Defending national champion Long Beach State was picked to repeat as Big West men’s volleyball champ.
The 49es received all six first-place votes, for 36 points.
Hawaii was at No. 2 (28 points), UC Irvine at 3 (16) followed by UCSB (16), CSUN (11) and UC San Diego (9).
Hawaii will be the host of the 2019 Big West Tournament. The Rainbow Warriors were 19-8 and No. 5 in the final AVCA poll but missed out on an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament in 2018. UH returns a quartet of AVCA All-Americans, including first-teamer senior outside hitter Stijn van Tilburg senior setter, Joe Worsley (second team), junior right side hitter Rado Parapunov (honorable mention) and junior middle blocker Patrick Gasman (honorable mention).
The team’s preseason national ranking is the highest for the program since opening at No. 3 in 2005.
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Here’s a couple shots from UH’s opening practice Friday: