SandBows to AVCA collegiate championships

Above line for the team bracket. Pairs tournament announced and seeded after the final saturday

The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Championship Selection Committee announced the field for the third annual Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championship with the University of Hawai’i gaining its first-ever team invite to the event. The Rainbow Wahine earned the sole at-large bid in the six-team field which also includes Pepperdine (West), USC (West), Florida State (Southeast), Stetson (Atlantic Sun) and UH’s first-round opponent Florida International (Southeast).

UH earned a No. 4 seed and will face No. 5 FIU at 9:00 a.m. EST on the opening day of tournament on Friday, May 2. The winner of the match will face top-seeded USC later that day. The tournament format is double-elimination with a sudden death final four.

The event, which runs through May 4, will again be held in Gulf Shores, Ala.—home of the event the last three years. It will also feature a pairs championship. The pairs field includes the top duos from the schools in the team competition as well as ten doubles teams identified as the “Best of the Rest” from schools not in the team competition. The top two tandems of Karissa CookBrittany Tiegs and Katie SpielerNikki Taylor will compete for UH in the pairs championship.

The Rainbow Wahine are ranked No. 3 in the latest AVCA national poll and finished the season with an 18-3 overall mark. UH sported six wins over ranked squads and its only three losses came against the top two teams in the nation in Pepperdine and USC.  A total of 14 of the team’s 18 wins came via 5-0 shutouts.

While this will be the first team appearance for program, it is not UH’s first trip to the nationals. UH competed in the pairs championship during the inaugural event in 2012. The tandems of Emily Hartong-Elizabeth Stoltzmann and Jane Croson-Ashley Lee represented UH. Both pairs were knocked out during the Round of 16.


  1. Forgottens, Again April 22, 2014 6:15 am

    The Pairs Championship will begin with the ten Best of the Rest duos engaged in pool play on Friday and Saturday, May 2 and 3. The top two finishers will be seeded into Sunday’s 16-team single elimination bracket. The six top pairs from the team championship schools and the top two from the four semi-finalists will also be entered into Sunday’s Pairs Championship bracket. There will be a play-in for the final two positions. First round matches in the Pairs Championship will start at 8 a.m. CT on Sunday, May 4. The semi-finals, scheduled to start at noon, and the championship match, slated for 2 p.m., will be covered by CBS Sports Network.

    Pool A (Names of Players/School)

    1. Delainey Aigner-Swesey/Bojana Tordorovic (LBSU)

    2. Zuzana Markova/Marcela Araya (Louisiana Monroe)

    3. Taylor Nyquist/Sammie Strausbaugh (Jacksonville)

    4. Betsi Metter/Litara Keil (Loyola Marymount)

    5. Kiriana Hirini/Bethanie Thomas (UAB)

    Pool B (Names of Players/School)

    1. Dagnija Medina/Kim Hildreth (North Florida)

    2. Kenzie Phelps/Kelli Dallmann (Grand Canyon)

    3. Tyler Jackson/Janisa Johnson (LBSU)

    4. Jordan Shaw/Samantha Tinsley (Saint Mary’s)

    5. Tea Juric/Jackie Wegner (Tulane)

  2. warriors April 22, 2014 8:57 am

    Nice job SandBows! It’s great to see the team get the credit they deserve. I was a little worried that the team was going to get shafted like the NCAA seems to do to our Wahine. Now….it’s time to go and win it. Keep up the good work SandBows and I know Scott Wong will lead them team well!!

  3. Brandon April 22, 2014 10:10 am

    Wait so are nikki taylor and katie spieler still eligble for the pairs competition?

  4. hossana April 22, 2014 10:30 am

    Congrats….deepest congratulations to Scott Wong et. staff and esp. the players for their endurance and sacrifice playing for the SandBows…..great team and individual effort and a well-deserved recognition having been selected as an at-large selection for the national championships…

  5. Cindy Luis April 22, 2014 3:52 pm

    3. yes, the top 2 pairs from each of the 6 teams also go into the pairs. There are 24 teams, 12 from the six schools that qualified for the team championship. 12 at-large teams or the ‘best of the rest. Uh’s teams are Cook-Tiegs, Spieler-Taylor

  6. Ki April 23, 2014 8:15 am

    The one bright spot for UH Spring sports this year. Glad we have something to cheer about as Hawaii Sand Bows are in contention for a national championship.

  7. uhfan April 23, 2014 8:45 am

    ^ UH men’s tennis team won the Big West title

  8. Brandon April 23, 2014 10:04 am

    7. yeah I feel bad for the smaller sports. They are equally as good and dont get the recognition.

    Cindy btw, Have you heard the rumors that kendra koelch might play indoor as well? are these true

  9. FormerlyWarriorfan April 23, 2014 10:07 am

    Meh. The UH mens golf team has a losing record overall. The big west must not be very good.

  10. FormerlyWarriorfan April 23, 2014 10:28 am

    Whoops meant tennis team not golf^

  11. Cindy Luis April 24, 2014 5:43 am

    8. have not heard that. only way she plays indoors if she’s on indoor scholarship. or she walks on for both indoor and sand.
    9. before you say that, look at the teams they play out of conference. they have played a very tough schedule.

  12. LC April 24, 2014 6:08 am

    # 8 Seems like Kendra Koelch is not a rumor, this from from her own mouth.She says she’s playing both indoor and sand. Both her HS team web page and her recruiting service My Recruiting Solutions originally said sand but sounds like something changed.

    Can’t tell anything about scholarships from her answer so I guess you will need to keep guessing on that question.

  13. Cindy Luis April 24, 2014 6:14 am

    thanks for the links.
    As I said, I hadn’t heard anything about her playing both. Nor have I heard anything about her getting an indoor scholarship.
    will check when I get back to hawaii and my vacation is over

  14. FormerlyWarriorfan April 24, 2014 7:34 am

    Maybe shes walking on to both?

  15. Ki April 24, 2014 9:52 am

    Or maybe she is taking Kyra Goodman’s scholarship since she is not returning.

  16. formerlywarriorfan April 24, 2014 10:08 am

    Don’t you think UH would have announced it if she was??

  17. Hot April 25, 2014 1:22 am

    I thought Kyra Goodman was a walk-on? Is she transferring?

  18. Russ April 25, 2014 4:54 pm

    17. Announced on the Hawaii Athletics Dept. website. Kyra Goodman and Kayla Kawamura not returning.

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