The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa men’s volleyball team will play in its first NCAA Championship semifinal round match since 2002, when it faces host and top-seeded Ohio State, May 4 at St. John Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Match time is 8 p.m. ET (2 p.m. HT).
The Rainbow Warriors (27-5) advanced to the semifinals after rallying past Penn State in five sets in the May 2 opening round. UH fell behind 2-1 in the match before dominating the Nittany Lions in the final two frames, out-scoring PSU 40-18. The win was Hawaiʻi’s 27th this season, tying a program record set by the 1996 squad (27-3).
UH is 2-1 all-time in the NCAA semifinals with wins in 1996 and 2002. Hawaiʻi has never faced Ohio State in postseason play and owns a 5-1 advantage all-time with each of the match-ups occurring at the Outrigger Invitational in Honolulu.
The Buckeyes (30-2) are the defending NCAA champion and the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association’s automatic entry into the field. OSU’s only two losses this season were at home against UC Irvine and on the road at Penn State, both of whom UH defeated during the year. In his 33rd year, head coach Pete Hanson has guided the Buckeyes to a pair national titles in 2011 and 2016 and 12 NCAA Tournament appearances.
A team from the MIVA has won the last three NCAA titles (OSU – 2016, Loyola – 2014-15). The tournament’s other semifinal features a pair of Mountain Pacific Sports Federation teams, Long Beach State and BYU. The two teams shared the regular season title while the 49ers captured the MPSF Tournament title with a four-set win over UH in the finals.