Hawaii men’s volleyball: Rainbow Warriors top seed in NCAA tournament

The Rainbow Warriors watched the NCAA selection show at Devon Johnson's house in Lanikai. / Photo by Cindy Luis

updated NCAA bracket with times at LBS
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Hawaii (27-2) has earned the top seed in the NCAA men’s volleyball tournament, it was announced today on NCAA.com.

It was the first time the Rainbow Warriors have been the top seed in the national tournament. Defending national champion Long Beach State (26-2), which lost in the Big West tournament championship match on Saturday, was seeded second.


Both Hawaii and Long Beach State have byes into the May 2 semifinals hosted by the 49ers. The Warriors will face the winner of the April 30 match between MPSF runner-up USC (18-10) and MIVA champion Lewis (25-5).

In the opening round on Thursday, Conference Carolinas champion Barton (25-4) will host EIVA champion Princeton (16-12). The winner of that will play Pepperdine (22-6) on Tuesday, April 30, at Long Beach State.

That winner plays Long Beach State in the semifinals at the Pyramid where Long Beach State has won its last 41 matches.

Here’s interviews Sunday morning with libero Gage Worsley and hitter Colton Cowell on their lingering thoughts from Saturday night’s Big West championship and drawing the top seed:

UH middle Dalton Solbrig took in the Lanikai view the morning after defeating Long Beach State for the Big West tournament title. / Photo by Cindy Luis


  1. Chicken Grease April 21, 2019 7:27 am


    And the Warriors finally beat LBSU wearing the H logo on their jerseys! Not that outdated rainbow!

    Remember that, folks!

  2. Cindy Luis April 21, 2019 9:13 am

    1. nothing wrong with the rainbow logo. they wear it to honor the tradition.

  3. oneseason April 21, 2019 9:51 am

    1. & 2. About 10,000 people calling out “LET’S GO BOWS” at the top of their lungs throughout the match was a great demonstration that it is an extremely effective cheer for UH fans. The Warrior has great tradition too, and is effective for promoting UH. But “LET’S GO BOWS” gets the house rocking like nothing else. My guess is that the team and coaching staff liked what they heard and saw from the fans.

  4. Chicken Grease April 21, 2019 10:55 am

    Looks like then losing two game to LBSU worked into their favor.

    Cindy. Should lower campus be looking into any “snags” that the NCAA will scrutinize and contrive when it comes to Hawaii? You know. To avoid what happened “the last time”? Can you ask AD if you get to speak to him before the torney starts.

    Happy Easter, all!

  5. Warriorfan April 21, 2019 11:04 am

    Gosh it always seems UH has to play someone on their home floor to get a championship.
    Hope the third time is the charm although can’t overlook usc/lewis.

  6. Maverick April 21, 2019 11:53 am

    Hawaii has dominated attendance (tickets sold) in men’s volleyball this year. Total attendance of 83,362 almost equals what the #2-4 teams in attendance cumulatively drew: 85,056 for BYU, LBSU and Grand Canyon combined. The top 13 most attended games were either at the Stan Sheriff Center or were away games for Hawaii. The Big West men’s volleyball tournament drew 26,121 over the three days. Simply amazing for the team and the sport of men’s volleyball.

  7. jmy April 21, 2019 12:17 pm

    6. Where do you find these figures? I’ve been looking all over?

  8. darkfire35 April 21, 2019 12:47 pm

    4. What happened “last time?” What will it take for the NCAA to realize that the tourney should be at SSC? Do we need to upgrade our replay cameras first?

  9. Cindy Luis April 21, 2019 2:13 pm

    4. not sure what you mean about snags or the “last time.” this wasn’t an NCAA event. It was a Big West event. Don’t think losing twice to the Beach worked in Hawaii’s favor. The difference was playing at home instead of the Pyramid.
    7. NCAA.com/ncaa.org has attendance or if you have the time you can go to individual schools websites and click on team stats.
    8. It takes UH to submit a bid. And the NCAA to accept it.
    See Ferd Lewis’ column Monday
    Has nothing to do with replay cameras. hawaii has been at the forefront of that. First time it was used in men’s volleyball was when Ohio state was out here a few years ago.

  10. cappie the dog April 21, 2019 2:59 pm


    I’m going to paraphrase Gertrude Stein: “A rainbow is a rainbow is a rainbow…”

    To this day, I have no idea how we allowed the name change without a stronger fight. It was one-of-a-kind, like Salukis or Blue Hens.

    When it rains, rainbows happen.

    And Rainbow Warriors make us sound like a reggae band.

    And yes, go men’s volleyball. I’m on the bandwagon.

  11. Maverick April 21, 2019 3:03 pm

    7,9. Here is the link:

    Choose Men’s Volleyball for the sport, then select Division I, then go the the Misc Reports tab. You will then see links for Attendance and Attendance SG Highs

    This site has a lot of stats for all NCAA sports, by team and individual

  12. Engawa808 April 21, 2019 3:53 pm

    Where do we get NCAA tournament ticket information? Will Hawaii fans sit together?

  13. jmy April 21, 2019 3:56 pm

    11. Thanks! I looked all over the NCAA website and never came across the Stats page…

  14. Cindy Luis April 21, 2019 4:51 pm

    12. tournament sold out but there will be an allotment for UH. Info likely out Monday. will let you know.

  15. Cindy Luis April 21, 2019 5:14 pm

    LBS has released bracket schedule

  16. turfwar April 21, 2019 5:41 pm

    Heard from a travel agent last night the allotment per school might be as small as 100 per school. Ridiculous. But with a 4000 seat arena the allotments are gonna be low. Heard it’s already a sell out anyway.

  17. Warriorfan April 21, 2019 5:45 pm

    R6 hopefully next year they can cross the 100 k mark they have a lot of fan favorites returning.

  18. rage April 21, 2019 6:19 pm

    I have a good feeling about our NC hopes. The Warriors have two weeks to prepare, and the last time they had a long break at the end of January, they came out on fire.
    I wonder why Joe didn’t put in all those wrinkles he put in before, like the slide, the X play, etc. Didn’t see it at all against LBSU.

  19. vballfan April 22, 2019 7:51 am

    6. Thank you for the stats. Based on attendance for first night of Big West Championship here, can games really be a sell out if Hawaii team is not playing?

  20. Andrew April 22, 2019 8:33 am

    I’m a lot more confident going into the national tournament now that they have finally beat LBSU. I will say though if it does turn out to be a rematch for the national championship, it’s going to be tough with them being at home and all fired up for revenge. Hopefully the team can keep up their intensity

  21. Cindy Luis April 22, 2019 8:35 am

    16. see 14. been saying for two weeks it was sold out.
    18. it’s all about the passing and what the opponent gives you. Solbrig ran a couple of inside slides. There were a couple of Xs, the one Cowell ran he was blocked.
    19. first night wasn’t a sellout based on tickets. If hawaii had been playing different story although Thursday night tough sell for fans.
    Only Saturday had all tickets sold.
    Still Thursday tickets sold was more than what any other school’s gym capacity. don’t think the Big West unhappy with Thursday. Even the 2500 turnstile is more than others get sometimes for a whole seson at home.

  22. hilorain April 22, 2019 8:41 am

    Sad that the NCAA Final is in a little gym

  23. Cindy Luis April 22, 2019 8:55 am

    22. it’s men’s volleyball.
    Hawaii No. 1 in today’s poll. not unanimous

  24. Cindy Luis April 22, 2019 9:01 am

    new thread up for Monday.
    Would not be surprised if van Tilburg is POW both Big West (announced today) and national (announced Tuesday)

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