The No. 6 University of Hawai’i women’s volleyball team kicks off the 2016 season this week with the Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational, August 26-28. The ‘Bows will take on No. 4 Wisconsin on Friday, followed by matches against Kansas State on Saturday and Arizona on Sunday at the Stan Sheriff Center.
The Rainbow Wahine return 12 letterwinners from last year’s squad which advanced to the NCAA Regional Finals in Des Moines, Iowa before falling to Minnesota in four sets. The ‘Bows posted a 29-2 overall record and reeled off a perfect 16-0 record to capture its eighth Big West title and 24th overall conference crown. UH finished the season ranked No. 7 in the AVCA poll. It is the 25th time in history that the ‘Bows finished the year ranked in the Top 10 and it was the highest final ranking since UH finished at No. 5 in 2011.
Hawai’i was unanimously selected to repeat as the Big West champions as voted by the BWC head coaches after going undefeated last season at 16-0 in conference play. It marked the eighth Big West title for UH and the Bows’ 24th overall conference title. Hawai’i has won three BWC crowns since rejoining the league in 2012.
Leading the Rainbow Wahine charge to start the season is all-Big West first team selection, junior middle hitter Emily Maglio. Last season, Maglio made a big impact in the middle, notching 105 total blocks (1.13 per set) with 184 kills and a .384 hitting percentage. After the indoor season, Maglio made her mark on the beach volleyball team as well, earning AVCA first-team All-America and Big West Paris Team of the Year honors as a redshirt freshman after recording a 22-6 overall record and a 21-5 mark with partner Katie Spieler.
Setter Tayler Higgins is projected to be the quarterback of the squad and will lead UH into her senior season. Higgins led the ‘Bows with 955 assists, averaging 10.38 assists per set last year in 27 matches played. She was second on the team with 28 aces with 201 digs.
Junior libero Savanah Kahakai will once again anchor the back line. Last year the all-Big West honorable mention player led the Rainbow Wahine with 424 digs (3.96 per set) with 14 aces. She played the most sets out of anyone else on last year’s roster at 107.
Missing from the lineup this week with be seniors All-American Nikki Taylor and middle hitter Annie Mitchem. Taylor, the reigning Big West Player of the Year, injured her left elbow in the final set of UH’s annual intrasquad scrimmage this past Saturday. Taylor, who was just named as one of 12 players nationally to watch per ESPNW.com. Las season, Taylor was ranked No. 5 in the NCAA averaging 5.48 points per set (kills + blocks + aces) while leading Hawai’i with 468 kills and 44 service aces. She was also second on the team with 116 total blocks. This past summer she was selected to the 12-member U.S. National team that earned a bronze medal at the Pan American Cup in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Mitchem, a two-time JC National Player of the Year from Irvine Valley College, was just coming into her own last year when she went down with a broken pinkie finger on her right hand that held her out of the final 12 matches of the year. This year, she injured her pinkie finger on her left hand during training camp and will be out at least six weeks. As a junior, Mitchem recorded 51 kills, 33 blocks, 15 digs and two service aces.
- Please be advised that large crowds are expected this weekend, especially on Friday’s opening night. Please purchase your tickets in advance at www.eTicketHawaii.com; via phone 808-944-BOWS (2697); or at the Stan Sheriff Center Center box office.
- The “Early Bird” offer of no ticket fees for online individual match ticket purchases ENDS ON Aug. 25. Go to www.eTicketHawaii.com to take advantage of the savings.
- Fans going to the matches this weekend, please be aware that some sections of the lower campus parking structure is currently under repair. Expect some delays.
Alternate Parking Options
In addition to the Zone 20 – Lower Campus parking structure, fans attending lower campus athletic events may also park in alternate Upper Campus parking zones beginning with Zone 13 (parking lots along Correa Road) and then in Zone 4 (parking lot near the Center for Korean Studies off of East-West Road). Fans with a Zone 20 parking pass will be allowed to park in these zones for no additional fee. Parking fee for all others is $6. Parking guards and staff will assist in directing fans to these zones when entering from the East-West Road and Maile Way entrances.
Free shuttle service will be available for select games up/down East West & Correa Road (shuttle signs will be posted if shuttle is running) with the drop off at Krauss Circle near Dole Street and Law School/Library cross walk. Shuttles will run on 15-20 minute loops before and after the game.
Additional parking without shuttle service is available at Zone 22 – Dole Street parking structure near the Hawaiian Studies Building. Parking fee is $6.
Additional public paid parking lots in the surrounding area at Pucks Alley and Japanese Cultural Center (closes at 10:30 p.m.). No shuttle service is available and parking fees will vary.
* Information, parking zones, and parking rates subject to change
Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational Schedule
Friday, August 26
4:45 pm – Kansas State vs. Arizona
7:00 pm – Hawai’i vs. Wisconsin
Saturday, August 27
4:45 pm – Arizona vs. Wisconsin
7:00 pm – Hawai’i vs. Kansas State
Sunday, August 28
12:00 pm – Wisconsin vs. Kansas State
5:00 pm – Hawai’i vs. Arizona
Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational Information:
When: Friday, Aug. 26 – Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016
Where: Honolulu, O’ahu (Stan Sheriff Center)
Promotions: Tournament-sponsor Chevron will distribute 600 folding fans & 100 collectible toy car Victor E. Vans (kids 10 & under) one hour prior to each UH match. Also, Chevron will award $900 in Chevron gift cards throughout the tournament. Starting one hour prior to each UH match, the first 1,500 fans will receive a 2016 team poster. UH Kids‘ Club members are invited onto the court for pre-game festivities on Saturday.
Ticket Information: Tickets can be purchased at Stan Sheriff Center Box Office, online at HawaiiAthletics.com, or by phone at (808) 944-2697.
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. Also watch on Hawaiian Telcom Channel 89 (SD) and 1089 (HD)
Radio: Friday’s match will be aired on NBC Sports Radio 1500 am. Saturday and Sunday’s UH matches will be aired on ESPN 1420 AM with Tiff Wells handling all the action. Neighbor islands can listen live on KNUI on Maui, KHLO in Hilo, KKON in Kona and KTOH on Kaua’i on Saturday and Sunday.
Audio Webcast: Live audio streaming on Friday will be available at www/nbcsportshawaii.com. Saturday and Sunday’s matches will stream live on http://www.espn1420am.com.
Live Stats: Live in-game stats are available at HawaiiAthlectics.com
Series histories: Hawai’i is 1-2 against Wisconsin all-time. The last meeting between the two schools came in the 2004 NCAA Green Bay Regional in which UH lost in five sets, 29-31, 23-30, 30-22, 30-28, 19-21…against Arizona, Hawai’i holds a 12-0 mark against the Wildcats. Arizona last came to play UH on Sept. 14, 2014 with the ‘Bows winning, 3-1. The Rainbow Wahine hold a 5-0 series record against Kansas State. The last meeting came on Aug. 28, 2010 with UH winning 3-0.