HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In what was an emotional rollercoaster of a Sunday afternoon for the Rainbow Wahine volleyball team, the ‘Bows learned their postseason fate - and they’re going dancing.
As the team yelled at the T.V. broadcasting the NCAA Tournament Selection Show, reality began to settle in that in just four days time, Hawaii would play in its 26th consecutive NCAA Tournament and will take on Baylor in Eugene, Oregon.
“We have one chance to keep going,” said head coach Robyn Ah Mow-Santos. “We lose, we’re done. So we gotta get on this. There might be more athletic teams out there, but you got enough heart; you got enough desire. A that point, it doesn’t matter. You just give whatever you can.”
For the second-straight season, the Wahine earned an at-large bid into the tournament, much to the joy of Ah Mow-Santos.
“It’s a relief. At first, I was like no they’re not gonna let Hawaii in,” she said. “But I think they put us in a pretty decent position.”
Just because Hawaii made the tournament doesn’t mean the team is satisfied, however. For some players, such as libero Tita Akiu, it’s an opportunity to show why the Wahine deserve to play on a national stage.
“That’s just how the tournament is, right? You win, you keep moving on. Once you lose, you’re done. Just having that sense of urgency you gotta always be on your game. Just always be there and ready to perform, no matter what.”
The ‘Bows will take on No. 25 Baylor (19-8. 11-5 Big 12) Thursday, November 29 at 2:30 pm HT in the Matthew Knight Arena.
2018 NCAA DI Women’s Volleyball Tournament
First and Second Rounds – Eugene, Ore.
Thursday, November 29, 2018
2:30 p.m. HT – Hawaii vs. Baylor
5:00 p.m. HT – New Mexico State vs. 15-seed Oregon