Rainbow Warriors ranked 5th in preseason AVCA poll

Stijn Van Tilberg

HONOLULU – Coming off its second NCAA Tournament appearance in the last three seasons, the University of Hawai’i men’s volleyball team was picked fifth in the preseason AVCA Top 15 Coaches Poll.

The Rainbow Warriors concluded the 2017 season ranked No. 4 after advancing to the NCAA semifinals for the first time since 2002. UH finished the season ranked in the top five nationally for the 18th time in program history.

Two-time defending national champion Ohio State received 19 of 25 first place votes and was picked No. 1 followed by Long Beach State, BYU, UCLA and UH. Rounding out the Top 10 were Lewis, UC Irvine, Stanford, Penn State, and Pepperdine.

The 2018 season marks Hawai’i’s first as part of the Big West Conference. Four of the Big West’s six teams are nationally ranked which includes LBSU (No. 2), UH (No. 5), UCI (No. 7) and CSUN (No. 11). UC Santa Barbara and UC San Diego are among four teams receiving votes.

UH’s regular season features 10 nationally ranked teams including the 24th Outrigger Resorts Invitational that includes No. 3 BYU, No. 6 Lewis and No. 9 Penn State. The tournament moved out of its traditional January timeslot to March 8-10.

Head coach Charlie Wade returns for his ninth season, where he has compiled a 134-97 record with six appearances in the postseason. Last season, the Warriors finished 27-6 and lost to Ohio State in the national semifinals.

#HawaiiMVB

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