HONOLULU – The University of Hawai’i Rainbow Wahine (26-5) will make its second straight appearance in the NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship in Gulf Shores, Ala., after gaining the No. 5 seed as an at-large selection on Sunday.
“We’re excited and grateful to be selected for another NCAA Tournament,” head coach Jeff Hall said. “The completion will certainly be fierce but we’re ready for the challenge. We can’t wait to get to Gulf Shores.”
Hawai’i will open competition on Friday, May 5 against the Florida State Seminoles (27-7), who last week captured their second straight CCSA Championship. The Rainbow Wahine fell at home to the Seminoles, 3-2, earlier this season in a tightly-contested match on March 17 in the Outrigger Hawai’i Invitational.
“We’re looking forward to a rematch,” head coach Jeff Hall said. “They got the best of us at Queen’s Beach and we’ve been hoping for another opportunity to play them. They’re extremely talented and well-coached. It should be fun on Friday.”
Joining UH and FSU in the double-elimination tournament are No. 1 and defending champion USC, No. 2 UCLA, No. 3 Pepperdine, No. 6 Long Beach State, No. 7 LSU, and No. 8 South Carolina. The Rainbow Wahine earned one of two at-large bids to the tournament along with Long Beach State.
This will be UH’s fourth straight trip as a team to Gulf Shores. The SandBows also competed for the national title during the 2014 and ’15 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Championships.
The Rainbow Wahine gained the No. 5 seed after repeating as Big West champions this past weekend, including a pair of victories over Long Beach State on Saturday. UH comes in with momentum, having won eight straight and 11 of its last 12 matches.
“We’re playing really well right now,” Hall said. “Obviously that’s what you’re hoping for at this point of the season. I like our chances to bring home a national championship to Hawai’i and all our amazing fans.”
The event will be televised live by Turner networks, with truTV providing live coverage on Friday, May 5, and Saturday, May 6, from 9 a.m. -12 p.m. HT and the championship round airing on TBS on Sunday, May 7, at 8 a.m. HT. Additional live streaming coverage of every court in each match of the tournament will be available on NCAA.com.