HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Tonight, the No. 2-seeded Rainbow Warrior volleyball team takes on No. 3 UC Irvine in the Big West Tournament semi finals for a chance to play for a conference title and an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
Hawaii (25-2) received a bye as a top two seed in the conference and will play the Anteaters tonight at the Stan Sheriff Center at 7:30 p.m. HT. UC Irvine defeated UC San Diego Thursday night in straight-sets.
Despite not knowing who their opposition would be for most of the week, the Warriors understand what’s at stake this weekend as they look to defend their home court against the best of the Big West.
“We’re really focused,” said outside hitter Stijn van Tilburg. “We have a chance to end people’s season, end people’s careers. So that’s the focus we're gonna have to finish these matches out.”
Playing with a win or go home mentality is the frame of mind head coach Charlie Wade wants from his players. After being snubbed from the NCAA Tournament last season, Wade and his players aren’t taking any chances heading into the conference tournament, especially playing on their home court.
“It’s really exciting, Wade said. “I think everybody is looking forward to it, should be great crowds and some really high-level volleyball.”
First serve between Hawaii and UC Irvine is set for 7:30 p.m. HT tonight at the Stan Sheriff Center.