VIDEO: Hawaii women’s volleyball seizes upon home advantage to open NCAA tournament

Hawaii reacted after beating Northern Colorado in the first round of the NCAA tournament. / Photo by Marco Garcia, Special to the Star-Advertiser

The chants and cheers probably weren’t as loud or as emphatic as they were just two weeks ago, when Hawaii rolled Long Beach State in front of a sold-out crowd at the Stan Sheriff Center.

But the signature “Let’s Go Bows!” cries ringing out in the Sheriff in front of 7,126 on Friday night were still plenty boisterous in UH’s first hosted NCAA tournament match since 2013.


And UH (25-3) needed them, especially in the first two sets of a 26-24, 24-26, 25-8, 25-15 win over Northern Colorado, setting up a rematch here from earlier this season with San Diego of the West Coast Conference.

The Wahine have a chance to do what they could not in 2013 — win two at home to reach a regional, likely on the mainland. UH’s last regional appearance was in 2015, when it was sent to the mainland from the start and won three matches before falling to Minnesota in the elite eight.

“The energy. The energy they had at the end of the game,” coach Robyn Ah Mow said of what it will take to attain a victory against USD at 7 p.m. Saturday. “We have to definitely serve tough, which they did at the end of the game. … I think our passes gotta get a little bit better.”

Jolie Rasmussen’s mid-match return (she hadn’t played since getting hurt against West Virginia in the seventh match of the season) surely sparked the Wahine as they finished hitting .315 to UNC’s .145.

But UH was solid on the block (13-3) and at the service line (9-4 in aces) as well. Middle Skyler Williams, who put down her first nine swings and finished 9-for-11, said afterward that while she received an emotional lift from Rasmussen, she was just doing her thing whether or not the Oregon transfer was there.

There was clearly a comfort level playing in the Sheriff, one that perhaps the Wahine lacked in one-and-done NCAA outings on the mainland in the last two years.

They’ll need more of all of the above against the well-rounded Toreros (25-5). For at least one night, though, the local volleyball fans could celebrate.


  1. H-Man December 7, 2019 5:05 am

    San Diego was very successful going to the right-side often, especially behind 6-5 freshman Grace Frohling. One they’re not is a great blocking team. Hawaii’s block will be key tonight. Go Wahine !!!

  2. ballerz December 7, 2019 7:11 am

    how are the regional sites determined? if mizzu beats nebraska, do we get to host? crowd will be near if not a sell out like the mens trny was this year. and when can we host an ncaa final mens or women’s championship? ncaa needs to look at a plan now to see how the growth of the sport has been for hawaii as a community and state.
    on another note, the mayor didn’t get much love last night when his name was announced. he hung in there to watch the whole match…now that’s what hawaii’s love of the game is about. maybe someday, barrack obama will show up to see his coach chris mcgloughlin on the commentary table.

  3. Harvey December 7, 2019 7:40 am

    Good to see Rasmussen get in the game. After her personal injury history, you have to be cheering for her to play and play well.

    It’s too bad that she was only cleared this week. The wahine had two of the last four weeks off and it would have been nice to be able to have dedicated practice time to get her integrated, work on rotations, etc. But for this weekend, including tonight, I think the best thing for everyone is to plug her in for someone…..Hannah, Norene in the front row, etc. But you don’t want to screw up serve receive and the wahine have been successful without Rasmussen.

    Ultimately though, as Hawaii advances, I think they’re better with Jolie on the court than not. Particularly against better competition. Robyn Ah Mow and coaching staff will have to use all of their coaching chops to figure out how and when.

    BTW: Public kudos to the Honolulu Star Advertiser, Cindy, Brian, and everyone involved in getting UH volleyball content up to the world. As a displaced local now in the DC area, you all have added color, value, and enjoyment to my life. And for that, you have my full measure of gratitude. Mahalo!

  4. Baby_Dude December 7, 2019 10:01 am

    I think Hawaii is going into this match tonight as the under dogs.

  5. Kaimana December 7, 2019 12:09 pm

    Hey Harvey Comment 3. Im also in the DC area and have a Halau and Hawaiian Restaurant. Come check us out.

  6. Harvey December 7, 2019 4:12 pm

    I’m way down in Cabin John, MD. Near Bethesda and Potomac.

    But I will drop by one Sunday to grab a loco moco. Your menu looks good!

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