364 days after winning the NCAA National Championship, Hawai'i Men's Volleyball (27-5, 7-3 BWC) is on top of the collegiate game yet again. The Rainbow Warriors are now back-to-back NCAA Tournament Champions and have appeared in three of the last four NCAA Tournament finals (no tournament held in 2020 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic).
"I mean, the words just cannot describe the way that I feel now," junior setter Jakob Thelle said. "I'm just super proud of all the guys. It's a team sport, and today's a team win for all of us. It's not just a win for ourselves, but a win for Hawai'i, and that's what means everything to us; that we just come out there and have fun and enjoy the game. I couldn't be more proud."
Thelle had 31 assists while sophomore outside hitter Spyros Chakas, who was named player of the tournament, had 14 kills as Hawai'i swept Long Beach State (21-6, 8-2 BWC) 25-22, 25-21, 25-0 May 7 in a rematch of the Big West Conference Tournament final.
"This is the fourth time we’ve played and the second time in the last couple weeks, and literally the fourth time in the last month," Hawai'i head coach Charlie Wade said. "We were very familiar with what was going to go on out there. It doesn’t always ensure that you’re going to execute, and I thought our guys were pretty locked in."
The Rainbow Warriors will kick off the 2023 season by hosting Ball State (23-4, 12-2 MIVA) in Honolulu, Hawaii.