Rainbow Forecast: Huge week for Hawaii football, volleyball, soccer; basketball teams host exhibitions

The last time Hawaii and Fresno State met up at Aloha Stadium, on Nov. 11, 2017, running back Diocemy Saint Juste ran for yardage but the Bulldogs ran away with the outcome, 31-21. / Star-Advertiser file photo by Bruce Asato

As fate would have it, this week aligned for Hawaii’s three primary fall sports in one sense — all three face pivotal conference matchups that have championship implications.

Football, coming off its 45-31 win at New Mexico — the first time UH won in Albuquerque since 1987 — hits the crucial portion of its schedule starting this week with the first of four Mountain West West Division opponents, rival Fresno State. If UH (5-3, 2-2 MWC) manages to win out in those four games (Fresno, San Jose State, at UNLV, San Diego State) the West Division title would belong to the Rainbow Warriors, giving them a shot at their first Mountain West title game. Of course, that’s all out the window if UH doesn’t handle the Bulldogs on Saturday.

The No. 21 Rainbow Wahine volleyball team has strung together five straight wins since getting swept at Cal Poly on Oct. 11, including road sweeps at Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine last week. The Wahine (18-3, 8-2 Big West) have a chance to get the Mustangs (15-6, 8-1) back on Sunday, and UH will first tangle with co-leader UC Santa Barbara (18-2, 8-1) to on Friday. The Big West championship could well be settled at the Stan Sheriff Center, one way or the other.

And UH soccer only faces a couple of make-or-break matches to qualify for its first four-team Big West tournament. The Wahine (5-7-3, 3-1-2 BWC) got blasted on their senior night Sunday by UC Santa Barbara, 4-1, narrowing their window for qualification. They’ll likely need at least one win at UC Davis on Thursday and Long Beach State on Sunday.

The men’s and women’s basketball teams both host an exhibition against a Division II neighbor in advance of their regular seasons starting up next week.

The cross country team competes in the Big West championships in Riverside, Calif., while both UH golf teams and the Wahine tennis team are also in action.

A busy week, indeed.

Men’s golf: Hoakalei Country Club Invitational, all day
This three-day event in Ewa Beach features 20 teams at the par-72 Ernie Els-designed course — including seven schools in the top 100 nationally. UH hasn’t played since a 16th-place finish in the Alister Mackenzie Invitational in California Oct. 7-8. Freshman Kutaro Murata leads UH with a 73.0 scoring average thus far.

Women’s golf: Rainbow Wahine Invitational, all day
The Wahine also get in a three-team event this week, at Kapolei Golf Course. College of Charleston is the highest ranked of the 14 teams in the field at No. 46. UH is coming off a ninth-place finish among 18 teams in the Pat Lesser-Harbottle Invitational in Tacoma, Wash., Oct. 14-15. Junior Sahara Washington leads the team with a 76.7 scoring average.

Women’s basketball: Hawaii Pacific at Hawaii, 7:30 p.m.
Laura Beeman’s Rainbow Wahine, recently picked to finish fourth in the Big West, get in their preseason exhibition against the Sharks coming off a 15-17 (10-6 Big West) season in which they reached the conference championship game. UH has several rotation returnees back from that team as well as five newcomers. Reid Takatsuka’s Sharks went 23-9 and made the NCAA Division II West Regional last year. UH opens the regular season on Nov. 5.

Men’s golf: Hoakalei Country Club Invitational, all day
Continued play

Women’s golf: Rainbow Wahine Invitational, all day
Continued play

Men’s basketball: Chaminade at Hawaii, 7 p.m. (KKEA 1420-AM)
Eran Ganot’s Rainbow Warriors, who like the Wahine were picked to finish fourth in the Big West, are coming off an 18-13 season (9-7 Big West) in which they went one-and-done in the conference tournament for the third straight year. Three mainstays (Jack Purchase, Brocke Stepteau, Sheriff Drammeh) are gone from that team, with Drew Buggs and Zigmars Raimo the new leaders. Eric Bovaird’s Silverswords went 23-8 last year and made the NCAA II West Regional.

Men’s golf: Hoakalei Country Club Invitational, all day
Continued play

Women’s golf: Rainbow Wahine Invitational, all day
Continued play

Soccer: Hawaii (5-7-3, 3-1-2 Big West) at UC Davis (7-10, 2-5)
UH, which had its senior night spoiled by UCSB, will try to pass that along to the Aggies, who are already eliminated from Big West tournament consideration. UCD is coming off an upset over then-first place Cal State Northridge, so it can’t be taken lightly, especially after the Wahine came out of the gate slowly in both home games last week. UH can alleviate a lot of pressure on itself if it finds a way to win this game, although there still might be work to do to reach the tournament even with a W, depending on what happens with UC Irvine and Long Beach State in matches on Thursday and Friday. UH is 1-0-1 on the road in Big West play.

Women’s volleyball: UC Santa Barbara (18-2, 8-1 Big West) at Hawaii (18-3, 8-2), 7 p.m. (Spectrum OC 16, KKEA 1420-AM)
Hawaii dealt the Gauchos, who are receiving votes in the AVCA poll, their only Big West loss so far on Oct. 12, in straight sets no less. The Wahine were clearly fired up from their three-set defeat at Cal Poly the night before. Well, if UH can make it a season sweep, they’ll put themselves in the running for at least a co-championship for the first time in three years if they can follow that up on Sunday. However, UCSB spoiled the party at the Sheriff last year, a stunning sweep of the Wahine a night after an emotional five-setter over defending champ Cal Poly.

Men’s golf: Ka‘anapali Classic Collegiate Invitational, all day
This rare two-event week for the Rainbow Warriors is capped with another tough one, with eight teams in the top 50 coming to play at the par-71 Royal Ka‘anapali Golf Course.

Women’s tennis: Rainbow Wahine Invite, 8 a.m.
The Wahine’s last multi-day event of its fall tour is this week at the UH Tennis Complex, setting the stage for the Big West season in the spring.

Football: Fresno State (3-4, 1-2) at Hawaii (5-3, 2-2), 6 p.m. (Spectrum PPV, KKEA 1420-AM)
These Bulldogs aren’t what most people have come to expect under Jeff Tedford, whose group won the Mountain West championship game at Boise State last year. Fresno is coming off a 41-31 home loss to Colorado State, which itself has struggled mightily this year. However, UH has not shown the ability to play cleanly for a full game since its 54-3 win at Nevada on Sept. 28. The Warriors appeared to be on their way to doing so at New Mexico before some serious second-half slippage (and preemptive emptying of the bench) allowed the Lobos back in it. But you can expect a typically physical battle with the Bulldogs, whom the Warriors have played more than any team in their history (this meeting will be the 52nd). Fresno leads the series 28-22-1 after taking seven of the last eight matchups, including the last four at Aloha Stadium. As stated above, UH’s path to a Mountain West West Division title is clear, and that begins this week. Will the crowd show up?

Cross country: Big West championships, 5:30 a.m.
UH’s season has led up to this, but are the Wahine ready? They’ve finished no higher than 15th at events featuring multiple Division I schools. That was at the UC Riverside Invitational in September, and they’re back to the same site for the championships. UH has finished last of nine teams in the BWC championship the last two years and has done no better than fifth since joining the conference in 2012.

Men’s golf: Ka‘anapali Classic Collegiate Invitational, all day
Continued play

Women’s tennis: Rainbow Wahine Invite, 9 a.m.
Continued play

Women’s volleyball: Cal Poly (15-6, 8-1) at Hawaii, 5 p.m. (Spectrum OC 16, KKEA 1420-AM)
Ahh, the showdown. Two-time defending Big West champ Cal Poly has put itself in position to make it a three-peat, even without the injured Torrey Van Winden. Maia Dvoracek continues to shoulder the load for the Mustangs at 3.94 kps. Speaking of injured players, will this be the week that Jolie Rasmussen makes a return for the Wahine? Brooke Van Sickle is back for UH, but was not relied upon too heavily in the last two road games.

Soccer: Hawaii at Long Beach State (4-11, 2-4), Noon
The Beach might be down this year, but they’re used to being in the spot UH finds itself in now — vying for a playoff spot. This is their senior night and they might still have a chance to get in if they win on Thursday, so the Wahine could be up against a lot here. They’ve also never beaten LBSU in a Big West game, just tied them a couple times. This game might be the difference between the season ending and continuing in Southern California.

Men’s golf: Ka‘anapali Classic Collegiate Invitational, all day
Continued play

Women’s tennis: Rainbow Wahine Invite, 9 a.m..
Continued play


  1. Winning October 28, 2019 8:29 pm


  2. H-Man October 29, 2019 8:39 am

    Wahine volleyball has adjusted without Jolie, but it still feels a bit empty without her on court.

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