After sending shock waves through the collegiate volleyball world with a pair of upsets over ranked opponents to open the season, the University of Hawai’i women’s volleyball team entered the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Top 25 Coaches Poll at No. 20. Hawai’i received 363 points and was one of three unranked teams last week to jump up into the poll this week along with Utah and Florida State.
“Whoa, that was the greatest feeling. I mean, it’s awesome, being in the Top-25? What?, and to know that we were the ones, like, I don’t know. It was just so cool, and a great feeling to know that everything we worked so hard for is showing, and it’s being shown to everyone. Hey, this is what we’re about. Don’t underestimate us because we’re coming to play,” said junior middle blocker Skyler Williams.
The Rainbow Wahine went 3-0 this past weekend to start the season-the first time UH has accomplished that feat since 2015. UH also captured the Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Wahine Classic for the first time since 2013. In Hawai’i’s season opener, the ‘Bows came back and held off No. 21 San Diego in five sets (26-19, 20-25, 16-25, 25-19, 15-10). The following night, the Rainbow Wahine fought hard to grind out a five-set, come-from-behind win over a scrappy St. John’s squad (26-28, 25-20, 23-25, 25-22, 15-12). On Sunday, Hawai’i dismantled No. 13 Washington, powering past the Huskies in four (25-20, 25-12, 20-25, 25-16).
For the Rainbow Wahine, it is the first time being ranked since the 2017 preseason poll. It also marks the first time under head coach Robyn Ah Mow that the team is in the Top 25 during the regular season.
Hawai’i has a long history with the AVCA poll. They are ranked No. 5 in AVCA history for being ranked 501 total times. UH is also ranked at No. 5 as the ‘Bows were ranked at No. 1 48 times. Hawai’i has been in the Top 10 366 times, tied for No. 4 with Penn State.
The Rainbow Wahine host their second of three tournaments this week with the Heineken Rainbow Wahine Invitational. The tourney runs from Thursday, September 5-8 with Army West Point, Sacramento State and Denver all coming to town.