The season is over for the Rainbow Warriors.
Hawaii (19-8), coming off a runner-up finish in Saturday’s Big West men’s volleyball tournament, was not one of two at-large teams selected for the NCAA championship field announced today. Instead, UC Irvine (21-9), which lost to Hawaii twice this season, was chosen as the second team from the Big West.
It was a stunning selection in that Hawaii was the only team to defeat both Long Beach State and UCLA this season. The Warriors also eliminated the Anteaters this past Friday in the Big West tournament semifinal.
The Rainbow Warriors were en route back to Honolulu and unavailable for comment.
On May 1 at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion, the Anteaters face the winner of Friday’s opening round at Ohio State where the two-time defending national champion Buckeyes host Conference Carolinas champion King (23-5).
Ohio State, seeded sixth, earned the MIVA’s automatic berth when sweeping Loyola-Chicago on Saturday.
Big West champion Long Beach State (26-1) claimed the top seed with Brigham Young (22-6), the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation champion, seeded second. The 49ers and Cougars, the latter defeating UCLA in four on Saturday, have byes into the May 3 semifinals.
On May 3, Long Beach State will meet the winner of UCI and either Ohio State or King in the second semifinal. The first semifinal has BYU taking on the winner of the May 1 match between UCLA (24-7) and Harvard (13-13).
On Saturday, the Crimson defeated Princeton in four to claim the EIVA’s automatic berth and the Tornado swept Barton for the automatic bid from Conference Carolinas.
It is the first NCAA men’s volleyball tournament appearance for both Harvard and King.
The championship match is May 5.