Rainbow Wahine preseason favorites to win Big West

Rainbow Wahine preseason favorites to win Big West

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The University of Hawai'i women's volleyball team was unanimously selected to repeat as the Big West Conference champions, as voted on by the BWC's nine women's volleyball head coaches.

The Rainbow Wahine, who reclaimed the title last season with a 16-0 conference mark, received all nine first-place votes to tally a perfect 81-point total. Last year's championship was UH's third in the four years since rejoining the Big West. Hawai'i advanced to the NCAA Regional final last season, finishing the year with a 29-2 record and a ranking at No. 7 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association's (AVCA) final poll.

Reigning Big West Player of the Year, Nikki Taylor, returns for her senior season after leading the 'Bows and the conference with career-high numbers of 468 kills, 4.46 kills per set, 44 service aces, 0.42 service aces per set, 575.5 total points (kills + blocks + service aces), and 5.48 points per set.

Also returning for Hawai'i are junior all-Big West players Emily Maglio, Kalei Greeley and Savanah Kahakai. Maglio, a junior middle hitter, recorded the second-highest hitting percentage in the league last season at .384 while also leading the Big West with 1.44 blocks per set. Greeley, an outside hitter, finished last season with 214 kills while burying a season-high 16 kills in UH's NCAA first round match against TCU. Kahakai looks to anchor the anchor the back row on defense as the libero after posting a team-high 424 digs last year.

Hawai'i opens their season with the Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational on August 26 against Wisconsin at 7:00 p.m.

2016 Big West Women's Volleyball Preseason Coaches Poll

1. Hawai'i (9) 81

2. Long Beach State 68

3. Cal Poly 66

4. UC Irvine 47

5. UC Davis 44

6. UC Santa Barbara 39

7. CSUN 29

8. UC Riverside 20

9. Cal State Fullerton 11

Hawaii Athletics Release