Hawaii finished No. 7 in today’s American Volleyball Coaches Association Division I Top 25, the final poll of the collegiate women’s volleyball season.
It was the highest ranking for the Rainbow Wahine (29-2) since 2011 when Hawaii ended at No. 5 after losing to USC in the regional semifinal of the NCAA tournament at the Stan Sheriff Center. The Wahine, falling in the regional final to Minnesota on Dec. 12, opened at No. 18 in the preseason poll.
Nebraska finished at No. 1 after winning its fourth national title on Saturday. The Huskers (32-4), No. 5 in the preseason poll, swept Texas in the final at Omaha, Neb.
The Longhorns (30-3) were preseason No. 3. Both national semifinalists Minnesota and Kansas were unranked in the preseason poll; the Gophers (30-5) finished at No. 3 with the Jayhawks (30-3) at No. 4.
Preventing Nebraska from being a unanimous No. 1 was USC, which received one of the 64 first-place votes. The Women of Troy (33-3) finished at No. 5; preseason No. 1 Washington (31-3) at No. 6; followed by Hawaii at No. 7, Florida (25-7) at No. 8. Penn State (28-6) at No. 9 and Wisconsin (25-7) at No. 10.
UCLA (25-8), the only team to defeat Hawaii in the regular season, finished at No. 12. The Rainbow Wahine were the only Big West representative in the poll; conference runner-up Long Beach State received 14 points, putting the 49ers in a tie with Wichita State at 33rd with 14 points.
In the final Ratings Percentage Index, Hawaii placed 15th. The Rainbow Wahine, who finished tied for fifth nationally, were at 26th heading into the NCAA tournament.