U H Manoa men's volleyball players on the court

The University of Hawaiʻi men’s volleyball team was recognized by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) as one of just 19 men’s collegiate teams to earn the AVCA Team Academic Award for 2017. It is the first time that the Rainbow Warriors have earned the prestigious national honor.

Hawaiʻi and Stanford were the only two Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) men’s volleyball programs to receive the award this year.

The Rainbow Warrior volleyball team had an epic season both on the court and in the classroom. UH made its fifth NCAA Tournament appearance and second in the last three seasons. The ’Bows battled back to defeat Penn State in five sets in the opening round, but fell to host and top-seeded Ohio State in the NCAA semifinals. The ’Bows were led by AVCA All-Americans Stijn van Tilburg (first team), Jennings Franciskovic (first team), Larry Tuileta (second team), and Hendrick Mol (honorable mention). UH finished the season with a 27-6 mark, tying the single-season record for wins. The team also set a program-record with 32 consecutive set wins during a 15-match win streak and will carry a school-record 22 straight home wins into next season (18-0 at the SSC). The 2017 squad finished third in the MPSF—its 25th and final season in the conference. Hawaiʻi will compete in the Big West Conference in 2018.

In the classroom, five Rainbow Warriors earned MPSF All-Academic honors with senior Jennings Franciskovic, redshirt freshman Patrick Gasman, and sophomores Brett Rosenmeier, Dalton Solbrig and Van Tilburg all earning the academic accolade.

“I’m more proud of this than anything our team has done on the court,” exclaims head coach Charlie Wade. “We strive for this every year and it may never happen again. It is really hard to achieve a 3.3 year cumulative team GPA.”

For full story please visit UH Mānoa Athletics.