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Hawaii women’s volleyball team ranks in Top 25 for first time since 2017

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  • ANDREW LEE / Special to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

    Hawaii’s reserves celebrate after the Rainbow Wahine scored a point during the fourth set of the match against Washington at the Stan Sheriff Center on Sunday.

Two wins over ranked teams and its first 3-0 start since 2015 has the Hawaii women’s volleyball team in the Top 25 for the first time since the 2017 preseason poll.

The Rainbow Wahine (3-0) were at No. 20 in today’s American Volleyball Coaches Association rankings after victories over then-No. 21 San Diego, St. John’s and No. 13 Washington in the 31st Hawaiian Airlines Classic. Hawaii received 13 votes in last month’s preseason Top 25.

Also today, Hawaii outside hitter Jolie Rasmussen was voted Big West player of the week. The redshirt junior transfer had 57 kills, 17 digs, and 13 total blocks in the three wins.

In 2017, the Wahine were preseason No. 20 but fell out after an 0-3 start in coach Robyn Ah Mow’s first season.

The last time Hawaii was in the regular-season rankings was 2016 when finishing at No. 17 in what would be Dave Shoji’s 42nd and last season as Wahine coach.

In today’s poll, defending national champion Stanford (2-0) remained No. 1, receiving 63 first-place votes. National runner-up Nebraska (2-0) stayed at No. 2 with the last vote.

Washington (2-1) fell three spots to No. 16 while San Diego (1-2) dropped four spots to No. 25.

Two-time defending Big West champion Cal Poly (0-3) was ranked No. 23 in the preseason poll. The Mustangs received 18 points today, putting them unofficially tied for 33rd with Colorado.

Hawaii, the only ranked Big West program, continues its season with the Rainbow Wahine Invitational Thursday through Sunday. The Wahine open with Army in Thursday’s second match with Denver and Sacramento State in the 4:45 p.m. opener.

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