Hawaii men’s volleyball seeded No. 1

The Maui News

The University of Hawaii men’s volleyball team was seeded No. 1 for the National Collegiate Men’s Volleyball Championship that begins with a play-in game Thursday.

The Rainbow Warriors (27-2) earned a bye into the semifinals set for May 2 at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif., against the winner of the April 30 match between fourth-seeded Southern California and No. 5 Lewis.

Hawaii will make its sixth NCAA appearance and third under head coach Charlie Wade, who also took UH to the national tournament in 2015 and 2017.

Hawaii has never earned the top seed until this year.

USC received one of the two at-large berths along with Big West runner-up Long Beach State, who is the No. 2 seed. The 49ers will face the winner of third-seeded Pepperdine, champion of the MPSF and either sixth-seeded Barton, Conference Carolinas champion, or seventh-seeded Princeton, champions of the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association.

The Barton-Princeton opening-round match is set for Thursday at Barton College.

The NCAA championship match is scheduled for May 4.

UH earned the top seed after capturing the Big West Tournament title with a five-set win over LBSU on Saturday in front of a sold-out Stan Sheriff Center.

The Rainbow Warriors’ first conference title avenged two five-set losses to the Beach last week in California to close out the regular season.