Ahead of its 2023 season opener on Jan. 12 against Ball State, the University of Hawaii men’s volleyball team held a media day at its main practice gym on campus on Friday.

The Rainbow Warriors, who have won two straight national championships, return all seven rotational starters for 2023.

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Leading the pack was Big West Player of the Year Jakob Thelle, who returns for one last collegiate season as the team’s leader at setter.

Unsurprisingly, the Rainbow Warriors were picked to finish first both nationally and in the Big West in 2023 preseason polls.

Hawaii’s 2023 schedule is perhaps its most challenging in program history, with the top-raked ‘Bows set to take on each team ranked No. 2 through 9, starting with No. 6 Ball State on Thursday.

Despite beginning its season on Thursday, Hawaii will not have its banner ceremony until Friday night in its series finale against the Cardinals. Both matches will begin at 7 p.m.