Hawaii women’s volleyball: Rainbow Wahine host as No. 12 seed, 2 BWC in NIVC

The Rainbow Wahine gathered at a private residence for the NCAA selection show on Sunday. / Photo by Cindy Luis

For the first time since 2013, Hawaii will be hosting the first and second rounds of the NCAA women’s volleyball tournament.

The Wahine (24-3) are seeded No. 12 and will play Northern Colorado in Friday’s second match at 7 p.m. In the first match at 4:30 p.m. San Diego will face Washington State.

The winners meet in Saturday’s second round at 7 p.m. The second-round winner moves on to the third round that will be hosted by the highest remaining seed on Thursday, Dec. 12.

Fellow Big West teams UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly received at-large berths. It is the first time since 2013 that the Big West has three teams in the NCAA tournament.

The regional final is Saturday, Dec. 14. The four regional winners advance to the final four, Dec. 19 and 21 in Pittsburgh.

The Wahine are in the region with No. 4 seed Wisconsin. The other seeds are Baylor (1), Texas (2) and Stanford (3).

This the 19th time Hawaii has hosted the opening round but just the third time since 2003. In 2013, the Wahine were seeded 11th, losing to BYU in the second round at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Tickets will go on sale Wednesday starting at 9 a.m. Prices have not been announced. For information, call 956-4482.

The Big West got two teams in the NIVC: Long Beach State (12-16) and UC Davis (17-12)

Beach is designated as host for the first two rounds of play. On Wednesday, the Aggies drew Tulsa (15-15) and Long Beach State drew Santa Clara (20-11) The winners of the two matches advance Thursday’s second round.


  1. warriorwahine December 1, 2019 5:55 pm

    just for inquisitiveness, was it even possible for na wahine to be at rpi 4 or above? ie retain rpi 3 before their (false) loss to irvine?

    i bet mavericks got the device and/or calculations? try it out, if uh did not lose to irvine what would their rpi be? followed by if they never lost to cal poly, what would their rpi be? and if they beaten baylor and remained undefeated what would the rpi for uh be?

  2. wahinefan87 December 1, 2019 6:01 pm

    That San Diego vs. Wash St match is going to be a real battle. I definitely want to watch that match before the Wahine take on No. Colorado.

  3. Warriorfan December 1, 2019 6:04 pm

    I wonder what the seee would have been without the uci mess. See what happens when the wahine travel in the pre conference to play tough opponents with strong rpis, they usually host come post season (2013 and 2019). This trend needs to continue every year. just hope for better outcome This time. Go wahine.

  4. rage December 1, 2019 6:13 pm

    Cal Poly and UCSB are probably not making it out of the second round, they got tough draws.

  5. Cindy Luis December 1, 2019 6:47 pm

    1. Doubtful if they’d be top 4 RPI if they had beat UCI.
    3. It wasn’t a bad outcome. they split, with a win over Missouri and a loss to the eventual No. 1 and top-seeded team. If Wahine hadn’t had a meltdown in Set 2 who knows how that would have ended up. Ah Mow was hoping team would be in that region for a potential rematch.
    4. IMHO Hawaii has the toughest subregional. Once again the committee puts three non-power 5 teams in a subregional and maybe one advance.
    Feel sorry for the Toreros. They win the WCC, beat BYU twice and the Cougars get a No. 15 seed and better draw.

  6. Row13 December 1, 2019 6:47 pm

    Just ordered my tickets online. The eTicketHawaii site does not display the link straightaway, you have to hunt for it. Try this, then click on “Click Here To Reserve Now.”


  7. Maverick December 1, 2019 6:48 pm

    As predicted, UH is seeded 12th, and the Big West has three teams in the tourney—a great year for the conference. UH faces a good opponent in No. Colorado, but a tough second round match if they win. Rematch with an improved San Diego team, or a WSU team that swept UW. Nebraska probably in the third round, followed likely by Wisconsin in the regional final…if UH continues winning.

    Overall, I think committee was very fair to UH this year (I hope the grumblings regarding past slights ends—enough already). The UCI loss did not appear to have a significant impact. I thought Penn St. would jump a few spots up in the seeds (they are a committee favorite IMO), effectively demoting UH from 11th (RPI) to 12th (seed). Purdue at RPI 21 got seeded 16, BYU at RPI 17 seeded 14. For the ninth straight year, at least one team in the top 16 RPI was not seeded: Rice and Marquette were the victims this time around.

    In the selection RPI from the NCAA, UH ended up with the #4 non-conference RPI and the #12 non-conference SOS. I hope UH decides to take another trip next year in the fourth weekend to play good teams. It made a difference this year, along with the big home wins in and out of conference.

    Selection RPI can be found here: https://extra.ncaa.org/solutions/rpi/SitePages/Home.aspx

  8. Warriorfan December 1, 2019 7:07 pm

    R7 agreed I would hope another trip to Baylor?
    Or creighton? Rice should be good next year also

  9. Warriorfan December 1, 2019 7:08 pm

    R5 sorry i meant to say better outcome than last time Hawaii hosted a subregional. I agree with ah mow was hoping tor Baylor region.

  10. blunite December 1, 2019 7:12 pm

    Doable 1st, 2nd, and 3rd rounds. (Yes, Nebraska is doable.) Note: Doable is not the same as Doing. From there is anybody’s guess.

  11. warriorwahine December 1, 2019 7:28 pm

    7. so maverick plug in the numbers if hawai’i were to be undefeated, what would their rpi be?

  12. shar December 1, 2019 7:30 pm

    Ughhhhhhhh….I can’t stand this. The site is not accepting my email and password. I am thinking I will have to go down to the Stan Sheriff tomorrow.

  13. Maverick December 1, 2019 7:31 pm

    1,3,5. Without a computer model, I can’t give an accurate answer to your question about a “possible” top 4 RPI. The reason is that 75% of the RPI is out of UH’s control, and 25% of the total, opponents’ SOS, requires a model to compute. However, I performed a rough calculation based on an undefeated season and the 3 bonus points associated with wins at Baylor and at Poly. My estimate indicates an undefeated UH team would have had the 4th or 5th highest selection RPI. Again, this is a rough calculation that doesn’t take into account changes to UH’s opponents’ SOS. And I have used an estimate of the value of the bonus points; using a lower number I’ve seen online would put UH in 5th position. So it is “possible” for UH to have earned a top 4 seed if it went undefeated. Whether that means they would have been a top 4 seed is a different question, and I would say no given the bias toward the stronger conferences.

    In general, if UH schedules well out-of-conference, goes undefeated, and gets more help from its opponents on win-loss/SOS, particularly in the Big West, then it will have a legitimate shot at a top 4 RPI. But note that sometimes you get lucky with scheduling the right teams (who knew Baylor would be this good in 2019?), and that is a big wildcard for UH because it cannot rely on the Big West for an RPI boost. Per #7 above, UH had the fourth best non-conference RPI, so most of the issue in 2019 is with playing in the BW. The other BW teams must perform better in non-conference matches for UH to compete for the top 4 (and BW has three tourney teams this year–everyone else needs to win more). This will become much more challenging with conference expansion next year.

  14. Cindy Luis December 1, 2019 7:46 pm

    7. as mentioned, it is a tough subregional, the only one with three teams ranked in the AVCA Top 25. another cake walk for Penn State.
    Also updated in main box that Beach and UC Davis got into the NIVC, Beach hosting. if both win, they play each other in second round.

  15. Baby-Dude December 1, 2019 7:50 pm

    Good year for the Big West.

  16. wahinefan87 December 1, 2019 8:11 pm

    ICYMI: Morgan Martin and Pani Napoleon are Queens of the Beach as they take down Julia Scoles and Ilihia Huddleston 21-17, 25-23 in an all-UH pairs exhibition final.

  17. Optimist December 1, 2019 8:30 pm

    Wahine subregional makes sense when you consider proximity and relative ranking of 1 to 64 if based on rpi.I had guessed Northern Colorado, BYU (considered San Diego first because of proximty, but opted for BYU because Wahine had played San Diego already), chose USC[vs UCLA (Wahine played already) or Washinton State(wasn’t sure they would make the tournament based on rpi, but stupid thought considering that they were ranked)] figured with amount of pac 12 teams one would be sent to Hawaii. San Diego, Denver common flight to Hawaii, still think USC made more sense than WSU. Didn’t see espn selection show, so excuse if repetitive. The Cinderella of Cinderella teams; Alabama State University; rpi 311 of 335 , won-lost 17-21.

  18. Kahuna December 1, 2019 8:46 pm

    NIVC is kind of a joke. Not hating on fellow member LBSU but post season is supposed to be a reward for accomplishing something. LBSU’s record of 12-16 is not an good accomplishment.

    I guess nobody wants to play so they are settling for teams under .500.

  19. Kahuna December 1, 2019 8:53 pm

    TCU is 9-17 and in this tournament. Good thing Cal declined. Would have been kind of embarrassing for a team like Cal to play in this joke of a tournament.

  20. nomu1001 December 1, 2019 9:09 pm

    In all due respect to the committee, why would they match SD against WS in the first round? Would argue they might have done better sending either team elsewhere for the first round, especially in consideration of the team match ups in other brackets? But they did recognize Cal Poly and UCSB, and that is a good sign for the BW.

  21. wahinefan87 December 1, 2019 9:09 pm

    Hawaii subregional ticket pricing info is here:

  22. Maverick December 1, 2019 9:19 pm

    14, 20. While I agree UH’s sub-regional has 3 AVCA top 25 teams, 20 AVCA USD and 25 AVCA WSU are the ones who have a gripe. Either will have to play two AVCA top 25 teams to get to the regional while UH only has to play one. Yes, UH is guaranteed to play a top 25 team if it reaches the second round, but there are other seeded teams who have a bigger gripe. These teams face difficult round 2 matches if the favorites win their first-round matches: 16 seed/16 AVCA Purdue vs. AVCA 12 Marquette. 8 seed/9 AVCA Washington vs. AVCA 11 Colorado St. 13 seed/unranked Texas A&M vs. 21 AVCA Rice. I don’t see a lot of unfairness to UH relative to these other subregionals.

  23. Maverick December 1, 2019 9:34 pm

    18, 19. NIVC bids are like youth sports participation trophies.

  24. wahinefan87 December 1, 2019 9:36 pm

    That WKU subregional is absurd (WKU vs. Kennesaw St. and Samford vs. Louisville). I think Texas is going to cruise into the Final Four.

  25. tongo December 1, 2019 9:38 pm

    #7 Agree. There was a time when top teams (with respective high RPI) would regularly appear in our preseason matches. Today, these teams appears less and less frequently. Give Robyn and staff for seeing the opportunity to go to the Baylor tournament. Clearly, we need to fund an off-island preseason tournament annually in an attempt to secure high RPI competition opportunities for seeding/hosting as well as national exposure.

  26. Optimist December 1, 2019 10:41 pm

    If you do not consider the AVCA ranking and just go by the NCAA Dec 1 rpi and seeding of 1 to 64 (1 vs 64, 2 vs 63, etc.) 12 would play 52 in in round of 64. In round of 32, 12 would play 20. 20 would play 44 in round of 64.
    Wahine rpi is 12, Northern Colorado is 74.
    San Diego is 26, Washington State is 49.
    If you eliminate the team with rpis better than 74, probably get in area of 52 best team in tournament.26 vs 49 is somewhat close to the ideal 20 vs 44. Rpi 44 N. Kentucky, 45 Green Bay, 46 Iowa State, 47 VCU,48 Cal, 49 Washington State . Green Bay, Cal not in, so now WSU would be 47. Now factor in travel, proximity and things don’t appear as much like , “What are they thinking…”. Also, 20 Creighton, 21 Purdue, 22 Cincinnati, 23 Colorado State, 24 UCF, 25 Louisville. Of these only CSU can make a case for being sent to Hawaii with regards to proximty.
    Even the WKU subregional if you match up rpis as above actually isn’t that far off base. I apologize if I got my numbers wrong, but just trying to point out at least some of pairings is not actually bad, particularly with Hawaii subregional.

  27. rabbit ears December 1, 2019 10:47 pm

    We’re talking shi…. again. I agree about the NIVC, but we have a arrogance about the tourney this season. I kind of recall us possibly staring down that road last year. (if we didn’t get the at large). I do remember coach saying they weren’t interested.

  28. Maverick December 1, 2019 11:18 pm

    Here is a link to the NIVC 2019 handbook: https://www.womensnivc.com/forms.html

    You can question how they select teams for AQs (conference record rather than overall record), the guarantees they require from hosts, the rights NIVC has to all sorts of things, etc. But there is a max travel outlay for teams above which NIVC covers any approved excess.

    I’m not a fan of post-season tournaments filled with second and third-tier teams, with a few NCAA snubbed teams. And I don’t think UH should ever consider this tournament. If a 3x NCAA champion, perennial AVCA Top 25 program is not good enough to make the NCAA tourney, then there should be no post-season. UH needs to maintain program standards–this is not arrogance. I prefer UH not spend any money on the NIVC, but rather on the recruiting budget so that the coaches can cast a wider recruiting net; or for traveling to a mainland pre-season tournament as UH did this year.

  29. sports for fun December 1, 2019 11:30 pm

    Okay, so Na Wahine made it into the Big Dance. My question is if the games are sold out, will Spectrum Sports be allowed to televise the matches? If they are, will they be required to show it to the Hawaiian Tel customers as well or does their “rights” thing take precedence? Just wondering. I’m going to The Stan to cheer on Na Wahine.

  30. Optimist December 1, 2019 11:31 pm

    Sorry ,clarification on 26. “If you eliminate the TEAMSwith rpis better than 74 THAT DID NOT GET IN, probably get in the area of the 52nd best team in the tournament BEING NORTHERN COLORADO…”

  31. warriorwahine December 1, 2019 11:37 pm

    13. so it is possible albeit remote for hawai’i to possibly host a regional? but they would have to had beaten baylor nevermind not have any loss?

    why im asking this is because come next season with big west team expansion, theres no hope of hosting a regional even if uh schedules tough and goes undefeated, let alone the possibility of hosting could go down to near impossible. unless perhaps hawai’i should join pac12 or another p5?

    good thing na wahine is hosting this season and hopefully goes out strong unlike 2013 when drama undid them.

    lets go bows!

  32. Maverick December 2, 2019 12:41 am

    31. Let me clarify #13. I should have written, “So it is ‘possible’ for UH to have earned a top 4 RPI this year if it went undefeated”, instead of writing “top 4 seed”. My typo. My next sentence answers your second question. If UH had a top 4 RPI, I don’t think the committee would have awarded the team a top 4 seed because the committee values conference strength, and the BW is not very strong from top to bottom. Only 3 strong/very good teams right now.

    As far as next year, even if there was no conference expansion, I don’t think UH would host a regional without a major improvement in the BW conference’s mid to lower tier teams. And this assumes a high non-conference SOS with road wins and an undefeated UH. Next year’s conference expansion will add two low-quality teams and hurt the BW’s overall RPI. With this, the probability of UH hosting a regional with an undefeated season and aggressive non-conference schedule would be worse than remote.

    As far as joining a P5, the only logical conference is the Pac12, and conference affiliation is driven by football and TV viewership/eyeballs. UH is not particularly attractive in these areas. The key to UH hosting a regional lies with the improvement in the BW (i.e., win more non-conference matches).

  33. T103 December 2, 2019 5:29 am

    Someone posted earlier asking if OC16 is gonna televise the game. anyone know the answer?

  34. H-Man December 2, 2019 6:35 am

    My guess is that the NCAA has control of the post season TV rights. Spectrum’s contract probably limited to regular season. But I hope I’m wrong and Spectrum televises the matches. The San Diego – Washington St match should be a good one.

  35. Sheila December 2, 2019 6:37 am

    Northern Colorado is not a gimme…has taken CalPoly into 5th set….
    10 Agree. Either SanDiego/Washington State are doable although Jolie helped in pre-season…if succeeded, wahine will face next two rounds with opponents with 4th round strength twice back-to-back. Definitely need help from reserves & (Jolie?) for pinching in first two weeks taking off some burden on key players and meanwhile, tuning up for next two rounds…Keep continue wahines’ winning formula for Ws, 50% from players and other 50% from coaching staff’s engaged in real-time strategy. Please, sacrifice all other fun-activities and devote only on post-season chasing the title as wahine too has the potential to sting any higher ranked team….Long Beach did very well closing the season with recovered key-players and deserve to win NIVC.

  36. Cheeseball December 2, 2019 6:41 am

    Congrats to UH. You earned the home games. I hope that the team plays well and makes it through to next weekend. As I’ve said in past posts, I’m a Wisconsin fan first and Wahine fan second, but I am really excited at the prospect of seeing UH play here next weekend. There are lots of tall OHs and MBs around here and it would be great for them to see UH and broaden their college prospects beyond the Big 10 or a mid-major that’s “close to home.” Assuming UH will make it through, I hope some of you can travel to Wisconsin next week. If you say hi to me (the big guy in an old UH sweatshirt and a new Big 10 champions hat), I’ll buy you a beer.

  37. shar December 2, 2019 11:52 am

    I would hope that the games are televised for the family and friends of the other teams who cannot make the trip.

    I just got back from the SSC. The lines are short and three windows are open. It goes by fast. There were a few of us who had problems with “email and password” not agreeing. I’m thinking that maybe the site is overworked and a bit wonky.

    So excited to go to the game. I walked across the street to the bookstore to purchase the BWC winners t-shirt.

  38. Maverick December 2, 2019 12:36 pm

    warriorwahine et al., there is one other possible way for UH to “host” a regional without the BW performing a lot better or UH joining the Pac12. UH must have a high RPI OOC schedule and win all its matches, allowing for a very high seed (5-8), then win its subregional, and finally hope that the higher seed in its regional (1-4) loses in its own subregional. Then the regional will shift to Honolulu. This gives UH 4 straight home matches prior to the final four, which is effectively “hosting” a regional.

    So how likely or remote is this scenario?

    Since 2016, when the top 4 seeds were given the right to host a regional, UH has not been seeded and all 4 top seeds have won their subregionals in each year.

    Since 2002, only twice has a top 4 seed lost in its subregional: 4 Missouri (2013) and 2 Nebraska (2011). UH was seeded 11 in 2013 and 10 in 2011 (2011 was the year of the infamously difficult Honolulu regional with Nebraska, USC, UH, KSU, Pepperdine). Since 2002, UH has had a top 4 seed twice (2 in 2003, 3 in 2004), and a 5-8 seed 3 times (6 in 2002, 7 in 2005 and 2008). When UH was a 5-8 seed, the top 4 seeds all advanced out of their subregionals. In conclusion, this is a very remote possibility.

  39. WaveRipper December 2, 2019 1:02 pm

    (Been training for Honolulu Marathon so just now catching up with volleyball.)

    As expected, Hawaii was a shoo-in to be a subregional host but you never know until it (Selection Sunday) comes.

    As I’ve posted for weeks now, the WCC had 5 total bids/berths in 2018 — tied for 3rd most bids after Power-5 conferences Pac-12 (8) and Big Ten (7). The Big West had 2 total bids/berths in 2018.

    In 2019, I expected the WCC to drop to 2. And it did. That opened up 3 at-large spots for other conferences, making the Big West’s bid to have 3 teams in The Big Dance a “certainty” to me but “unlikely” to others who were not aware of the WCC’s drop.

    As for the Pac-12, the Volleyball Committee followed the Pac-12 Standings, choosing 5th place Washington State (which had an opening conf. win and a closing conf. win over Washington) as the 5th and final at-large bid (over California), leaving the Pac-12 with 6 total bids in 2019.

    And the Big Ten had 7 total bids again (5 of which were given hosting duties). The top 7 in Big Ten Standings received invites to The Big Dance. None of the bottom 7 in the Standings were even considered for at-large as all of these schools had W-L percentages below .500. Illinois, with a RPI of 50, was the 7th and final Big Ten team to get in.

    Totally agree that PSU has another subregional cakewalk. Same old same old.

    Totally agree that the Round 1 match raising eyebrows must be San Diego vs Washington St.

    You play the cards you’ve been dealt. And Coach RAM and her staff (especially Coach Ang) have thus far played the cards not like baby sharks but like Go-for-Broke Sharks.

    GO BOWS! Hope to see everyone at our subregional!

  40. Cindy Luis December 2, 2019 4:30 pm

    new thread up with ticket info.
    My thoughts on the bracket.
    Hawaii has the toughest subregional, three ranked teams, three conference champs. typical of the NCAA to put non-power 5 champs into the same pod where, if lucky, one advances. they’ve already stacked the odds in the favor of the power-5 conferences with the amount of bids awarded.
    I feel for San Diego, winners of the WCC, beat BYU twice. I know SOS comes into play but logic should reward the clear winner of a conference. The only thing that isn’t clear is whether USD’s facility was available but still …
    Whoever advances out of the Honolulu subregional has a difficult task physically getting to the next round in terms of flights It would have made so much more sense for Hawaii to be seeded 11, be put in Stanford’s region (one flight). Even being put in with Texas or Baylor would be an easier flight. (one to DFW).
    NCAA uses regional criteria when convenient.

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