Rainbow Forecast: Hawaii-BYU volleyball showdown; final week of basketball regular seasons; baseball hosts Oregon

Patrick Gasman, middle, Hawaii's leading blocker, will go against the country's top blocking team in BYU twice this week. / Photo by Andrew Lee, Special to the Star-Advertiser

The Stan Sheriff Center is a great place to be this week.

From Wednesday through Saturday, there’s a meaningful being game played in the SSC, with the long-awaited men’s volleyball matchup of No. 1 Hawaii vs. No. 2 BYU anchoring things on Thursday and Friday. The biggest matches here since UH-Long Beach State in last year’s Big West tournament final could very well serve as a national championship preview.

It’s also senior week for the Rainbow Wahine basketball team, which has a lot to play for in its final two games of the regular season. Seeding is especially important on the women’s side, with Big West tournament byes on the line, so ending a three-game slide ahead of that is paramount for them for reasons beyond morale.

The struggling UH men will try to do the same, but on the road. It will be challenging, as both UC Davis and Cal State Northridge are celebrating senior nights in positions ahead of the Rainbow Warriors in the standings.

And the Rainbow Warrior baseball team will try to regroup from a deflating series finale at defending national champion Vanderbilt for their marquee home series of the year against Oregon.

Men’s and women’s tennis, and track and field are also in action this week.

Men’s tennis: Hawaii (7-5) at Pacific (1-10), 11 a.m.
The Rainbow Warriors rebounded from a loss to San Francisco to open the Pacific Central Valley Championship to win their next two dual matches against Pacific and Nevada. UH rematches with the struggling Tigers in Stockton after sweeping them 4-0 at Fresno.

Women’s tennis: Stetson (6-4) at Hawaii (4-5), 3 p.m. (Spectrum Sports)
The Hatters! Stetson hooks up with the Rainbow Wahine two days after facing Chaminade here. UH is feeling good about itself coming off the first two televised matches in program history, and two wins — including over rival Long Beach State, 4-3. Petra Melounova seems to have rediscovered her swagger at the No. 1 court.

Women’s basketball: UC Santa Barbara (13-15, 8-7 Big West) at Hawaii (14-13, 8-6), 7 p.m. (Spectrum Sports, KKEA 1420-AM)
If the swooning Wahine still have any designs on attaining the No. 2 seed and a double-bye in the Big West tournament, they have to draw a line in the sand right here and end their three-game slide. They already beat UCSB once, 63-51 last month. Since that time, freshman center Ila Lane has become the country’s leading rebounder at 13.3 per game. UH had some success last time with Lauren Rewers firing repeatedly from the outside to draw Lane out.

Men’s basketball: Hawaii (16-12, 7-7 Big West) at UC Davis (14-16, 8-6), 5 p.m. (BigWest.TV, KKEA 1420-AM)
How long ago does Eddie Stansberry’s game-winning 3 against the Aggies seem right about now? Pretty long. As great as that moment was for the ‘Bows, the month of February was equally as bad. UH has dropped six of eight going into its final road trip of the season that will extend into the Big West tournament. Amazingly, a second-place finish is still in play for the ‘Bows — but so is sixth. They are currently alone in fifth, behind a glut of teams at 8-6 that includes the Aggies. Stefan Gonzalez leads the nation in 3-point accuracy with a percentage of .491.

Baseball: Oregon (7-4) at Hawaii (8-5), 6:35 p.m. (KHKA 1500-AM)
“Soul crushing.” That was how Mike Trapasso described UH’s 7-5 loss in 11 innings at No. 2 Vanderbilt, in which the Commodores rallied from being down to their last strike to launch a three-run walk-off blast on Carter Loewen, preventing UH from earning the series win over the defending national champions. Fortunately for the ‘Bows, they have a chance to redeem themselves over another marquee opponent — the Ducks are their last Power Five foe of the regular season. Oregon lost its first four games of the year, but now has won seven straight with sweeps of Nevada and Milwaukee.

Men’s volleyball: No. 2 BYU (16-0) at No. 1 Hawaii (14-0), 7 p.m. (Spectrum Sports, KKEA 1420-AM joined in progress)
The matchup you’ve all been waiting for. The last two undefeated teams in the nation have so far been head and shoulders above the rest of the country. BYU has 11 wins over ranked foes compared to six for UH. Setter Wil Stanley, a Punahou product (and one of three local boys on the Cougars’ roster), is No. 3 nationally with 10.74 assists per set. These are the top two blocking teams in the nation, with BYU (3.009) slightly leading UH (2.886). UH leads everyone in hitting percentage (.386) while BYU is 2 (.351). Should be a doozy.

Men’s tennis: Sacramento State Invitational, TBD
Matchups for this two-day event at Sac State have yet to be announced.

Baseball: Oregon at Hawaii, 6:35 p.m. (KHKA 1500-AM)
Will Trapasso stick with his same pitching rotation or mix things up? Logan Pouelsen has gotten the nod for every series opener so far, but carries a 6.14 ERA. Brandon Ross, who’s been the No. 3/4 starter, has a 0.68 ERA in 13 1/3 innings pitched. Aaron Davenport is 2.01 in 22 1/3.

Men’s volleyball: No. 2 BYU at No. 1 Hawaii, 7 p.m. (Spectrum Sports, KKEA 1420-AM)
The closest BYU has come to a defeat was against UC Santa Barbara, which took the Cougars to five sets on Feb. 1. In that matchup, the Gauchos held sets leads of 1-0 and 2-1, and went into extra points in Provo, but could not close the deal.

Men’s tennis: Sacramento State Invitational, TBD
Event concludes.

Track and field: Sunrise Meet No. 2, all day
UH tied for last place among 20 teams in the MPSF Indoor Championships last week. Sprinter/hurdler Kristen LaCosse was the bright spot, breaking the school record in the 60-meter dash at 7.63 seconds in the preliminaries.

Men’s basketball: Hawaii at Cal State Northridge (13-17, 8-6), 5 p.m. (ESPN3, KKEA 1420-AM)
The Lamine Diane/Terrell Gomez Show was coasting at the Stan Sheriff Center, until it wasn’t. UH memorably rallied from 17 points down midway through the second half to stun the Matadors. Well, this time UH faces its second straight opponent senior night of the week. Diane (24.4 ppg, 9.8 rpg) is the Big West’s leading scorer and rebounder in conference games and appears well on his way to a second straight Big West Player of the Year award. Depending on how things shake out here, UH might well see the Matadors again the following week in the 4-5 first-round matchup.

Baseball: Oregon at Hawaii, 6:35 p.m. (KHKA 1500-AM)
Shortstop Kole Kaler leads UH in batting average (.391), doubles (six) and triples (three). Oregon was picked to finish ninth of 11 teams in the Pac-12.

Women’s basketball: Cal Poly (9-17, 6-9) at Hawaii, 7 p.m. (Spectrum Sports, KKEA 1420-AM joined in progress)
The Mustangs have been frisky of late, winning three of their last four. UH took care of business on its Central Coast trip, 59-46 in San Luis Obispo. But last time the Wahine hosted the Mustangs on their senior night, Cal Poly played spoiler, winning 67-61 behind the Leaupepe twins in 2018 to snap UH’s nine-year run of wins in home finales.

Baseball: Oregon at Hawaii, 1:05 p.m. (KKEA 1420-AM)
The lone afternoon game of the series. No games of the series are being televised.


  1. HawaiiMongoose March 3, 2020 8:58 am

    Brian, mahalo for the summary. I’m sure it’s a lot of work to put together, but it’s really helpful for those of us planning our UH sports-watching schedule.

  2. Brian McInnis March 3, 2020 2:32 pm

    You’re welcome. Glad it is of some use.

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