Rainbow Forecast: Hawaii football faces Central Arkansas on homecoming, volleyball heads to Waco, soccer returns to Waipio

Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium will once again host Hawaii soccer games starting this week against two Pac-12 powerhouses. / File photo by Brian McInnis

Hawaii’s three primary fall sports teams are on the move this week.

UH football returns home following its lopsided defeat at then-No. 23 Washington, which knocked the Rainbow Warriors from the ranks of the college football unbeatens. Fresh off its sweep of rival UCLA and a shiny new No. 13 ranking, the unbeaten Rainbow Wahine volleyball team heads to Waco, Texas, for the Baylor Invitational and their toughest test of the season.

And the UH soccer team is heading back to its regular home. The Wahine’s annual alumnae game at the Lower Campus field over the weekend will, in theory, be the last time they play there; UH has the green light to return to a healed Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium, according to coach Michele Nagamine.

The field was damaged over the summer by a botched application of a chemical sealant on the WPSS concrete bleacher seating. Heavy rains in late June washed the epoxy resin down into the field, damaging the pitch near both sidelines and forcing UH to relocate to campus for the first four games of the season. UH then played a three-game road trip in the Dakotas.

Emergency repair work by city crews was enough for UH to be able to host Pac-12 powerhouses Washington State and UCLA at WPSS in the coming days.

Nagamine messaged Hawaii Warrior World: “I am very grateful to our admin & facilities staff at the University of Hawaii & also the crew out at the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park for all of their hard work and support of us through this challenging experience! We’re excited to be back out at the Waipio Stadium and can’t wait to show our fans how much we’ve progressed as a team. Having the opportunity to showcase our team against national powerhouses UCLA and Washington State is very special for the Hawaii soccer community and we hope to see big crowds out this week!”

The Rainbow Warrior golf and tennis teams and the Wahine cross country squad are also in action this week. On with the Forecast.

MONDAY
Men’s golf: Husky Invitational, all day
It’s the second straight year that Ronn Miyashiro’s ‘Bows open the season at Washington’s tournament, this time at Gold Mountain Golf Club at Bremerton, Wash. Miyashiro is in his 22nd year as coach, trailing only sailing’s Andy Johnson and softball’s Bob Coolen in tenure.

TUESDAY
Men’s golf: Husky Invitational, all day
Senior Justin Ngan was the top finisher in last year’s Husky Invitational with a 232, good for a tie for 43rd as UH placed 12th as a team. He paced the ‘Bows with a 75.1 scoring average spanning 11 tournaments in 2018-19. This year, there are 15 teams competing in this event.

THURSDAY
Soccer: No. 13 Washington State (5-1) at Hawaii (2-4-1), 7 p.m., Spectrum Sports
The Cougars are the second of three Pac-12 powerhouses the Rainbow Wahine see this season. UH lost to USC (which is now up to No. 3) 3-0 in the season opener. Wazzu is coming off a 2-1 win over Loyola Marymount in its Cougar Classic but also lost to Michigan, 2-1, in that event. It’s had three other games of scoring four goals or more. UH, meanwhile, has struggled to score in general. In their last five matches, the Wahine have netted only three, a big factor in their losses to North Dakota and South Dakota State to wrap up their lengthy road trip.


Men’s tennis: Battle in the Bay, time TBD
The Rainbow Warriors, who are now led by former assistant Joel Kusnierz because of the retirement of longtime coach John Nelson just before the fall semester started, got underway with three matches in the Napa Silverado Invitational. Two players, reigning Big West freshman of the year Andre Ilagan and Lucas Labrunie remained on the mainland for this event in the Bay Area.

FRIDAY
Men’s tennis: Battle in the Bay, time TBD
UH is led by Ilagan, who swept last week’s three No. 1 singles matches at Napa against San Diego State, UNLV and San Francisco, including against his former Hawaii high school rival, USF’s Phuc Huynh.

SATURDAY
Football: Central Arkansas (3-0) at Hawaii (2-1), 6 p.m. (Spectrum PPV, KKEA 1420-AM)
Beware the Bears, who have not yet tasted defeat. The FCS team of the Southland Conference opened its season by stunning Western Kentucky of Conference USA in Bowling Green, 35-28. They edged Austin Peay and Abilene Christian in their last two. UH, meanwhile, is licking its wounds from a 52-20 debacle at Washington, a game in which the Huskies rolled up the first 38 points. Running back Miles Reed (70 yards, 2 TDs) was the bright spot in that one. This is the sixth straight year UH faces an FCS foe. The Warriors have a 13-game winning streak against FCS teams going back to 2006 (its last such defeat was to Florida Atlantic to open the 2004 season, 35-28 in OT). (CORRECTION: Florida Atlantic was actually a provisional I-A or FBS member that year, so UH’s FCS streak goes back to Montana in 2001, 16 games.) But there have been some close ones along the way (27-24 vs. Northern Iowa, 2014, 41-36 vs. Tennessee-Martin, 2016), including the only other time UH and Central Arkansas met, a 25-20 Warriors win on Sept. 4, 2009 at Aloha Stadium. The last time UH lost a homecoming game was in Nick Rolovich’s first year of 2016, 41-38 to UNLV.

Women’s volleyball: No. 13 Hawaii (9-0) vs. No. 17 Missouri (8-0), 8 a.m. HST (KKEA 1420-AM)
Three teams enter the Baylor Classic unbeaten (combined record of 24-0), but only one, at most, will remain that way. UH might have a slight rest advantage in this one, as Mizzou has to play Baylor on Friday. However, the status of junior hitter Jolie Rasmussen (right ankle injury) remains up in the air. The Tigers’ signature win was a sweep of then-No. 14 Michigan on Sept. 6.

Men’s tennis: Battle in the Bay, time TBD
Labrunie, UH’s No. 2 singles player, went 2-1 last week after dropping his first match.

Cross country: Chaminade Invitational, all day
UH placed 15th of 19th teams at the UC Riverside Invitational over the weekend. Tim Boyce’s Wahine were paced by Sophia Logidiani, a freshman who finished in 22:21.5 for 68th place individually. This time they’ll compete closer to home at Kapiolani Park.


SUNDAY
Women’s volleyball: No. 13 Hawaii at No. 5 Baylor, 9 a.m. HST (ESPN+, KKEA 1420-AM)
The team that knocked the Rainbow Wahine out of last year’s NCAA tournament have evolved into a powerhouse. Baylor is road-tested; the Bears went to then-No. 4 Wisconsin and then-No. 11 Marquette and dropped only one set between them. That explains their rise to top-five status. Like UH, they’ve swept UCLA (20-16-20 to UH’s 15-22-23). The Bears will be playing at home and will have had a day of rest after facing Missouri on Friday, while UH will be playing on back-to-back days. This is a rare out-of-conference road challenge for the Rainbow Wahine, who historically have not played such games until NCAA tourney time.

Soccer: No. 5 UCLA (5-1) at Hawaii, 3:30 p.m.
The people came out in droves the last time the Bruins appeared at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium — a record of 4,366 were tallied. The Bruins were then the defending national champion and No. 1 team, and played like it in pasting the Wahine 6-0. This year’s squad recently suffered its first blemish, a 2-0 loss at Santa Clara on Sept. 5. They came back with a 1-0 win over Wisconsin. UCLA is 6-0 all-time against UH.

COMMENTS

  1. H-Man September 18, 2019 2:35 pm

    The road matches against Missouri and Baylor is really good for the Wahine. Will help prepare them for Tournament time. Just unfortunate no TV coverage.


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