HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The top-ranked Rainbow Warriors volleyball team is back at home this week to host Long Beach State in a two-game series — a rematch of the 2019 NCAA Championship.
The last time the ‘Bows and the Beach met was in that 2019 Championship game, with LBS coming out on top at the Pyramid in Long Beach, however the last time the Beach was at the Stan — UH was victorious.
“You know volleyball is a small world, I know all of those guys.” Senior blocker Patrick Gasman told reporters. “Thinking about that definitely gives us certain motivation that some of the younger guys I guess don’t have, but me Rado (Parapunov), Gage (Worsley), Colton (Cowell) bring to the court this week to motivate ourselves.”
The Rainbow Warriors are coming off of a 9-0 tear of the Big West conference, most recently a clean sweep of UC San Diego at an empty Stan Sheriff Center — something Gasman and his team did not worry about when on the taraflex.
“We get to practice in the Stan now and we get to create our own energy.” Gasman said. “We just create our own energy, like be loud on our own, but I think all of the guys that have played in that environment are adapting well and can create our own performance off of that.”
It’s been two years since that NCAA finale and with the time off, the Beach got a revamp, losing some key pieces, something head coach Charlie Wade is keeping his eyes on.
“Obviously, there’s no TJ (DeFalco) on the court or (Kyle) Ensing or (Josh) Tuaniga, but they’ve had good recruits and they have good players, so they’re going to be a high quality opponent again no question.” Coach Wade said. “Just some great history between the two programs and we’ve played a lot of meaningful matches and this week should be no different.”
The ‘Bows and the Beach go head-to-head starting this Friday with first serve set for 7:00 p.m. Hawaii time — no in-person spectators, but the game will be broadcast on Spectrum Sports.