The defending national champions Hawai’i men’s volleyball team will begin their 2022 season on the top of the polls.
The AVCA announced their Preseason Coaches Poll on Monday with the ‘Bows receiving 263 total points and 12 first-place votes, placing them at #1 ahead of UCLA, Pepperdine, and Big West rival Long Beach State.
Last year’s national runner-up BYU came in ranked at #6, while last season’s Big West Champions UC Santa Barbara slid into the poll ranked at #11.
In May, the UH men’s volleyball team claimed their first national title in program history, finishing the year with a 17-1 record. This year, the Rainbow Warriors have one mission – winning back-to-back titles.
“As soon as the last ball dropped last year and we got to the point where we’re focusing on this year, the goal was to absolutely get back at having a chance to repeat, and we think we have a real good shot at doing that,” Hawaii assistant coach Joshua Walker said.
Last season, the ‘Bows finished the year as the nation’s leader in team kills, team hitting percentage and team assists, led by AVCA Player of the Year Rado Parapunov and All-Americans Patrick Gasman, Gage Worsley, and Colton Cowell.
However, with the graduation of Parapunov, Gasman, Worsley, and Cowell, head coach Charlie Wade’s squad will aim to build off of last season’s accomplishments with some fresh faces on the floor.
“We set that standard for the guys that left to leave a legacy for the guys that are currently here,” Walker said. “[The current players] want to step up, they absolutely want to make sure that we continue to have the continued success that we’ve had.”
The #1 Rainbow Warriors will open their 2022 season at home against #7 Loyola-Chicago on January 5 at 7:00 p.m in SimpliFi Arena at the Stan Sheriff Center.