The Hawaii men’s volleyball team was ranked No. 1 in today’s American Volleyball Coaches Association Division I-II preseason poll, a first for the program.
The Rainbow Warriors (28-3 in 2019) finished second nationally, losing to Long Beach State in the last May’s NCAA final. Hawaii received 14 of the 16 first-place votes.
UCLA (19-9, 1 vote) was at No. 2 followed by BYU (13-12) and Long Beach State (28-2, 1 vote).
The Warriors return four starters from last year’s team that won its first Big West title and set a national record for consecutive sets-won with 74. Back are first-team All-Americans Rado Parapunov, a senior opposite, and junior libero Gage Worsley, second-team All-American senior middle Patrick Gasman, and senior hitter Colten Cowell the latter who was named to the NCAA all-tournament team last May along with Parapunov.
Hawaii opens the season with Charleston Jan. 3-4 at the Stan Sheriff Center.
The AVCA’s first preseason poll was in 2007. Hawaii was ranked No. 1 in the first poll of the regular season in 1989, 1996 and 2003.
The Warriors opened at No. 3 in last year’s preseason poll and finished at No. 2 in the final rankings.
”Our ranking is a reflection of all the hard work the players have put in over the past several years,” head coach Charlie Wade said in a news release today.