Hawai’i unanimous preseason favorite to win Big West championship in 2020

Photo courtesy of Fabiana Huffaker

Another preseason poll and another No. 1 ranking for Hawai’i.

The Rainbow Warriors two weeks after being ranked No. 1 in the preseason national coaches poll finished atop the Big West Preseason Coaches Poll that was released on Thursday.

Hawai’i was the unanimous No. 1 selection in the conference rankings as the team attempts to repeat as Big West champions. The Rainbow Warriors opened last season on a 25-match winning steak and winning 74 straight sets en route to winning the Big West Tournament and reaching the NCAA Tournament finals.

Opposite Rado Parapunov highlights the three All-American starters returning for Hawai’i. Parapunov, the 2019 Bryan Ivie Award winner, finished 2019 in the nation’s top 10 with both a 4.07 kills per game average and a .420 attack percentage and spent the offseason training with the Bulgarian Men’s National Team.

UC Santa Barbara received 28 points in the preseason poll to finish in second place — eight points behind Hawai’i.

The two-time defending NCAA championship Long Beach State came in third place with 32 points. UC Irvine garnered four fewer votes than Long Beach State and ended in fourth place.

All of the top-four teams in the Big West Preseason Poll are also ranked in the top 10 of the national coaches poll.

The Big West season will begin in March and concludes with the six-team Big West Tournament in April at UC Irvine.

2020 Big West Preseason Poll

1. Hawai’i — 36 (6) points
2. UC Santa Barbara — 28 points
3. Long Beach State — 23 points
4. UC Irvine — 19 points
5. CSUN — 13 points
6. UC San Diego — 7 points