Non-conference road matches for Hawai’i were near non-existent — until this upcoming season.
Hawai’i announced last week that it scheduled the program’s first road non-conference matches in more than 20 years as it will travel to play Lindenwood and McKendree in February.
This will be the first non-conference road trip for the Rainbow Warriors since competing at the 1994 Ascis Grand Prix Classic in San Diego. In addition, it will be the first road trip to the Midwest in the program’s 38-year history.
The Rainbow Warriors one-year removed from a NCAA Tournament appearance finished last season undefeated in their five home non-conference matches and qualified for the eight-team MPSF Tournament. Hawai’i also returns several starters from a team was in the top 10 of the national coaches poll and national media poll.
Hawai’i will open its two-match Midwest road trip against McKendree on Feb. 14 and then play Lindenwood on the following night.
Both Lindenwood and McKendree are the two newest members of the MIVA having joined the conference within the last five seasons.
McKendree ended last season winning its first postseason match in program history and advanced to the MIVA Tournament semifinals. Among the starters returning for the Bearcats in the upcoming season includes All-MIVA honorable mention middle attackers Brendan Schmidt and Wyatt Patterson.
Lindenwood in 2016 did qualify for the postseason and finished in last place in the MIVA. However, the Lions return multiple starters, including outside attacker Jake Duckworth who was in the conference’s top five with a 3.34 kills per game average last season.
This will be the first time in its program history that Hawai’i will play either Lindenwood or McKendree.
Along with these matches, the Rainbow Warriors will play seven more non-conference matches in the upcoming season. Hawai’i will have two-match home series versus Grand Canyon and Grandview and will play three matches as part of its annual home tournament the Outrigger Invitational.