Rainbow Forecast: Hawaii football back in Boise for Mountain West title game; Wahine volleyball hosts NCAA subregional; basketball teams face road challenges

Hawaii quarterback Cole McDonald looked downfield against Boise State in a 59-37 loss on Oct. 12. The Rainbow Warriors return to Boise this week for the Mountain West championship. / Associated Press photo by Steve Conner

December is often when things calm down a bit in the realm of collegiate athletics in the wake of typically busy Novembers.

Not this week for Hawaii, and not for the Rainbow Forecast.

Between the football team heading up to Boise for its first Mountain West championship game, the Rainbow Wahine volleyball team hosting an NCAA subregional for the first time since 2013, and both UH basketball teams heading on the road for stiff challenges against ranked teams … big things are happening. If you’re a UH fan, this is not the week to get lost in the hubbub of holiday get-togethers and shopping sprees.

The swimming and diving teams are also in action on the mainland in a big event.

Without further ado:

Men’s and women’s swimming and diving: Toyota U.S. Open Championships, all day
The swim/dive squads head to Atlanta for their biggest event yet this season. Senior Phoebe Hines is coming off an outstanding race at the Art Adamson at Texas A&M, where she posted a 15:56.61 in the 1650 free, the top mark in the country so far this season. The UH men finished No. 3 at the Adamson and the Wahine No. 4. The UH men set a couple of school records, with Aukai Lileikis 43.30′ in the 100 free and a team relay time of 2:54.48 in the 400 free relay.

Men’s and women’s swimming and diving: Toyota U.S. Open Championships, all day
Event continues

Women’s volleyball: Northern Colorado (26-7) at No. 12 seed Hawaii (24-3), 7 p.m. (TV TBD, KKEA 1420-AM)
UNC punched its ticket to the NCAAs with a five-set win over Weber State in the Big Sky tournament championship. It is a homecoming for two locals on the Bears’ coaching staff, Jon Haruguchi and Pi‘i Aiu. The Bears went 17-1 in Big Sky action, and have won 12 matches in a row since getting swept at Northern Arizona on Oct. 24. All UH has done, meanwhile, is win its last 11 for its first outright Big West title since 2016. Northern Colorado was last here in 2011, when UH swept UNC in the NCAA first round, 25-21, 25-15, 25-15. Still, UNC was clearly thrilled to be back here.

Hawaii is looking to atone for one-and-done NCAA performances the last two years and advance in the tournament for the first time under Robyn Ah Mow. A question that has lingered and will be asked here for possibly the last time this season: Jolie Rasmussen be back from injury?

Women’s basketball: Hawaii (4-4) at No. 5 Oregon State (7-0), 5 p.m. (KHKA 1500-AM)
The Rainbow Wahine are battle-tested after this past weekend’s Heineken Showdown, facing the likes of No. 12 (now No. 13) North Carolina State and Texas. In beating the latter, the Wahine picked up their first win over a Power Five opponent in two years, and first at the Stan Sheriff Center in six. But OSU will be a different kind of beast. No one has played the Beavers within 12 this year. UH will have to hope Myrrah Joseph’s injury absence is a short one and Courtney Middap’s bumps and bruises won’t keep her out, because it’s all-hands-on-deck time for this two-game road trip. Julissa Tago (12.5 points per game) and Amy Atwell (11.9) were named to the Heineken Showdown all-tournament team.

Men’s and women’s swimming and diving: Toyota U.S. Open Championships, all day
Event continues

Football: Hawaii (9-4, 5-3 Mountain West) at Boise State (11-1, 8-0), 11 a.m. (ESPN, KKEA 1420-AM)
The Rainbow Warriors have their most wins since 2010, but that’s clearly not enough for Nick Rolovich and company. They’ve already earned a “first” in program history by making this game — why not accomplish another by stunning the Broncos on their own field? The tandem quarterback situation of Cole McDonald and Chevan Cordeiro has actually been working out lately. McDonald was named UH’s team MVP at its banquet over the weekend. UH opened as a 15-point underdog for its return to Albertsons Stadium, where it lost 59-37 on Oct. 12. BSU won five straight since suffering its only loss to BYU the week after its win over UH. The Broncos dropped last year’s MWC title game in overtime to Fresno State, so it’s not impossible. The Broncos are on their third quarterback, Jaylon Henderson, but they’re so good in all facets that they are still the prohibitive favorite. Henderson had two touchdowns and no picks in a 31-24 win at Colorado State last week. Boise has won the last seven matchups with UH, and is 8-0 all-time in the series at Boise. But lest we forget, UH beat BSU the only time to date they met with an outright conference championship on the line — 39-27 in 2007 at Aloha Stadium.

Women’s volleyball: TBD
If it can get past Northern Colorado, Hawaii will play a second-round match at the Stan Sheriff Center a night later against either 24-5 San Diego (which UH beat in five to open the season) or 23-9 Washington State.

Men’s basketball: Hawaii (6-2) at No. 13 Oregon (6-2), 2 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks, KHKA 1500-AM)
The Rainbow Warriors and Ducks have identical records, but not exactly identical resumes. Oregon is coming off an absolute gauntlet in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament — where it beat No. 13 Seton Hall and lost one-possession games to No. 8 Gonzaga and No. 6 North Carolina — to finish in sixth in the Bahamas. UH is coming off a 58-41 win over Hawaii Pacific. So, yeah. But the Rainbow Warriors have played well of late, the HPU game notwithstanding, including an 85-75 win over previously unbeaten San Francisco. UH hung in for a while in its other “buy” game of the year, at Illinois, before succumbing in the final 10 minutes or so. Doing the same on the gaudy Matt Knight Court will be difficult, but perhaps not impossible. Dana Altman’s Ducks are led by four-year point guard Payton Pritchard (18.6 ppg). UH point guard Drew Buggs, who is looking forward to that matchup, is two games removed from his best scoring outing of his career, 25 points against USF. That’ll be the key matchup. UH is 0-2 all-time at Oregon, having last played there on Feb. 1, 1975, a 77-72 loss.

Men’s and women’s swimming and diving: Toyota U.S. Open Championships, all day
Event concludes

Women’s basketball: Hawaii at Washington (6-1), 5:30 p.m.
The last time the Rainbow Wahine played at Alaska Airlines Arena, it was the first round of the 2014 WNIT in Laura Beeman’s second season at UH. That one didn’t go the way of the Wahine (67-50). These Huskies have won five in a row, including beating Iowa for the Puerto Rico Clasico title over the weekend. Will UH be ready for a second straight Pac-12 road game coming off the battle with Oregon State in Corvallis?


  1. iGrokSpock December 2, 2019 4:05 pm

    Busy busy busy. Go Warriors and Wahine!

  2. H-Man December 3, 2019 11:18 am

    Winning is contagious !!!

  3. H-Man December 9, 2019 11:27 am

    Whoopie, Wahine basketball downs the Washington Huskies 62-50.

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