Hawaii No. 18 in AVCA poll


The Hawaii women’s volleyball team was ranked No. 18 in the AVCA Coaches Top 25 preseason poll announced on Wednesday.

The Rainbow Wahine, ending the year 22-7, finished at No. 23 in last season’s rankings. Hawaii is the only Big West Conference team ranked.

Defending national champion Penn State again was the preseason favorite, receiving 54 first-place votes. Stanford (6 votes) was at No. 2 followed Texas (1) and Florida. Wisconsin (1) and Nebraska tied for fifth.

The fourth-ranked Gators will play Hawaii on Sept. 11 in an Outrigger Resorts Challenge match. The only other nationally ranked opponent on the Rainbow Wahine schedule is No. 20 UCLA, which plays Hawaii Sept. 6 in the Hawaiian Airlines Classic.

Defending Big West champion Long Beach State was just outside the Top 25 with 147 points, good enough for 26th. Other Hawaii opponents receiving votes were Oregon State (89 points), Wichita State (9) and American (4).

The Rainbow Wahine open the season on Aug. 28 against Idaho in the Chevron Invitational. Also in the field are Oregon State and Wichita State.


  1. HawaiiMongoose August 12, 2015 9:48 am

    Wow. Other than BYU, UH is the only team in the Top 25 that doesn’t play in one of the five so-called Power Conferences. When you consider that there are 332 Division I schools in 33 conferences sponsoring women’s volleyball, it’s pretty amazing that 23 of the Top 25 come from just five conferences. We need to keep reminding ourselves how really special the Wahine volleyball program is. We have a great thing going in Manoa and hopefully we can keep it that way after Dave retires.

  2. Cindy Luis August 12, 2015 10:00 am

    At this point just a guessing game. But rue that that odds are stacked in favor of the formerly known as BCS schools. All schools in the preseason poll were ranked in the final poll last year except for Michigan State, Iowa State and USC.

    We;ll see what happens when the RPI comes out.

  3. Cubicle1126 August 12, 2015 10:14 am

    i was surprised hawaii jumped 5 spots in the preseason poll, but hey, we’ll take it! 😉

    also surprised that long beach st dropped off 6 spots. they ended the year #19 last year. normally that’d be good enough to keep them ranked to start the new one.

  4. Robin August 12, 2015 11:22 am

    Just a note that Colorado State is ranked, and in the Mountain West (not a Power 5).

  5. Cindy Luis August 12, 2015 11:47 am

    4. thanks for pointing that out.

    As mentioned in inaugural post, it’s jus a guessing game at this point and I think the coaches use last year’s final poll as a starting point. Long Beach State is at 26. they did lose some players.

  6. kapakahi August 12, 2015 12:24 pm

    The Beach lost 7 players from last season’s squad…..4 senior graduates…..and 3 transfers.

  7. Maverick August 12, 2015 12:25 pm

    The early polls are useless. Better to wait until after the pre-conference season is finished before taking a poll so that there is a body of work to evaluate. But the early polls seem more about marketing and generating buzz for the sport. My advice to the fans–don’t spend a lot of time analyzing/evaluating/complaining/etc. as the polls are heavily influenced by last year’s final poll and not by any on court results. If Hawaii sweeps its preseason opponents then I guarantee it won’t be ranked 18th. As Cindy said, this is all a major guessing game right now.

  8. HawaiiMongoose August 12, 2015 3:08 pm

    Robin, good catch, I missed CSU. They’ve developed quite a good program there.

  9. Cubicle1126 August 12, 2015 4:40 pm

    kapakahi — yup, i was aware of the the beach losing a lot of players to graduation and transfers. at the same time though, they’re returning some key players (at setter and middle), some impact transfers, and a solid recruiting class. i expected a drop, but was hoping the big west would be sporting 2 teams inside the top 25. lbsu is knocking right on the door though. they play #25 duke in the first week of the season, and could be right back in there.

  10. Cubicle1126 August 12, 2015 4:41 pm

    sure, the coaches poll doesn’t matter much, let alone a preseason poll. but the season’s starting up, and it gives fans something to talk about. so why not …

  11. warriorfan August 12, 2015 4:59 pm

    Wahine beat Florida and they are staying in the top 8 all season.

    Just found out Norene plays beach volleyball, and she’s quite good, might be good news for the beach bows.

  12. Maverick August 12, 2015 5:00 pm

    11. It is your prerogative to talk about useless polls all you want–it’s much ado about nothing. I prefer to talk about how the Wahine are coming along in practice, discussing the newcomers, speculating on lineups/formations, etc. and worry about rankings until after we have some hard data to analyze. To each his/her own.

  13. Cubicle1126 August 12, 2015 5:47 pm

    maverick — no worries, it’s cool. i respect all opinions voiced here, and it’s funny b/c usually you and i agree on things here!

    i agree that the coaches’ poll is useless when it comes to post-season implications. but i do also think it has value. the coaches’ poll is something most people can more easily/readily understand (as opposed to RPI). but the ranking is also valuable to the reputation of the program (for recruiting, marketing purposes, etc). having other big west teams ranked can also help to elevate the status of the conference in the minds of recruits. which is increasingly valuable, given the changing landscape of the sport in favor of the power conferences. it’s telling (and kinda sad) that one of the issues discussed so far in this thread is how so few teams are ranked who are outside the power conferences. the evolution and the makeup of the poll is worth watching, imo.

  14. Maverick August 12, 2015 5:58 pm

    12. It is difficult to predict how UH will be ranked without knowing how many losses they suffer (or if Florida implodes this year). You have to assume one or no losses after the Florida match and perhaps only one loss prior (but likely none given strength of schedule) to give UH a shot at a top 8 ranking for the remainder of the year.

    Reviewing the 2013 season is informative here. UH began the season ranked 11th and beat #1 and defending national champion Texas to begin the year. After beating UTEP, the team lost to a very strong San Diego squad. The net effect was to move up to #9 in the polls. Then UH won 13 matches in a row, including wins over UCLA, Arizona, Creighton and Wichita State (the last two on the road). UH’s ranking went all the way up to #5. At this point, I was quite confident we had a final four team (as did Shoji). Then came the three in-conference losses. UH never made the top ten thereafter, and didn’t even make it out of the sub-regional. One of the more disappointing ends to a Wahine season in recent memory. Just goes to show that one big win early in the season doesn’t guarantee a high ranking later on (or a deep playoff run).

  15. Maverick August 12, 2015 6:09 pm

    14. Hey Cubi, I think I see the miscommunication here. I don’t think the poll in general is useless. I think having a preseason poll (or one taken without playing a sufficient number of matches) is useless. It is like grasping at straws.

    I agree that the poll is useful for determining opinions on relative team strengths (and all the other reasons you put forth), but only after we’ve seen the teams play a few matches (like a pre-conference schedule). Then we can evaluate who is 1, 2, 3, etc. These preseason/early season polls are just plain silly. I have no matches to go off of, just the results from last year–teams have changed, last year’s results no longer matter.

    Going back to my 2013 example, San Diego was beating top teams during the pre-season but was unranked to begin with. Very silly to have a poll that didn’t reflect the quality of that squad. Plus there is an anchoring effect with polls–teams have a built-in advantage when ranked highly to begin the season and can afford losses that unranked or lower ranked teams cannot afford. It’s the nature of how people vote (generally, if a team loses, it should move down and if it wins, it should move up–assuming teams around it don’t also lose/win).

    That’s why I like the football championship voting. They actually wait for a few weeks of play before voting. Volleyball should do something similar.

  16. mauna August 12, 2015 6:32 pm

    It’s only numbers but…………roster on UH, Nikki Taylor to 6’4″ and Emily Maglio to 6’3″, something we all knew finally updated. Looks better on paper.

    More, Cindy you mentioned Annie Mitchem a legit 6’3″, still listed at 6’2″. Is she? As you can see I’m a numbers guy.

  17. warriorfan August 12, 2015 6:36 pm

    I think Casey might be 6′ 4 and Natasha 6′ 6. they both clearly taller than 6’3 Huff and 6′ 2 Greeley.

  18. Blunite August 12, 2015 7:46 pm

    Cutting to the chase: Barring dramatic improvement from the returnees can we expect different results? The Wahine stats for digs and hitting percentage are poor. (Without Magill and Adolpho, the overall .244 hitting percentage would be significantly worse.) Again passing problems plagued the starters; but for Greeley. With talented recruits sitting on the bench how long will it take Dave to give them a chance?

  19. mauna August 12, 2015 7:52 pm

    18. Agree on Burns, in the first video on opening day practice, Natasha is easily two inches taller than Nikki, at the end of the video when they are breaking the huddle.

  20. bowsfan August 12, 2015 8:11 pm

    Ann Kang invitational next week, will Norene Iosia be here with Redondo Union.

  21. Maverick August 12, 2015 9:24 pm

    Several comments above mentioned the preponderance of Power 5 conferences in the preseason poll. So I pulled the 1998 preseason poll (1998 because it was the first year of the BCS football system):
    1. Penn State
    2. Long Beach State
    3. USC
    4. Stanford
    5. Nebraska
    6. Florida
    7. Wisconsin
    8. BYU
    9. Texas
    10. UCSB
    11. Pacific
    12. Colorado
    13. Ohio State
    14. Hawaii
    15. Arkansas
    16. Notre Dame
    17. Michigan State
    18. UCLA
    19. Texas A&M
    20. Loyola Marymount
    21. San Diego
    22. Washington State
    23. Washington
    24. Florida State
    25. Pepperdine

    17 of the 25 are current Power 5 + ND and the remaining are Big West/West Coast/BYU. Clearly big money football has played a role in the relative success of SEC/ACC teams in volleyball, and the relative decline of the smaller western conferences. Some food for thought.

  22. Cindy Luis August 13, 2015 8:40 am

    17. I don’t know the correct heights. all one can go on is what is listed. Shoji at one point said 6-3 for Mitchem. but then rosters have 6-2. Granato has never been listed taller than 5-11 until this year where UH has her at 6-0.

    19. from what I’ve seen at practice passing will be better. but hard to use your logic about the defense. Poor hitting percentage not always due to poor passing. Being blocked also is factored. And how many times last year did players have an open look and they hit wide? Plus if an attempt is made to hit the ball over it counts as an attempt, regardless if it had no chance of ever going over. You’d have to break down every play to see where the pass went, where the set went, where the block was to get a true number.

    Not sure who among the new recruits you want to put in to pass. Maybe Granato. It’s not going to be Burns. Depending on what they want to do with Mitchem, they probably will redshirt at least one of the freshman.

    Guinasso is playing well, is very toned after a summer on the beach. Has found out the problem with her knee and has been treating it correctly, which has allowed for greater mobility.

  23. Andrew August 13, 2015 8:47 am


    It’s crazy to see how much football and the BCS changed women’s volleyball. If that was the poll this year, the Big West has three ranked teams and the WCC has four. On top of that both conferences could have another bid or two if there are other teams not that far out of the rankings.

  24. Cindy Luis August 13, 2015 8:59 am


    new link to Wednesday’s practice thread.

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