Rainbow Forecast: Senior week for men’s basketball; baseball takes on Vanderbilt; softball hosts tourney

Eddie Stansberry shot a 3-pointer against UC Irvine on Feb. 15. / Photo by Andrew Lee, Special to the Star-Advertiser

For the last time this season, men’s basketball takes center stage at the Stan Sheriff Center.

UH, struggling mightily for the month of February, will attempt to right itself before a supportive crowd in games on Thursday and Saturday before the Rainbow Warriors head to the mainland for the month of March to decide their postseason fate. Two starting seniors, Eddie Stansberry and Zigmars Raimo, will be sent off Saturday against UC Riverside, win or loss.

But as for UH sports as a while, the biggest spotlight will be on the UH baseball team, which heads to Nashville, Tenn., for a rare distant road trip to face defending national champion Vanderbilt, the No. 2/3 ranked team in the country.

Meanwhile, plenty of other sports are in action; the No. 1 UH men’s volleyball team is back in action at home, albeit in a pair of exhibitions; softball hosts the four-team Malihini Kipa Aloha Tournament at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium; the Wahine basketball team has two road games that could help it shore up a top-two seeding in the Big West tournament; and the Wahine tennis team will appear on television for the first time ever.

Men’s volleyball: Nittaidai (Japan) at No. 1 Hawaii (14-0), 7 p.m.
They’re back! The Rainbow Warriors get in their first action in what feels like a while (UH last played at Stanford on Feb. 15, and its last match at the Stan Sheriff Center on Feb. 8 against UC Irvine). Both matches this week against the Nippon Sport Science University, or Nittaidai, are exhibitions. Should be a good opportunity for the Rainbow Warriors to stay sharp ahead of next month’s two showdowns against No. 2 BYU.

Women’s tennis: Grand Canyon (2-5) at Hawaii (2-5), 3 p.m. (Spectrum Sports)
The UH men’s squad got its first-ever televised match at home against Washington last week, and delivered a 5-0 dual match victory. Now it’s the women’s turn to make their on-camera debut. Last week, the Wahine split dual matches against San Diego State and USC in San Diego. Satsuki Takamura has taken over at the No. 1 court for three-time Big West Player of the Year Petra Melounova, who’s played at No. 2.

Women’s basketball: Hawaii (14-11, 8-4 Big West) at UC Irvine (10-17, 6-7), 5 p.m. (BigWest.TV)
The Wahine fell short in their bid to take over first place from UC Davis on Saturday. This should be a prime opportunity to get back in the win column, although the Anteaters have been more competitive since losing 94-70 at the Stan Sheriff Center; UCI has won four of its last five. Will Amy Atwell or Julissa Tago pass Megan Tinnin for the season 3-point mark in this game? Both were held in check in the loss to UCD. Atwell needs three 3s to pass Tinnin’s 55 and Tago needs five.

Softball: Oregon State (10-5) at Hawaii (8-8), 6 p.m.
UH opens the Outrigger Hotels & Resorts Malihini Kipa Aloha Tournament — its second of three straight events at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium — against a team that’s already seen half of the Big West. The Beavers have gone 3-1 against BWC teams, with wins over CSUN, UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton, and an eight-inning loss against Long Beach State. Ashley Murphy (4-3) and Izzy Dino (3-4) have settled in as the team’s starters, though freshman Jetta Nannen offers an intriguing option out of the pen after making her debut against Portland State on Sunday. UH is 0-3 against Power Five conference opposition this season.

Men’s basketball: Cal State Fullerton (10-17, 5-7 Big West) at Hawaii (15-11, 6-6), 7 p.m. (Spectrum Sports, KKEA 1420-AM)
The reeling Rainbow Warriors could sure use a feel-good win; last Thursday’s 56-55 squeaker at UC Riverside didn’t exactly qualify, especially by following that up with a 64-60 loss to a struggling Long Beach State team on Saturday. The ‘Bows have lost five of six and haven’t looked cohesive on offense. So what to they have going for them? Well, they’ve mastered Fullerton more completely than any other Big West foe, leading the series 16-4 all time with four straight going to UH, including a 75-69 win at Titan Gym in the Big West opener on Jan. 9.

Track and field: MPSF championships, all day
The indoor track season is capped with this meet in Seattle. Sprinter Kristen LaCosse was one of the bright spots last year, having covered the 400 meters in 57.64, the third-best UH time at this meet. The meet can be watched for a price.

Baseball: Hawaii (7-3) at No. 2 Vanderbilt (6-2), 12:30 p.m. (SEC+, KKEA 1420-AM)
The signature series of the year for UH. The defending national champions are 5-0 since a 1-2 showing at the MLB4 Collegiate Baseball Tournament in Scottsdale, Ariz., that included a 9-8 loss to Cal Poly. UH, meanwhile, is coming off a disappointing 6-5 loss to Washington State on Sunday that saw the bullpen implode for six runs allowed over the last two innings. Expect Logan Pouelsen to get the series-opening nod again for UH, despite a 6.06 ERA. It’s a busy week for Vandy, which faces Evansville and Saint Louis in stand-alone games on Tuesday and Wednesday in Nashville.

Softball: Nevada (4-10) at Hawaii, 5 p.m.; Oregon State at Hawaii, 7 p.m. (Spectrum Sports, KKEA 1420-AM)
The Wolf Pack’s record is a bit deceiving, as they’ve faced a pretty tough schedule (no home games yet), including a three-gamer at Stanford over the weekend. Oregon State is receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Top 25 poll.

Men’s volleyball: Nittaidai (Japan) at Hawaii, 7 p.m.
The rematch of the exhibition two days prior.

Track and field: MPSF championships, all day
Event concludes.

Men’s tennis: Mountain Pacific Invitational, TBD
The Rainbow Warriors have won three straight dual matches heading into this two-day event in Fresno, Calif.

Beach volleyball: No. 5 Hawaii (3-2) vs. Saint Mary’s (0-2), 7 a.m.; vs. Arizona State (2-0), 11 a.m.
The SandBows acquitted themselves fairly well in a stacked opening weekend against the likes of No. 1 UCLA and then-No.3 (now No. 2 LSU). In pool play, UH beat the Tigers, who went on to upset the Bruins in the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku championship at Queen’s Beach. Stanford’s Bay Area Classic gives UH an opportunity to win a mainland tournament against moderate competition.

Baseball: Hawaii at No. 2 Vanderbilt, 10 a.m. (SEC+, KKEA 1420-AM)
Aaron Davenport managed to scatter 10 hits and give up just two runs (one earned) in 7 1/3 innings pitched in last week’s Game 2 win over Wazzu. How well will the sophomore fare against a Commodores group batting .284 as a team (compared to opponents’ .157)?

Women’s tennis: Long Beach State at Hawaii, 11 a.m. (Spectrum Sports)
The Wahine are 1-0 against Big West opposition so far, having dispatched UC Irvine here 6-1. Long Beach could be the team to beat in the Big West; the Beach has already routed UC Davis and UC Riverside. This match is also being televised.

Softball: Nevada at Hawaii, 3 p.m. Seattle (5-10) at Hawaii, 5 p.m. (KHKA 1500-AM)
The Redhawks have lost three games to ranked foes.

Women’s basketball: Hawaii at Cal State Fullerton (14-11, 6-6), 4 p.m. (BigWest.TV)
Titans guard Raina Perez lit up the Stan Sheriff Center nets for 34 points the last time these teams met. She just lit up first-place UC Davis for 34 in an upset road win last week (she also went for 34 in nonconference play once). Can the Wahine muster enough firepower to stay with her?

Men’s basketball: UC Riverside (15-14, 5-8) at Hawaii, 7 p.m. (Spectrum Sports, KKEA 1420-AM)
Ahh, senior night. UH will send off seniors Stansberry and Raimo in what it hopes is fine fashion. Stansberry just eclipsed his junior season mark of 77 3-pointers by hitting five at Long Beach State on Saturday. You’d hope UH could muster more offense than what it showed at Riverside’s SRC Arena last week, a game that featured wild swings, with UH up 17 and down six in the second half, only to win on Dawson Carper’s putback in the final minute. UH is 2-2 on senior nights under Eran Ganot, although it is winless on them in the last two years.

Men’s tennis: Mountain Pacific Invitational, TBD
Event concludes.

Baseball: Hawaii at No. 2 Vanderbilt, 8 a.m. (SEC+, KKEA 1420-AM)
Brandon Ross made a very strong bid to be UH’s starter for this game; he threw seven scoreless innings in Game 4 against WSU on Sunday, striking out five and yielding two hits and two walks. Ross has yet to give up a run this season in 10 innings pitched.

Beach volleyball: Hawaii vs. Utah (0-0), 11 a.m.; Hawaii at Stanford (0-4), 1 p.m.
The Fighting Trees of Stanford went winless at all flights at the Outrigger tournament at Queen’s last weekend, including twice in matches against UH. Utah, meanwhile, has yet to play a dual match.

Softball: Seattle at Hawaii, noon (KKEA 1420-AM)
Hawaii is 3-1 this season in matches against an opponent it has already seen before.


  1. A-House February 25, 2020 12:35 pm

    with such a looong intro into today’s blog — no wonder ST has so little time for football

    oh, oh — off season training now so little or nothing to report

  2. H-Man February 26, 2020 7:34 am

    This blog was written by Brian McInnis. I don’t know what’s with ST. Perhaps internal SA politics, such as when he was reassigned to take the pole position over baseball. Or he just needs a break after all these years. Whatever, just passing on my best to him.

  3. Joe bro February 26, 2020 1:50 pm

    I can’t think of any other starting 5 for this team next year…looks promising!
    PG: Buggs
    SG: Justin Webster
    SF: Samuta Avea
    PF: Bernardo de Silva
    C: Dawson Carper

  4. Matt February 26, 2020 10:03 pm


    Question is if they can keep Avea and/or da Silva healthy. Look at what had happened since those two were out. We went 1-5 when they were both out. The centers do need to improve more on getting touches and being more aggressive with their height. We need a couple more good recruits like Webster and da Silva on our side, some quality 3 or 4-star recruits that can bolster our help because scoring has been hitting a rough patch ever since they just came back. But yeah, the two have showed signs of promise for a good future. It’s just the others surrounding them that I’d be concerned with. Hopefully this final homestand would be a good cure for them to finish strong.

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