Rainbow Forecast: Conference championships on the line for Hawaii football, volleyball

Miles Reed ran the ball against San Diego State in last year's 31-30 win at San Diego County Credit Union Stadium on Nov. 24. / Star-Advertiser file photo by Victor M. Posadas

It’s a big week in this edition of the Forecast — championships are on the line for the Hawaii football and women’s volleyball teams.

The Rainbow Warriors, coming off an important 21-7 win at UNLV, will play their biggest home game in years on Saturday at Aloha Stadium against San Diego State. Should UH find a way to top SDSU, it will win the Mountain West West Division and earn a spot in the MWC title game for the first time.

Meanwhile, the Wahine volleyball team can win its first Big West championship in three years, outright no less, if it can sweep Cal State Northridge and Long Beach State at home on Thursday and Friday.

The UH men’s and women’s hoops teams also are in action at home this weekend. The UH men start the week with a nationally televised contest at Illinois today.

Both men’s and women’s swimming and diving squads, and women’s tennis have events as well.

Men’s basketball: Hawaii (3-1) at Illinois (2-1), 3 p.m. (ESPNU, KKEA 1420-AM)
The first marquee game on the Rainbow Warriors’ schedule is here. UH has never beaten Illinois (0-7 all-time), but it’s come close on a couple of occasions (remember DJ Richardson’s 3 from the corner to give the Illini the win in OT in 2012?). Last time UH visited Champaign, Ill., in 2008, it won the rebounding battle by an astonishing 43-14 count behind double-doubles from Petras Balocka and Roderick Flemings. However, turnovers were UH’s undoing in a 10-point loss. This Illini team is much better on the boards, grabbing 16 offensive boards alone per game. Eran Ganot remains away from the team on medical leave. UPDATE: UH senior shooting guard Eddie Stansberry was just named Big West player of the week, the first in his two-year UH career. He averaged 27 points in wins over Pacific and Portland State.

Women’s volleyball: Cal State Northridge (12-15, 7-8 Big West) at Hawaii (22-3, 12-2), 7 p.m. (Spectrum OC 16, KKEA 1420-AM)
No. 18 UH can afford no slip-ups if it has designs on remaining the top 16 of the NCAA RPI and hosting a subregional. The Wahine, who are now a full game clear of Cal Poly in the standings thanks to Long Beach State’s upset of the Mustangs last week, beat CSUN in four when the teams met at the Matadome way back on Sept. 28. With only the NCAAs ahead following this week, is it now-or-never time for the return of Jolie Rasmussen from injury?

Men’s and women’s swimming and diving: Art Adamson Invitational, all day
The swim squads visit College Station, Texas, for Texas A&M’s three-day event. The men and women combined for 11 first-place finishes at their last mainland meet at Arizona.

Women’s basketball: Texas-San Antonio (2-1) at Hawaii (2-1), 2:30 p.m. (KKEA 1420-AM)
The Roadrunners of Conference USA just got thumped at No. 22 Texas last week (a team UH will face on Dec. 1) by 31. UH is in no position to look down on UTSA, though, on Day 1 of the Bank of Hawaii Classic after struggling mightily to score in a split of its Los Angeles road trip last week. The Wahine scored 51 points in a loss to Loyola Marymount and 52 in a one-point win over Pepperdine in which the Waves closed the game on a 12-0 run and had four shots to win in the final seconds. Center Lauren Rewers leads the Wahine with two double-doubles.

Women’s volleyball: Long Beach State (12-15, 9-6) at Hawaii, 7 p.m. (Spectrum OC 16, KKEA 1420-AM)
Ahh, the old rivalry match between past national champions. The Beach (which no longer goes by the 49ers) might be down by its former standards, but would you really want any other team for senior night? LBSU has been spunkier of late, having won four matches in a row and dropping just one set over that span. UH won in four at the Pyramid on Sept. 27. UH will send off libero Rika Okino (a fourth-year junior who is wrapping up her degree), grad transfer setter Bailey Choy, hitter Kirsten Sibley, setter/hitter Norene Iosia and hitter McKenna Ross. If UH takes care of business, however, it might not be their final home match.

Men’s and women’s swimming and diving: Art Adamson Invitational, all day
Event continues.

Football: San Diego State (8-2, 5-2 Mountain West) at Hawaii (7-4, 4-3), 6 p.m. (Spectrum PPV, KKEA 1420-AM)
The big one that coach Nick Rolovich and Hawaii football fans have waited for since UH joined the Mountain West in 2012. UH has a chance to become the first West Division representative besides SDSU and Fresno State since divisions were instituted in 2013. It’s a credit to the Warriors that between their weekly who’s-it-gonna-be-at-QB debate, they’ve persevered and put themselves in position to do this, while other teams in the West have sputtered. Would UH win, it would have an identical 5-3 MWC record with SDSU and own the head-to-head tiebreaker. It will not be easy (and in fairness, what has been at home this season?). SDSU has allowed a MWC-low 137 points this season, including 113 in seven league games. That’s 16.1 per game. Yowza. UH proved last year that it could beat a Rocky Long-coached team, though, stunning the Aztecs 31-30 in overtime in San Diego when it successfully defended a questionable 2-point conversion attempt by the hosts. That ended a six-game winning streak in the series for SDSU. You’d expect Cole McDonald to start at quarterback for the first time in three games coming off his bench heroics at UNLV last week, but at this point, who knows? It was announced today that practice is closed to the media this week.

Men’s and women’s swimming and diving: Art Adamson Invitational, all day
Event concludes.

Women’s basketball: Texas Southern (1-1) at Hawaii, 2:30 p.m. (Spectrum Sports, KKEA 1420-AM)
The Tigers of the SWAC have a lopsided win (71-44 at Texas-Rio Grande Valley) and a blowout loss (99-63 at Oregon). Against top-ranked OU, TSU’s game jerseys went missing in the team hotel, forcing the Tigers to play the Ducks in their practice jerseys. Yikes. Here’s hoping their stay here goes smoother. UH concludes the BoH Classic without facing Utah, the other team present.

Men’s basketball: New Orleans (1-3) at Hawaii, 5 p.m. (Spectrum Sports, KKEA 1420-AM)
Ahh, the first WBB/MBB doubleheader of the year. The Privateers of the Southland Conference are 0-3 against Division I competition this season, all on the road, none closer than 13 points, affording the Rainbows a chance at a potential bounce-back should their guarantee game at Illinois go as oddsmakers expect (Illinois is favored by 15.5). Will the Chris Gerlufsen era at UH extend into a sixth game, or will Ganot return from his medical leave for this favorable game?

Women’s tennis: Stanford vs. Hawaii, Big Island, 2 p.m.
The Wahine conclude their fall season against the powerhouse Cardinal. Bojana Markovic, ranked No. 95, became the first Wahine player to participate in the ITA Fall Championships two weeks ago. She was beaten in the round of 32 by No. 37 Vivian Wolff of Georgia.


  1. H-Man November 18, 2019 5:04 pm

    Football practice closed to media? Anyway, lots of UH sports this weekend. Looking forward towards the Wahine VB matches. Winning out will put Wahine in line to host, but must stay focused.

  2. YoungWarrriorsFan November 18, 2019 6:04 pm

    What a game this weekend! How are we going to fill those seats? Anyone on this Blog ever hear of 1420 AM and KTUH work together to try strum up some excitement from the students on campus?

    Or better yet, has anyone heard of any of the coaches walking campus/dorms and getting the students informed about the game? If I remember correctly the students get into the game free? Walk around and pass out tickets…..

    The lack of participation can’t be the “bathroom” crisis the stadium is having.

  3. 19Champions November 18, 2019 6:36 pm

    Looking forward to the Warriors winning this Saturday and taking it all to the MWC Championship game! We have recorded some historical wins this season; at Nevada and UNLV, both since 2007! Could there be another game on the horizon that mirrors the same type of season that 2007 was?! Hmm…I wonder what team that might be..(sarcasm:)*)…but seriously a win over San Diego is the only thing the boys should be thinking about right now. ..then we’ll see what the picture looks like.

  4. Baby-Dude November 19, 2019 4:30 am

    Exciting year for WVB. Not to much for WBB from watching the two road games last week. I know its very early in the season, but i’ll pick them around 5th in conference.

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