Rainbow Forecast: Hawaii football heads to Washington, volleyball hosts third tournament

Hawaii hosts the Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Volleyball Challenge this week. / Photo by Andrew Lee, Special to the Star-Advertiser

In this week’s edition of the Rainbow Forecast, the Hawaii football and women’s volleyball teams look to build off some exceptional starts to their seasons.

UH football is off to a third straight 2-0 start under Nick Rolovich, but has a very tough test this weekend in its first road game of the season at No. 23 Washington. Can the Rainbow Warriors pull off a stunner in Seattle?

Meanwhile, Robyn Ah Mow’s Rainbow Wahine (6-0) are off to the program’s best start since 2004, when UH went 30-0 in the regular season. That’s going to be tough to top, but UH can further entrench itself in the AVCA Top 25 by posting wins this weekend over two power-five teams.

The UH soccer, women’s golf and cross country teams are also in action, all on the mainland.

Women’s golf: Hobble Creek Classic, all day
UH opens its season in Springville, Utah, in an event hosted by Utah Valley. Entrants in the 17-team field play 36 holes on the opening day today. UH took seventh in this tournament last year, and won it in 2015 (its last team tournament title overall).

Women’s golf: Hobble Creek Classic, all day
UH wraps up the Hobble Creek Classic with 18 more holes. Leading the Wahine into the event is junior Megan Ratcliffe, who tied for fourth individually in the event last year.

Soccer: Hawaii (2-3-1) at South Dakota State (2-3), 1 p.m.
The Rainbow Wahine look to close their three-game road trip through the Dakotas on a better note after a letdown against North Dakota in a 2-1 loss in double overtime on Sunday. UH was poised for a fourth straight shutout, but gave up the tying goal with under three minutes left and went on to lose in OT. The Jackrabbits of the Summit League have lost three straight, all on the road. But they’re unbeaten (2-0) in Merillion, S.D.

Women’s volleyball: West Virginia (4-2) at No. 18 Hawaii (6-0), 7 p.m. (Spectrum OC 16, KKEA 1420-AM)
Can the Rainbow Wahine make it 3-for-3 in home tournament titles and keep pace with their best start since 2004? You’d expect the competition in the Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Volleyball Challenge to be a cut above the Heineken Rainbow Wahine Invitational that UH just won. It begins with the Mountaineers of the Big 12, UH’s second power-conference opponent of the season (Washington). West Virginia is coming off consecutive losses to San Diego State and Arizona at the SDSU Invitational last weekend. You can bet Hilo native Reed Sunahara and his team will be hungry.

Women’s volleyball: Utah Valley (2-5) at No. 18 Hawaii, 7 p.m. (Spectrum OC 16, KKEA 1420-AM)
The Wolverines’ record might be a bit deceiving, as the WAC team lost to ranked teams Marquette, BYU and Utah. They also swept Big West opponent UC Davis. That said, this should be the easiest opponent in this tournament.

Football: Hawaii (2-0) at No. 23 Washington (1-1), 1:30 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks, KKEA 1420-AM)
The plucky Rainbow Warriors look to make it 3-for-3 against Pac-12 opposition, but will have their sternest test of the three by far in Seattle. UH, which has had the first two Mountain West offensive players of the week (Cedric Byrd and JoJo Ward) has opened as a 22-point underdog. Chris Petersen’s Huskies are coming off a weird one in which they lost to Cal on a 17-yard field goal with eight seconds left, causing their rank to drop by 10 this week. Their Pac-12 opener was delayed 2 1/2 hours because of a lightning storm, so they played late into the night at Husky Stadium. Worth noting that one of UH’s signature program road victories was at UW, 10-7 in 1973. The Warriors’ last win in the series was the memorable 35-28 win at Aloha Stadium to get into the Sugar Bowl, but the Huskies have captured the last two meetings in close ones (40-32 in Seattle in 2011 and 17-16 at Aloha Stadium in the 2014 opener) and lead the series 3-2 overall.

Women’s volleyball: UCLA (3-2) at No. 18 Hawaii, 7 p.m. (Spectrum OC 16, KKEA 1420-AM)
The pretty-much-annual series between the ‘Bows and Bruins was interrupted last year because of the threat of Hurricane Lane in the season-opening tournament. Well, UH will have made a pretty strong statement if it can stay unbeaten through this weekend. UCLA’s losses (it got swept both times) were to teams now ranked in the top five, No. 2 Nebraska and No. 5 Baylor. The Bruins, who had their first losing season under former UH assistant Mike Sealy last year (13-14), are coming off a sweep victory at Long Beach State, but needed extra points in all three sets to do it.

Soccer: UH alumnae game, 5 p.m., Lower Campus field
The annual Wahine alums game, if it happens, is happening on campus this year because of the ongoing field repair work at the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium. There’s some numbers concerns among the alums this year. As for UH’s upcoming home games, it’s still TBD if those will be held on campus or at WPSS.

Cross country: UC Riverside Invitational, all day
UH opened its season finishing second of seven teams at the Big Wave Invitational at Kahuku Golf Course, won by BYU on Aug. 31. This is the Wahine’s first road meet. UC Santa Cruz transfer Shannon McClish was UH’s top individual finisher at the Big Wave, in 14th.