Listen Live: No. 3 UH Mānoa and No. 2 BYU Battle for NCAA Slot
A great season comes down to Thursday’s big game in Long Beach for the Warriors.
Photo: Courtesy of University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Athletics Department
Lucky we live and breathe Hawai‘i volleyball this week, yeah? That’s because, as true fans know, we’re getting a preview of the upcoming NCAA tournament, which starts in early May. It’s like having two Super Bowls in a row!
Well, sort of. The fact is, four of top five seeds nationally, including UH Mānoa, are currently battling each other for the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championship. Over the weekend, the No. 4 ranked Warriors handily dispatched No. 8 Pepperdine in three efficient matches at the Stan Sheriff Center at UH Mānoa. This Thursday, a big test awaits in No. 3 BYU—a face-off Island supporters can listen to live on ESPN 1420’s broadcast, starting at 1:50 p.m. The winner will then play either No. 1 Long Beach State or No. 5 UC Irvine, depending on who prevails in their match. Only defending NCAA champion Ohio State, ranked No. 2, is missing the fun.
For spoiled Island fans, the tournament season offers a lot of opportunities for strategy-filled rematches. First, UH can taste redemption if the team comes up big against BYU; the Cougars swept the Warriors back-to-back in mid-March. But that was in Provo’s raucous echo chamber of a gym. If cohesion and momentum mean anything in collegiate volleyball—and, talent being roughly equal, they do—the Warriors have a good shot after strong play against Pepperdine and UCLA.
A loss may not necessarily eliminate UH, with an at-large bid a possibility, but everything would seem to go through BYU in Long Beach on Thursday, April 20. The match starts at 2 p.m.