HONOLULU – The University of Hawai’i released its 2017 beach volleyball schedule which features elite competition both at home and on the road, a well as the program’s first-ever trip to the neighbor islands.
UH opens the season March 3-4 in Arizona where it will play the nationally-ranked Wildcats, as well as Arizona State, Jacksonville, and Grand Canyon.
UH’s seven home dates this year begins with the Queen’s Cup on March 10 at scenic Queen’s Beach and concludes April 8 with matches versus Pepperdine and Cal Poly at the Ching Complex. The home schedule is highlighted by the Hawai’i Invitational, March 17-18, which features four of the top six teams in last year’s AVCA final poll, including defending national champion USC.
“Our home schedule is a nice balance between our world-class facilities on campus and the world-class beaches in Waikiki,” Hall said. “We truly have the best of both worlds, and with top-ranked teams like USC, Florida State, Pepperdine, and Nebraska heading here, our fans are in for a real treat.”
The SandBows won the inaugural Big West championship in 2016 and will defend its title at the Big West Conference Championships in Pismo Beach, Calif., Aril 28-29. The league will also hold its first-ever regular-season event with the Big West Challenge earlier in the month (April 1-2) in Huntington Beach, Calif. Preceding that tournament is a road matchup with perennial power Pepperdine on March 29.
“From our season opener at Arizona to the Big West Championships in Pismo, we have a good mix of new ground and familiar territory to cover on the road,” Hall said.
UH concludes its regular-season with its first-ever trek to the neighbor islands with the Aloha Invitational at Kalapaki Beach in Lihu’e, Kaua’i, April 14-15.
“We’re really excited to make this event happen on Kaua’i,” Hall said. “The sport is growing rapidly statewide and it’s a thrill to bring our brand of Rainbow Wahine beach volleyball for neighbor island residents to enjoy up close.”
The NCAA championship is slated for May 5-7 in Gulf Shores, Ala. It’s the sixth straight year the national championship will be held at the venue and its second year as an NCAA-sanctioned championship. UH finished fourth in last year’s event.
“We’re proud of the culture we’re building here and want nothing more than to bring a national championship back to Manoa for all the people of Hawai’i to celebrate,” Hall said. “We have the best fans in the world and their support helps drive our success.”