‘What were we missing?’ ‘Bows rank higher than NCAA championship-bound UCI

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Questions and confusion remain after the University of Hawaii men’s volleyball team was left out of the seven-team NCAA national championship tournament.

Instead, a three-member selection committee chose University of California, Irvine, which finished below UH in the Big West Conference, and lost two of three matches to the ‘Bows this season including a BWC tournament semifinal match this past Friday.

The Anteaters earned one of two at-large berths into the NCAA tournament, and to make matters worse, UH came in fourth in the latest Ratings Percentage Index which was released on Monday, two spots ahead of UCI. The Rainbow Warriors also came in at number one in Strength of Schedule with the Anteaters at 10th. 

“I think a lot of people want to know exactly what you said. They want to know, and not just me and our administration and our league, but I think coaches all over the country want to know how something like this can happen so they can avoid it in the future too. Like wait a minute, you just did what?” UH head coach Charlie Wade told KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello on Sunday.

KHON2’s messages to committee members have gone unanswered, however committee chair Janine Oman of Ohio State did answer questions from the “Off the Block” volleyball publication on Sunday.

The answers, as one would expect, were not extensive or helped clear up any of the confusion.

“We use RPI as a gauge for what teams we should consider. Once we determine those teams under consideration, we use many metrics to separate those under consideration. We look at teams in a very holistic manner. The season is a long one, and each team is evaluated on their complete body of work. Who you play (conference and non-conference), where you play(home/away/neutral), results in those matches, and record against top ranked teams were some of the differentiators that led to the committee’s decision,” Oman told OTB.

Could it be that the committee used the RPI from the week prior, which did not reflect Hawaii’s victory over UC Irvine just days earlier?

“To most people, it’s clearly being said that this decision is less than obvious. I think everyone would like to see, okay, what were we missing? What did you value more than what everyone else thought you valued?” Wade said.

The Rainbow Warriors are scheduled to host the Big West Conference tournament at the Stan Sheriff Center, and the team is expected to return 18 of 20 players next season.

The NCAA tournament begins later this week. Click here for a look at the bracket and schedule.

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