IRVINE, Calif.—The field for the inaugural 2023 Outrigger Big West Women’s Volleyball Championship is set. With Saturday’s win over Long Beach State, the University of Hawai’i women’s volleyball team earned the No. 2 seed and a first round by in the first-ever Big West Championship at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif., from Nov. 22-25.
The Rainbow Wahine, the three-time defending Big West champions, earned the tiebreaker for the second seed over No. 3 seed Cal Poly in the third tiebreaking step. After splitting the two-game regular-season series, and matching one another against common opponents starting from the top of the table, it came down to best total win/loss set record in conference matches. With Hawai’i sweeping through 11 opponents and dropping just 15 sets in league action, the ‘Bows earned their semifinal spot.
The initial iteration of the event, UC Santa Barbara (27-3, 17-1 BW) cruised through the year to hold tight to the top line of the bracket and claim the regular-season championship under the direction of first-year head coach Matt Jones.
No. 3 seed Cal Poly (20-10, 14-4 BW) will tussle with sixth-seeded UC Davis (13-15, 8-10 BW) in the first round of the six-team bracket on Nov. 24 at 7 p.m. The Mustangs took two from the Aggies this season, a 3-1 victory at UC Davis on Oct. 5, and a five-setter to cap the regular season. In Saturday’s match, UCD pushed the home side to the max, winning the first and fourth sets before falling 15-13 in the final frame. The Mustangs are currently riding a 14-match winning streak over the Aggies, dating back to 2015.
Hawai’i will take on the winner of the meeting. UCD has one victory against UH to their name back in 2013, while the Mustangs got the better of the ‘Bows in a five-setter on Nov. 3 as the two split the season series.
All teams will enjoy Thanksgiving Day off, hitting the gym on Friday, Nov. 24 for the two semifinal matchups.
The Big West Championship will be decided Saturday, Nov. 25 at 5 p.m., with the victor not only hoisting the trophy but earning the conference’s automatic bid into the 2023 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship.
All-session tickets for the 2023 Outrigger Big West Women’s Volleyball Championship are available now, starting at $19. Single-match tickets are set to go on sale Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 9 a.m. For fans not at the Pyramid, all five championship contests will air on ESPN+, with Rob Espero and Madison Fitzpatrick on the call. Check listings for more information.
THE OUTRIGGER BIG WEST WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Walter Pyramid | Long Beach, Calif. – Nov. 22-25, 2-23
First Round – Wednesday, Nov. 22
4 p.m. | No. 4 seed Long Beach State vs. No. 5 seed UC Irvine
7 p.m. | No. 3 seed Cal Poly vs. No. 6 seed UC Davis
Semifinals – Friday, Nov. 24
4 p.m. | No. 1 seed UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 4/5 winner
7 p.m. | No. 2 seed Hawai’i vs. No. 3/6 winner
Final – Saturday, Nov. 25
5 p.m. | Championship