The University of Hawai'i men's volleyball team will begin competition in the Big West Conference in 2018 with the announcement that the league will become the first Division I conference to sponsor the sport.
The Rainbow Warriors currently participate in the 12-member Mountain Pacific Sports Federation and will continue with the league until the 2017-18 academic year. The Big West will be made up of six men's volleyball playing members – CSUN, Long Beach State, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, and Hawai'i along with associate member UC San Diego – and will give the conference the minimum six teams required for postseason NCAA automatic qualification.
All six programs have competed in the MPSF since 1993 and have combined to produce five NCAA titles, 12 national runner-up finishes, and 26 national championship appearances since 1970. UC Irvine won four national titles over a seven-year period (2007, '09, '12, and '13) and since 2008, five of the teams made at least one trip to the NCAA Championship.
"The Big West is to be commended for their support of men's volleyball and their decision to become the first traditional Division I conference to sponsor men's volleyball. As a coach, I am very appreciative of Dennis Farrell and his leadership team for believing in us and making this happen. From its inception the Big West will provide our fans with an exciting and nationally competitive schedule. Five of the six schools have qualified for the NCAA Tournament during the past seven years and continue to be among the nation's best men's volleyball programs."
Men's volleyball will become the Big West's 18th sponsored sport in which the conference conducts an annual championship. Competition for the regular season championship will be contested in a double round-robin format for a total of 10 matches. A six-team, single elimination postseason tournament will be conducted at a campus site one week prior to the NCAA Championship selections.
Hawaii Athletics Release
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