After Thursday’s first round matches in the 2022 Big West men’s volleyball tournament, the University of Hawaii now knows what’s ahead of it heading into Friday night’s semifinal: A trilogy match with defending conference champion UC Santa Barbara.

The 3-seeded Gauchos defeated No. 6 Cal State Northridge 25-19, 26-24, 26-24 in Thursday’s 3-6 matchup to set up a rematch with the ‘Bows.

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As the No. 2 seed in the tournament and fourth-ranked team in the country overall, the Rainbow Warriors are not guaranteed a spot in May’s seven-team NCAA tournament unless it wins the Big West Tournament. On Thursday, No. 1 UCLA and No. 2 Penn State both lost in their respective conference tournaments, potentially dashing any hopes of UH grabbing one of the two at-large bids were the ‘Bows to lose in the Big West tournament.

First serve on Friday between the ‘Bows (22-5) and Gauchos (19-8) is set for 7 p.m. at SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center.

The winner of Friday’s UH-UCSB matchup will advance to Saturday’s Big West championship match to face the winner of the other semifinal between Long Beach State and UC Irvine.