This is the second time the program has been picked at No. 1 since rejoining the conference in 2012. Sophomore guard Lily Wahinekapu was also voted to represent the ‘Bows’ on the preseason team.
UH received nine first-place votes from The Big West coaches, while UC Santa Barbara received two, positioning them at No. 2 in the polls, followed by Long Beach State at No. 3. UC Davis, the traditional favorite in the polls, is placed at No. 5.
The ‘Bows return 11 players from last year’s championship roster, including four starters. UH lost The Big West Player of the Year and last year’s lone member of the preseason team, Amy Atwell, due to graduation. The Rainbow Wahine added Wahinekapu, the 2021–22 Big West Freshman of the Year at Cal State Fullerton, to this year’s roster, as she decided to come back to her home state to play alongside her sister, freshman guard Jovi Lefotu.
UH will host in-state rival Hawaiʻi Pacific University in an exhibition on Tuesday, November 1 at 7 p.m. before opening the 2022–23 regular season on the road at Oregon State University on November 7.
This is the highest preseason selection for the Rainbow Warriors since joining the conference in 2012–13. Leading returning scorer Noel Coleman was named to the six-player preseason all-Big West team.
UC Santa Barbara (99 points) is tabbed the Big West favorite going into this season. The Gauchos garnered nine of 11 first-place votes in the coaches poll. Hawaiʻi received 86 points and one first-place vote. Defending regular-season champion Long Beach State earned the only other first-place vote and finished 84 points to be slotted third.
The ‘Bows return 10 players and three starters from last year’s squad that finished in third place in the Big West regular-season with a 10-5 record.
UH will face in-state rival UH Hilo in an exhibition game on Thursday, November 3, before opening the 2022–23 regular season against Mississippi Valley State University on Friday, November 11 in the Outrigger Rainbow Classic.