Hawaii schedule boasts top-ranked teams
Defending Big West beach volleyball champion Hawaii opens the season on the road with four matches in Arizona, one of four trips the Rainbow Wahine are scheduled to make while seeking a return to the NCAA championship.
Hawaii, which finished fourth at last May’s inaugural NCAA tournament, faces Arizona State and host Arizona on March 3 and Jacksonville and Grand Canyon on March 4. The SandBows’ home opener is the Queen’s Cup, March 10-11, at Queen’s Beach against Stetson and Loyola Marymount.
The March 17-18 Outrigger Hawaii Invitational, also at Queen’s Beach, features Nebraska, Florida State, Utah, Arizona and defending NCAA champion USC. On March 20, Hawaii has a single dual with Nebraska in a televised match at the Ching Complex courts.
The SandBows compete in the inaugural Shave Ice Invitational on March 26 at Irvine Valley College (Irvine, Calif.) with Stanford, TCU and the host Lasers. Hawaii also has a single match at Pepperdine on March 29.
The inaugural Big West Challenge is set for April 1-2 at Huntington Beach, Calif., with Cal State Northridge, Sacramento State, Long Beach State and Cal Poly.
The Waves and Mustangs then visit the Ching Complex for matches April 7 and 8.
The Aloha Invitational will be held on Kauai, April 1415, with USC, Grand Canyon, Florida Atlantic, Saint Mary’s, New Mexico and Hawaii. The Big West Championship will be at Pismo Beach, hosted by Cal Poly, on April 28-29.
The NCAA championship again is at Gulf Shores, Ala., on May 5-7.
“Our home schedule is a nice balance between our world-class facilities on campus and the world-class beaches in Waikiki,” UH coach Jeff 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.”
Six players from Hawaii’s indoor team are on the 27-player roster, including beach returnees Emily Maglio, Clare-Marie Anderson and Gianna Guinasso. Indoor players making their beach debuts are Annie Mitchem, Tayler Higgins, Kirsten Sibley, Emma Smith and Savanah Kahakai.