Rainbow Forecast: Marquee matchups at home for Hawaii basketball, on road for men’s volleyball

Hawaii guard Julissa Tago and the Rainbow Wahine look to extend their winning streak at home this week. / Photo by Jamm Aquino, Star-Advertiser

All five of Hawaii’s primary spring spectator sports are in action this week, plus some others.

The No. 1 UH men’s volleyball team (12) and Rainbow Wahine basketball team (five) put some significant win streaks on the line. The volleyballers head to the Bay Area to face No. 11 Stanford in a two-match set, while the Wahine host always-competitive Cal State Northridge.

UH men’s basketball has two marquee home matchups in Long Beach State on Wednesday and league leader UC Irvine on Saturday. Despite going 0-for-2 on last week’s Central Coast road trip, UH is only a game and a half behind the Anteaters in the standings (and one in the loss column). It’s a big opportunity on the first Big West home game on ESPN2.

Baseball hosts its first full series against North Dakota State and softball heads to the mainland for six games in three days at Lake Elsinore, Calif.

Women’s golf, tennis and track and field are also in action.

MONDAY
Women’s golf: Battle at the Rock, Riverside, Calif., all day
UC Riverside’s host event, which has been the spring season opener for the Rainbow Wahine for four years running, features 17 teams, including six Big West members plus future member Cal State Bakersfield. Senior Megan Ratcliffe, who’s done the event the last three years, had her best finish there at 31nd overall last year.

TUESDAY
Women’s golf: Battle at the Rock, Riverside, Calif., all day
Event concludes.

WEDNESDAY
Men’s basketball: Long Beach State (7-17, 2-6 Big West) at Hawaii (14-8, 5-3), 7 p.m, Spectrum Sports, KKEA 1420-AM)
The Rainbow Warriors have little time to shake off their winless road trip to the Central Coast. The question remains: Will UH get either Bernardo da Silva or Samuta Avea back in action this week? If they don’t return for Long Beach, the ‘Bows might be able to get by without them; while LBSU has some athleticism, it has struggled mightily and currently sits alone in last place. That’s something you never would have said was possible for a Dan Monson Beach team, but there they are. The Beach has lost three straight, but it’s worth noting their last win came over first-place UC Irvine.

THURSDAY
Women’s basketball: Cal State Northridge (9-13, 4-4 Big West) at Hawaii (13-10, 7-3), 7 p.m. (Spectrum Sports, KKEA 1420-AM)
This matchup at the Stan Sheriff Center somewhat inexplicably resulted in a 29-point output from the Rainbow Wahine, one of the lowest in program history. The program got past that last year to reach the conference championship game, and lately the Wahine have gotten past a 0-3 Big West road start. UH hasn’t won five in a row since stringing together seven in the 2015-16 season. CSUN beat UH 58-54 to open Big West play as part of a 4-1 league start, but Jason Flowers’ program has struggled of late, losing three in a row. Forward Myrrah Joseph might still be out for UH, but center Lauren Rewers is back in the mix and coming off a season-high 16 points at Santa Barbara.

FRIDAY
Track and field: Boise State Challenge, Nampa, Idaho
The Rainbow Wahine head to Nampa for another Boise State-hosted event. UH is coming off the New Mexico Collegiate Classic in Albuquerque, at which senior Teuila Gardner broke the school record in the 600 meters. Gardner did it in 1 minute, 35.57 seconds.

Softball: Hawaii (2-3) vs. Utah State (1-4), 9:30 a.m.; vs. Army (4-1), noon
UH jumps headlong from one tournament to the next. After taking third in its Paradise Classic, UH heads to Southern California for the Golden State Classic Tournament at Lake Elsinore, Calif. The first of three straight days of doubleheaders comes against two teams with wildly divergent results in Week 1 of the season. It will be interesting to see how Bob Coolen deploys Izzy Dino, Ashley Murphy and maybe a third starter for a young pitching staff.


Men’s volleyball: No. 1 Hawaii (12-0) at No. 11 Stanford (5-5), 5 p.m. (KHKA 1500-AM)
UH gets in a Big West-type road trip at a MPSF member, facing the Cardinal twice in two days. Stanford’s best result to date is a sweep of then-No. 8 UCLA on Saturday; Stanford has lost to Big West members UC Santa Barbara (in three) and UC Irvine (in four). It features junior opposite Jaylen Jasper, the son of two former UH athletes who enjoyed his experience in the Stan Sheriff Center despite his team getting swept by UH twice.

Baseball: North Dakota State (0-0) at Hawaii (2-0), 6:35 p.m. (Spectrum Sports, KKEA 1420-AM)
The Bison of the Summit League open up their season at Les Murakami Stadium, while UH will face its first Division I opponent of the season. The Rainbows walked a fine line in beating Hawaii Hilo twice last weekend, but did just enough (including a walk-off homer by Dustin Demeter on opening night). North Dakota State went 19-24 last year. Logan Pouelsen got the start on opening night — the senior gave up six hits, four runs and struck out seven — and figures to get the nod again this week.

SATURDAY
Track and field: Boise State Challenge, Nampa, Idaho
Event concludes.

Softball: Hawaii vs. San Jose State (2-2), 12:30 p.m.; vs. Sacramento State (4-1), 5 p.m.
The Golden State Classic continues at Lake Elsinore. San Jose State is 1-1 against Big West competition, while Sac State is 1-0.

Baseball: North Dakota State at Hawaii, 1:05 p.m. (KKEA 1420-AM)
The first of three straight afternoon games in this series. Aaron Davenport started Game 2 against Hilo, but lasted only three innings. Cade Smith came on in relief and got the win by going four.

Men’s volleyball: No. 1 Hawaii at Stanford, 4 p.m. (KHKA 1500-AM)
According to UH coach Charlie Wade, the two matches Friday and Saturday will be played at two different venues of Stanford. Stanford lists Maples Pavilion on Friday and the Burnham Pavilion and Ford Center on Saturday.

Men’s basketball: UC Irvine at Hawaii, 7 p.m. (ESPN2, KKEA 1420-AM)
The marquee matchup of the conference season. Irvine got the better of the ‘Bows — quite handily — on Jan. 11, winning 74-60 at the Bren Events Center, in which burly (although now more slimmed-down) center Brad Greene rumbled for 13 points and 21 rebounds. Another big man, Collin Welp, is a Big West Player of the Year candidate, and has come off the bench all season. That’s why getting da Silva and Avea back for this one is imperative — even with center Dawson Carper going for career highs of 20 and 11 in the overtime loss at Cal Poly.

SUNDAY
Softball: Hawaii vs. Bradley (2-3), 9:30 a.m; vs. Loyola Marymount (2-3), noon
Bradley went 1-1 against a ranked team, Arkansas, at the Troy Cox Classic at New Mexico State. LMU competed in Cal State Fullerton’s Titan Classic and went 0-2 against Big West teams, including a 13-12 defeat to UC Riverside.


Women’s tennis: Hawaii (1-3) at San Diego (2-3), 11 a.m.
The Rainbow Wahine picked up their first win of the season last week, and in convincing fashion, topping Big West opponent UC Irvine 6-1. Satsuki Takamura, ranked No. 103, prevailed at the No. 1 court and earned Big West player of the week.

Baseball: North Dakota State at Hawaii, 1:05 p.m. (KKEA 1420-AM)
We’ll get a better idea of Mike Trapasso’s new pitching staff after seeing UH extend itself in its first full series of the season. The new arms were touted in the offseason.

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