 6-3 and can play all six positions in the rotation.

Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational Schedule
Friday, August 28, 2015 
4:30 pm – Oregon State vs. Wichita State
7:00 pm – Hawai’i vs. Idaho

Saturday, August 30, 2015
4:30 pm – Idaho vs. Oregon State
7:00 pm – Hawai’i vs. Wichita State

Sunday, August 30, 2015
2:30 pm – Idaho vs. Wichita State
5:00 pm – Hawai’i vs. Oregon State

Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational Information
When: Friday, Aug. 28 – Sunday, Aug. 30
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 and Chris McLachlin providing color commentary.
Streaming Video: Hawai’i’s matches are available to watch online at either http://ocsports.tv/ocsports_live -or- BigWest.tv
Radio: ESPN 1420AM will on the airwaves for all of the UH matches live with Tiff Wells handling the play-by-play.
Audio Webcast: Fans can listen to the UH matches online at espn1420am.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.
Promotions: Tournament-sponsor Chevron will distribute 1,500 rally towels one hour prior to each UH match. Also, Chevron will award $900 in Chevron gift cards throughout the tournament.
Series History: Hawai’ is 19-0 against former WAC rival, Idaho. UH won the last meeting. 3-0 when both teams were still in the WAC on Sept. 8, 2012. UH leads the series against Wichita State, 4-0 with the last match coming on the road in the Shocker Classic. Hawai’i won 3-0 on Sept. 21, 2013. Hawai’i also leads the series against Oregon State, 4-1. But the Beavers won the most recent meeting, 3-0 on Aug. 26, 2007 in the Asics Inviational at the Stan Sheriff Center.

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