HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Since last season’s win over Long Beach State, Rainbow Warrior head coach Charlie Wade knew that his team was capable of contending for a national championship.
While the ‘Bows were snubbed from the NCAA Tournament in 2018, Wade remained steadfast in his belief that the Warriors would return in 2019 and compete at the highest level.
Fast forward a year later, Hawaii is just a day away from taking on Long Beach State in its fourth meeting this season on collegiate volleyball’s biggest stage.
“To be a part of something that has brought our community together the way that it has is really awesome,” Wade said. “That’s something we take a lot of pride in … ”
While the 49ers have gotten the better of the Warriors two out of the three matches they’ve played this season, each match has been a five-set war, with both teams looking like the opposition's kryptonite.
“For the volleyball world, this is probably the match that everybody wanted to see,” said Long Beach State head coach Alana Knipe.
Hawaii took down Long Beach State a couple weeks ago in front of a sold-out Stan Sheriff Center in the Big West title game, but playing in front of a hostile Long Beach crowd will present challenges in itself.
However the atmosphere of the Walter Pyramid plays out when first serves occurs tomorrow afternoon, both teams will be ready for what will surely be another back-and-forth battle for college volleyball supremacy.
First serve of the NCAA Tournament Championship match will take place at 2 p.m. HT on Saturday, live on ESPN 2.